Are you cut out of University?

Writing this feels wrong. I have spent most of my life in formal schooling. I started elementary at 7 and stayed until I was 25. Then I spend an extra year when I was 30. I like school. I am good at it. I was definitely cut out of it. I went to lectures, read my books, and wrote papers.

I am a proponent of university.


I am also a proponent of building rare and valuable skills, success, and cyber security. And it is clear, and has been clear since I was a teenager, that going to university and building a wonderfully successful career through technology are not mutually exclusive.

If you can’t image taking another stupid test for the sake of a grade and instead are focused on a single task, like those kids you know who will become doctors or astronauts and already make daily decisions towards that goal, then maybe you don’t need to take 3-5 years of your life studying Java alongside Japanese literature.

How to win without University

I have met a lot of pros lately who started their careers in apprenticeships. These are the benefits I see for an apprenticeship:

  • By the time I finished my initial undergraduate and master’s degrees, which did make me book smart and taught me alotta words, you could have 9 years work experience.
  • You wouldn’t have to pay for college or university, because your employer will pay it if you decide you want to go that route.
  • You would earn money. Much more money than I earned waiting tables or tutoring kids for 4 hours a week while in school.
  • You will meet and network with successful adults and learn professional skills. In university the successful adults I met were professors (I was good at school, but didn’t intern enough. It happens.)

If I had to do it all again, I’d still go to university. But I met a lot of people who spent a lot of money and time and did not enjoy it, get obvious value from it, or succeed because of it.

It’s not a silver bullet. We need cyber security skills now. I don’t have 4 years to begin training you. I want you now. And in exchange, I’ll give you skills, money, talent, and maybe a university degree in a few years time.