Michael Ellsberg on circumventing formal credentials and collegiate debt

The worth of a diploma in post-2008 american economiesI am guilty of occasionally perusing Tim Ferris’ blog, to find some interesting tidbits. If you’re not familiar, Tim is oft referred to as a sometimes charlatan/con-man, but regardless he does have interesting content from time to time. In this case, an article written by Michael Ellsberg on getting a job/ getting ahead/getting on with your life without the need for ‘formal credentials’. 

This struck a chord with me since I have essentially achieved a similar feat. I came out to Los Angeles in 2008, at the worst financial point in recent memory. No money, no job, no parental support, no college degree, at 19 years old. Daunting. Fast forward 3 1/2 years, and I have become a commercial and film compositor, achieving the oft-referred to “6-figure salary” (not as great as it sounds).

How is something like that possible? Many acquaintances of mine often refer to their 100K+ student loans as the shackles that continue to hold them back financially, struggling with debt. If you’re a young kid who can’t have your parent/s afford to co-sign a ginormous loan with you, what do you do? You’ve been told that college = success your whole life, but what about the financially crippling effect of being spit out of the school directly into a stagnant job sector that no longer applies, even though 4 years ago it was brimming with opportunity. Well, my friends – this is the very purpose of this blog. Fake it till you make it. Prove you’re worth a damn and create credentials more valuable than a piece of paper. Go read Michaels’ post, and ofcourse, share your thoughts in the comments.

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