When I was a youth, education at a top ten University in the United States of America (USA) cost about $25,000/yr. At my Alma Mater, Berkeley, you also took five instead of four years for about $125,000.00. The first several years of my education involved accepting money from my folks which I promptly wasted along with my youthfully plentiful brain cells. Alas, they are no longer youthful, nor plentiful! Or, as George Bernard Shaw is quoted: “Youth is a wonderful thing, but that it is wasted on the young”
So rather than waste the youth of our young, I offer to them the following educational strategy for maximizing their plentiful energy and grey matter. I came of age in the divorces of the 1970’s followed by the adjustment of American schools away from all practical application toward nearly rote memorization. This educational model failed me. Instead of sitting for seven plus hours a day so that I could grow up and sit even longer, I went to the field to learn.
Without my father whom the state unceremoniously ejected from my childhood and then charged for this privilege, I suffered. I dropped out of UC Berkeley and joined the US Army. It was here that Uncle Sam made me from a boy into a man. For thousands of years humanity has evolved methods for creating the society that now has nearly free education for everyone.
I used the money for Tuition Assistance and GI Bills to finish my school and enter the workforce. Self-taught I have risen to the top of my field in Internet Infrastructure. The amount of money that I have earned is sometimes obscene and other times tortured. Regardless, anyone can do what I did. This strategy took me from earning less than $7000 disposable income to well over $100,000 in less than three years.
Cut your expenses to Internet, food, and basic professional clothing.
Own at least one medium grade laptop before you ever purchase an automobile.
Study and certify.
Avoid relationship entanglements.
The first thing that I did when I entered the Army was to pay off all of my credit cards and debt. Because I used Distance Education at a top University it cost me more than it will you. Each semester or quarter, pay your money to tuition and books first. Then pay down your debt with the rest on a monthly basis. Work the minimum hours at your current job to give you basic food and healthcare. This leaves the most time for training and certification. Forget about Paradise Lost and Milton, for if you do not keep your lights on you will be in Dante’s Inferno.
Spend all of your time studying the latest technology. What technology? The most important thing is that you choose the right technology. There is a priority of work to this process. The technology that you choose first must be the one that can earn you money and keep your lights-on. Search the Internet in your area, if you cannot find a laptop or cellphone to use and have no friends or family to help you, go to the public library. Ask around they will help you and believe in you and when you have no proven successes to draw on.
Look for the top five technologies which repeatedly hit the top of indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, dice.com, or even craigslist.org. Usually it will be Cisco, Microsoft, or VMware and things of this sort. Checkout the books from the library. Do not worry if you cannot get the latest version from the library, I used the Exchange 4.0 videos from the Microsoft Employee Library in Redmond, WA when I was a lowly contractor making $15/hr. This was like a million dollars to an out-processed E-4.
Here is where it gets even easier for you. You can get virtual labs online at Microsoft Virtual Academy! They will train you for your gig for the low low price of FREE NINETY-NINE! Zero dot doble-zero dolares para ti! While you are studying you are in actuality getting hands-on from these virtual labs. As you begin to take them certify, certify, certify. Let’s tally how much you have spent on training so far.
$0.00 + $0.00 = ?
Wait, lemme carry the zero.
Total Cost so far: $0.00
Wait, but what about the free education that the government needs to pay for? What about your student loans? You have none. But then again, you don’t have a job yet either. Stay tuned for Golden Age Part III – Resume Review for your next steps.