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College, SEO, or Both?

Chris Hooley drinkbaiting Matt Cutts

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I am not a very big fan of PayPal. I mean, it provides an absolutely necessary service, but for goodness sakes it takes 3% of anything you receive! That being said I am a very big fan of what the co-founder is doing these days. He's paying people not to go to college!

That's right, $100,000 grants not to go to college, but to start a business. He says that college costs too much these days (in fact the class of 2011 is coming out with the highest debt of all time) and he is probably right. Even Harvard students are taking him up on his offer.

A lot of SEO's believe that SEO should not be taught in high school or in college. They believe the market will get flooded very quickly and that they will have tons of 17 and 18 year old kids getting a huge jump start in the SEO world. Although I do not believe that this is a valid reason for them to not teach it in school (everyone deserves to know how the information that comes up when they search for it gets there, and what agendas are at hand) I still do not think they should teach it in school because no one knows exactly how long SEO will actually be around and it is always constantly undergoing changes. That being said, Google’s web spam leader, Matt Cutts, has stated that white hat SEO tactics are actually a good thing and will be around for at least another 5 years to come.

But the question at hand is... Should you pursue a career involving SEO and the Internet world or should you go to college and join the rest of the world?

This is a question that I personally think about each and every day. Here are the total advantages of choosing a career on the Internet rather than going to college and getting a regular job.

#1. Flexibility. I work when I want to. I work out when I want to. I play my guitar when I want to. I cook and eat when I want to. I do what I want when I want. Yes I have deadlines and yes sometimes sitting in front of a computer screen can almost seem deadly after more than a couple hours - but if you are the type of person that would rather go out and work on your website or on a link building campaign before you would go out on a Saturday night than the SEO world is the way for you.

#2. Low startup costs. Compared to taking out student loans and falling into a humongous debt trap, the startup costs of an Internet business are very minute. In fact there is more of an investment of time rather than money, and as long as you can find ways to support yourself, then you will come out on top with less debt, more lessons learned. You actually learn more about business then taking your basic business classes.

#3. Diversity. There are so many different ways to make money on the Internet just like there are so many different ways to make money offline. You have a lot of different options, including things like an ecommerce site, you can create affiliate websites, you can make money blogging, provide SEO services, involve yourself in freelancing in graphic design and in writing, and much much more. The possibilities are endless. You can turn what you love into a website, and you can turn your website into money.

There are definitely some practices where you absolutely must go to college to be successful in. These include practices like medicine, engineering (although not computer engineering necessarily), architecture, and everything else that takes more than 4 years to get through. However, since college is just so darn expensive, it is a much better idea to skip it and take your chances with a business startup as long as you feel a little bit confident about the situation and the potential that your business has.

The awesome thing about the online world is that you can work from anywhere and at any time. This gigantic advantage can allow you to do all sorts of multitasking throughout your life - one of the main ones being the ability to attend school while working on an Internet based startup.

How should one in this field approach college?

If you do a quick Google search, you will find that most SEO companies are looking to hire people with Internet marketing experience along with a bachelor’s degree in business (an MBA) or computer science. Although everyone would like to get there degree in what they personally think is best for them, you should know that these two degrees go a long way in the SEO world.

One option for people in this field is to actually attend school the way that it should be: Take classes when you want to learn something. This is very popular for people that want to learn certain types of programming or coding, or when people want to learn certain aspects of business.

When you go to college these days, you are forced to take many classes that do nothing for you educationally. Taking mindless, but required, basket weaving classes is what turns a lot of people away from college as all it does is generate more revenue for the colleges.

Many people that would like to attend college, finish up a degree, or just learn something, and have already started a business or are on their way towards working towards one, can attend school they way that it should be. School should be an ongoing process; until you learn what it is you do that makes you money inside and out. There's no need to take "The History of Jazz" when you are planning on building spaceships for NASA – that’s just a way for colleges to create revenue. Every time you would like to learn something, pick out a class that best suits your needs, until you get your degree.

This was contributed by Anthony Benedict, whom by day works for an SEO company at www.inetzeal.com. He enjoys writing articles about entrepreneurship in his spare time.

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