Don’t Go Back to School Book Summary - Don’t Go Back to School Book explained in key points
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Don’t Go Back to School summary

Kio Stark

A Handbook for Learning Anything

3.7 (64 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

Don't Go Back to School by Kio Stark explores the idea that education is not limited to traditional institutions. It provides guidance for those who want to pursue their interests and learn on their own terms, outside of the classroom.

Table of Contents

    Don’t Go Back to School
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 8

    The value of college education is contestable.

    Many people today have shelled out a lot of money and racked up mountains of debt in order to get a college education, hoping that a job opportunity down the line will help them recoup all of the money they’ve invested. However, many never find such an opportunity.

    College degrees are losing their value, and it’s not always true that people with a degree will have higher lifetime earnings. While college degrees have proven their value since World War II, the trend has shifted.

    When the GI Bill was passed shortly after World War II, war veterans returning home had an opportunity to start a new life by having their college tuition paid for by the government. Consequently, the percentage of US citizens with college degrees spiked hugely.  

    Meanwhile, a college degree became prerequisite for an increasing number of jobs, such as journalism or public relations.

    In addition, more women began receiving a college education to secure better jobs. Already at a disadvantage in the employment market, women in the US were able to forge new job opportunities by demonstrating aptitude with a degree.

    During that time, college degrees guaranteed higher lifetime earnings due to moderate loan debt, easy employability and an annual increase in the value of a college degree. But those times are over.

    Getting a degree is no longer a safe path. As more people with similar credentials flood the job market and the cost of education rises, higher competition and generally low wages mean that repaying college debt isn’t easy.

    What’s more, degrees aren’t the only kind of credential and are even becoming less necessary, while other credentials, such as portfolios and recommendations, are becoming increasingly important.

    Work portfolios, for example, are as good at convincing prospective employers to hire you as is any degree. More and more often, jobs are found through network connections and within communities. Just knowing who’s hiring can help you land a job as much as a degree can.

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    What is Don’t Go Back to School about?

    Don’t Go Back to School shows how not having a degree doesn’t doom you to an unsuccessful life. In fact, quite the contrary: chalked full of real-life examples, this book presents a strong case for independent learning as well as principles you can immediately enact to make independent learning a part of your life.

    Don’t Go Back to School Review

    Don’t Go Back to School (2013) is a book that challenges conventional thinking about education and offers alternative paths to learning. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides a refreshing perspective on traditional education, encouraging readers to explore unconventional ways of learning.
    • The book shares inspiring personal stories of individuals who have successfully pursued self-directed education, demonstrating that there are many avenues to knowledge and fulfillment.
    • Through thought-provoking insights and practical tips, Don’t Go Back to School empowers readers to take control of their own learning journey and create a life that aligns with their passions and interests.

    Best quote from Don’t Go Back to School

    There is something really special about when you first realize you can figure out really cool things completely on your own.

    —Kio Stark
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    Who should read Don’t Go Back to School?

    • Anyone interested in learning outside of school
    • Anyone who wants to improve his or her knowledge and skills without breaking the bank
    • Anyone on the fence about whether to spend the money to go to college or university

    About the Author

    Kio Stark is a writer and adjunct professor at New York University’s graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program. In addition to conducting active research on learning and teaching she has also published a novel entitled Follow Me Down.

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    Don’t Go Back to School FAQs 

    What is the main message of Don't Go Back to School?

    The main message of Don't Go Back to School is that formal education isn't the only path to success.

    How long does it take to read Don't Go Back to School?

    The reading time for Don't Go Back to School varies, but it can be read in a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Don't Go Back to School a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Don't Go Back to School is worth reading as it challenges traditional ideas about education and offers alternative paths to learning.

    Who is the author of Don't Go Back to School?

    Kio Stark is the author of Don't Go Back to School.

    What to read after Don’t Go Back to School?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Don’t Go Back to School, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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