Michael Lehrke is an author, business owner, technology consultant, and motivational speaker based out of Los Angeles, California who’s had tremendous success in his career. As a result, he empowers others to achieve their own successes and often consults with young people about the benefits of attending college.
After starting his own wildly successful business as a freshman in college, Michael Lehrke went on to become a serial entrepreneur, starting and investing in a variety of manufacturing and technology-based businesses. His day-to-day consists of mentoring new business owners, speaking at conferences across the country, and working with companies to make the most of available technology.
He’s an advocate for higher education and believes college is an integral step towards surpassing goals and reaching dreams for many adults around the world. Lehrke frequently speaks with young people who may be on the fence about going to college to encourage them into enrollment and to share what he believes are some of college’s most important benefits.
“Higher education not only sets adults up for a more promising career, but it also can shape them to become better individuals. It can provide them resources to benefit their daily lives that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else,” says Michael Lehrke.
He believes the biggest take-aways from a college education are the critical thinking skills that are taught during courses, which will go on to benefit nearly every aspect of a student’s life beyond graduation. Lehrke mentions how we hear a lot about classes or degrees that, at first glance, aren’t worth it (often degrees in liberal arts or humanities). While this critique comes from the lack of availability of job opportunities in these fields of study, he believes they still teach essential critical thinking techniques during their coursework.
“I hire people with liberal arts degrees all the time! In fact, my computer programming mentor in college had an art history degree,” Michael Lehrke notes.
In college classrooms, students participate in constructive conversations that require critical thinking, learn to communicate thoroughly and clearly, and exercise problem solving skills that can be applied to any career. These components also make navigating life as an adult a lot easier since graduates will be more equipped to determine the accuracy of information, come up with novel solutions, and communicate to people more effectively.
“Besides learning essential adulting skills, college graduates earn more money on average and secure more specialized, stable careers,” says Lehrke. “It’s really about fulfillment. Will you be happy going to work each day at a job that requires little skill? And will that same job be around in 5 to 10 years?”
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that people who earn their bachelor’s degree earn around 64% more per week than individuals with a high school diploma, and around 40% more than those with an associate’s degree. Many of the more advanced, higher paying positions require a bachelor’s at least. Graduates receive thousands (and often tens of thousands) more each year in their income simply because they hold a completed degree.
“As the owner of a company, a college degree on a resume, regardless of major, shows me that the candidate can stick to and reach a goal. College is essentially a large project with a multi-year deadline. If you can successfully complete that project, then you won’t have any problem with the projects you’ll work on at one of my companies.”
“In addition to these essential benefits, college courses help students build up their professional network, make new friends, gain insight into career potentials, learn about themselves, and gain guidance from experienced leaders who are very knowledgeable about their future field of work. With education comes happiness, health, and success ” says Michael Lehrke.