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Hacking Your Education Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will
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Hacking Your Education Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  295 ratings  ·  49 reviews
It's no secret that college doesn't prepare students for the real world. Student loan debt recently eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history and now tops one trillion dollars. And the throngs of unemployed graduates chasing the same jobs makes us wonder whether there's a better way to "make it" in today's marketplace.
There is--and Dale Stephens is proof of
ebook, 256 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Perigee Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Joseph McBee
Excellent book. I would encourage anyone who is near to graduating high, scratch that, I would encourage ANYONE to read this book. Granted, it is written to younger people (say 17-30), but the ideas, principles, and "hacks" that Stephens covers can be applied by anyone at any age.

Stephens keeps things interesting too. He understands the need to utilize engaging narrative, to wrap the facts, figures, theory, and practical steps in a story in order to keep his readers turning pages. To
Jay Bostwick
I can't say that I agree with every suggestion Stephens makes in this book. Cold calling influential people you don't know to ask them to get you into a conference that has already started, for example, is a strategy that ought to be handled carefully, if it isn't just an outright really bad idea.

But what I really like about Stephens's short book is how it reveals the absurdity of blindly handing your education over to institutions that may not be capable of preparing you for your particular car
Personally, I love learning new things. When people ask me what I do with my free time I always tell them I read books! Then they look at me with a dumb stare. What is wrong with these people? I don't get it. Books are awesome! I listen to educational podcasts in the car, sign up for online courses, and watch social psychology videos on YouTube. I'm probably just weird... but I really do like learning new things. But I've never been part of the more traditional learning systems. I was a homescoo ...more
This is a quick read, and is most appropriate for young students or parents of students who are considering alternative options for education. I certainly admire the author for his approach - he left school when he was young and has pursued international travel, business ventures, and online courses since - but I have to believe that many young amateurs, even having followed every advice this book suggests, would not likely have a similar, successful outcome. The author's strength is in his extr ...more
Meredith Murphy
THE BAD: If you are reading this book, do yourself a favor and skip the first chapter. I know that Dale wanted to make a point that higher education isn't for everyone and doesn't have the value we think it does, but he just ended up alienating - and at times downright insulting - those of us who value our college degree and felt that it was worthwhile. College doesn't work for everyone, but it isn't a fair assessment to say that it doesn't work for anyone, and it felt like that was what he was ...more
As someone who recently dropped out of college due to various circumstances, this book confirms what I've suspected all along: college isn't the be-all end-all of education.

Upon dropping out, I moved back to my hometown and secured an apartment and part-time job at Subway. In comparison to my friends, every last one of whom is attending a college, I felt I was going nowhere. This is how it starts,I thought to myself in horror. You get a temporary job at a fast-food place to tide you over, then y
Plan to hack "Hacking Your Education" in higher ed setting. The book is full of good ideas that can be easily adapted for developing engaged, life long learners at a university. Once you overlook some of Dale's ethically troublesome suggestions, and some of his explicit language, the book is really insightful and should be a required reading for higher ed faculty and administrators, so they are not out of a job. The author offers a unique millennial perspective on what he considers a valuable ed ...more
Jan Kadlec
Nice introduction to self-directed learning. Definitely not for anybody. However, if you are disappointed by your formal education and have courage to take over responsibility, Hacking your education will provide you with a framework for your own education.
Nicholas Tong
Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More Than Your Peers Ever Will provokes the reader to think about the pervading malady that has infected many societies - that is, adopting university description as self-description. Given the unrelenting and rising pressures imposed on the youth to succeed academically, it is unsurprising that individuals forced to participate in this result-oriented rat race has come to value themselves extrinsically by the prestige ...more
Joe Sabado
Read it! Life-long learning is the underlying message of the book. It's not merely "ditch college". I was pleasantly surprise to read some of the things I am already doing to learn in this book including the use of social learning networks. I won't do everything the author recommend as I don't think they're right but you have to read the book to figure out which ones I may be referring to.

Overall - this book is really good.
Malin Friess
The average college student is in debt $27,250. A 50 minute college class (assume college cost of 42k per year) costs $250!!! Yikes. Why does a college education cost more than a house? Student Debt now eclipses credit card debt. 50% of these students don't graduate and take on significant debt without a degree to show for it. 54% of young people between 18-24 are unemployed. So Stephens asks: Why go to College?

Stephens dropped out of school at age 12 and began "unschooling" not homeschooling. H
Wow I just loved this book, super fast paced, easy to read, very practical and written for 2013! I wish I'd read this book 10 years back!

If you're a college student or a life long learner or looking for ways to learn a new skill quickly or just to increase your productivity this book is for you.
Briana Ford
Finished it in a day. Loved it! Had so much great information, tips, and gave me a lot of great ideas. I didn't realize I was an unschooler until he described some of the people he interviewed. I didn't realize I was doing some of these things already. Screw college, hack your education.
This enthusiastic self-schooler grows up, and realizes he can continue to create his own learning experiences. Not an approach for the timid, he still does a great job of encouraging people to get out there and do what they want. I particularly liked his suggested practical excercises- learning how to fail, expanding your network by taking people out for coffee, writing cold emails, and requesting internships that aren't already established. His conference startegies seem workable for anyone, bu ...more
the good: yes! a different point of view, a valid point of view.
the so-so: did this need to be a book? A good length article would tell me the pertinent data.
the bad: lots of filler
The book is part of the growing wave of the self directed learning culture. It discuss unconventional ways to getting yourself into learning experiences over the less efficient traditional paths. It achieves this giving examples of successful learning hackers, and the author's own story. I felt while this was a motivating book, it concentrated more on the pragmatic ideas that allow you to have a good life/ career without traditional school, and less on the philosophy and/or techniques to structu ...more
Julian Patton
I'm going to praise the life out of this book. I read this book when I was at a cross roads in life and started to question the education system. Now I see my questions were valid. College is bullshit. I'm planning to drop out get a job as a computer programmer, but I have to say even though this book has taught college is bullshit. I don't think college is a waste of time. A lot of the things that Dale Stephens teaches you that you can do in this book, you can do while you're in college, and th ...more
What can you say about a book that shows you how to get a real education for way less than the outrageous price of going to college? There were so many resources I didn't even knew existed before reading this book. You literally can get a full education through the cost of just paying for internet service at home, or if you want to go completely free, use free wi-fi spots located anywhere.

Dale Stephens is someone that more and more parents need to start raising. Parents today make their kids foc
Brandon Baggett
I really wanted to give this four-stars, but I couldn't. Why, because this book lacks professionalism. You can write a book, include a piece of yourself, and still include yourself without foul language. Granted, this occurred only once every nine or ten pages. But in a professional world, that just isn't acceptable.

Alright, now that I have got my big gripe out of the way, I can go on to extoll the things that I loved about the book.

1 - Creating your own future. He is all about people getting
Debbie Morrison
“For those who have absolutely no idea of their interests, a four-year institution is a waste of money and time.” Dale J. Stephens

This quote is from the twenty-one year old college dropout and author on the book. He is also founder of the website and movement, UnCollege. Stephens insists he is not advocating that young people don’t go to college, but is suggesting students only go to college if they know what they want to study and why. Seems reasonable enough. Yet Stephens argument and advice f
This was a worthwhile read. Mainly geared for folks who haven't started families, though. I definitely agree that when you are young, you should not limit your opportunities or believe that college is the "end all, be all". My outlook on college when I graduated was more like, "now the real work begins". I just wish that I would have taken more classes during the semesters and graduated a little earlier so I could do my real work.

Contrary to what parts of this book say, I do believe that some co
Carl Wade
Sep 23, 2013 Carl Wade added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: My Granddaughter
Front Cover: Author founded
Pg i: College problems include higher costs, vague credentials, grim job prospects and crippling debt.
Pg xi: What's this about a boyfriend?
Pg xiii: Class costs $250 per hour. Comes out to 27k in debt. 44.4% of grads under 25 are unemployed or working outside a degree.
Pg 7: Resource "Debt-free U" by Zac Bissonnette, College is free in Finland even for international students. Maybe Deanna needs to find a friend that lives in Finland.
Pg 8: Nonlicensed profe
This was a spur of the moment pick up in the vein of The Teenage Liberation Handbook. As my last few classes of college at NMC play out and I start thinking about this coming year where I am going to be really out of school and maybe not return, it was a godsend. College is only what you make it -- it doesn't owe you anything. Going to class isn't going to get you a job, making connections is. It puts you in a place with a lot of interesting professors and motivated people in a new community. It ...more
Obviously I'm in the minority of readers, but this was disappointing and kind of dumb.
I got really excited, seeing this book, because it's what I'd love to do.
Except this book is about HOW to Uncollege, not how to get a job out of it. I know I CAN uncollege… it wouldn't be hard for me. But how do I get a job out of not going to college? I mean, is 'getting a job' really a BAD reason for going to college? Um, no.
Oh right, you can get a job if you make an app that someone happens to like and gives
Caleb Muller
A great read for anyone thinking about taking the next step in their education after high school, attending college, or getting ready to step out into the real world.
Ben Donahower
This is a fine, action-oriented overview for 'hacking your education.' If you are just dipping your toes into taking control of your own education and careering, this is a decent start. If you have a handle on these ideas and processes, I would skip this book. It was a little bit of red meat focused using a ton of examples. Another person who might like reading this book is someone who is hacking their education, but needs a few inspirational examples to get you back on track.
Samia Joseph
Recommend for anyone second guessing the American standard of college education....I encourage everyone to read this book. Dale Stephens gives a broad overview with specific ways to 'hack' your education at the end of sections. I have already done many of the things he suggests, though some of the more adventurous challenges, like crashing a lecture are not something I've done but the exercise itself sounds like a way to break some fears. I was hoping for more insight into his research process b ...more
Not as amazing as I wanted it to be. However, I was given lots of inspiration for hacking ideas of my own. ( So I guess he accomplished his mission?)
Joshua Steimle
Does your child hate school? Would they rather drop out and never go back again? Maybe you should let them do just that. If you're not convinced by my merely saying so, read this book and you might not only see dropping out as acceptable, but preferable.
I have to say this book really surprised me. I had low expectations about this book and almost did not read it. However, it was much better that expected. Stephens does a great job helping the reader to understand him, his unique background, and the idea of Hacking Life in general. Granted, I believe the book is aimed at a younger demographic than me, but this is still a fascinating read at any age. Stephens is a hyper-social wunderkind and I have to say that I learned a lot from him in this qui ...more
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Review 1 3 Mar 20, 2013 04:16AM  
Victoria's Secret 1 5 Mar 08, 2013 04:27AM  
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  • The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning)
  • A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change
  • You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path From Chaos to Career
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At 21, Dale Stephens founded because we’re paying too much for college and learning too little. It’s no secret that college doesn’t prepare students for the real world. Student loan debt recently eclipsed credit card debt for the first time in history and now tops 1 trillion dollars. And the throngs of unemployed graduates chasing the same jobs makes us wonder whether there’s a bette ...more
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