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

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  426 Ratings  ·  64 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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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
Joseph McBee
May 04, 2013 Joseph McBee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 18, 2013 Jay Bostwick rated it really liked it
Shelves: education, leadership
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
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
Logan Jones
While this book is moderately inspiring I feel like it was written for a very specific niche that I am certain I do not belong to (at least not yet). There is very little in information on "hacking your education". Instead the book offers a lot of advice on networking, making friends, and (oddly) the importance of learning to code. It felt like the author was coming from a place of success and reaching out to already successful people. I'm still getting my life going and figuring things out, I c ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Aya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dočetla jsem tuhle útlou knížečku za dobu delší, než by zasloužila, ale aspoň jsem měla dost času o ní přemýšlet. Pravdou je, že je hodně uzpůsobena americkému prostředí. Jsou zkrátka věci, které u nás nefungují. Třeba létání zadarmo za nalétané kilometry. Také už asi tak moc nepomůže lidem jako já, tedy těm, kteří bez větších problémů prošli kompletním vzdělávacím cyklem (od školky po diplom). Přesto obsahuje několik zajímavých nápadů, jak rozšířit své možnosti.

Jmenují se Finty dne a opravdu je
May 23, 2015 Orton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Hacking Your Education... or as I like to call it: An Introvert's Guide to Honing Street Smarts, Building a Network and Embracing Self-Directed Learning

As far as college-related books go, I've read James Altucher, Blake Boles, and Andrew Roberts (plus a ton of other shorter works). Out of all these writers, Dale J. Stephens has provided what is arguably the Summa of launching your life without college and making the most of college if you still end up going. Perhaps at some point (after plenty
Nicholas Tong
Jun 06, 2014 Nicholas Tong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mar 14, 2013 Beata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 10, 2014 Jan Kadlec rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 52knih
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.
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
Mar 11, 2014 Malin Friess rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2013 Afzal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 17, 2014 Nichola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 04, 2015 18dh02 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book to anyone out there, not just to those who are going to college. This is a very unique book written by an Unschooler named Dale J. Stephens. Inside it talks about how you can learn outside the classroom, take advantage of the resources possessed, and develop your full potential before going to college. Unschooling means for someone to be completely detached from any school systems or teachings and is purely self driven in their studies, and studies to their interests. ...more
May 24, 2013 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2013
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
May 27, 2014 Oliver rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 06, 2016 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Get rejected every day for a week. Must be a real person in the real world.
a. Ask someone to give you their seat in a public area without explaining why.
b. Ask a random person on the street for $100
c. Go outside and ask the first person you meet, "Will you go on a date with me?"
d. Go into a store and ask if it's all right to explore an area marked "Authorized Personnel Only/"
e. Ask someone on the street if you can take a picture with them.
f. Take a stack of paper into the street and ask someone
Camille Dent (TheCamillion)
Superb. Some places needed a better editing job where a word was added or omitted accidentally, but the actual content of this book is fantastic despite a few technical errors.

First of all, this book is not meant to be an explicit encouragement to ditch college. It's simply to show people that there are other options out there that may, despite what our parents and teachers want us to think, be more effective than sitting through classes. As an aspiring high school teacher, I literally do need a
Julian Patton
Mar 29, 2016 Julian Patton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 26, 2014 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anone needing a real education
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
Apr 18, 2013 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 06, 2013 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Danielle Voit
Jan 22, 2015 Danielle Voit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book. I would recommend any high school graduate to read this. This book teaches valuable life skills necessary whether or not you decide to go to college or "hack your education." I don't think this book is appropriate for a younger, reluctant student. As a teacher, I can see a lot of kids using it as an excuse to not do their work or go to school and eventually college.
Aug 07, 2015 Johanna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: educational
All in all it's a good book and introduction to hacking education, with lots of good tips to get you started and motivated. It's a bit too focused on achieving a certain kind of success, and "making it" despite a college education, for my liking - but then again that approach is probably appealing to a lot of people, just not for me.
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Review 1 5 Mar 20, 2013 04:16AM  
Victoria's Secret 1 5 Mar 08, 2013 04:27AM  
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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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