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TEDx Features Money Expert on Becoming Debt Free

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Money and finance expert Adam Carroll

Money and finance expert Adam Carroll

Cal U'Ren

Cal U'Ren

Money and finance expert Adam Carroll

Cal U'Ren, Sports Reporter

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A money and finance expert, Adam Carroll, visited the university for a TEDx event. His focus is to get others to be financially literate and to “build a bigger life, not a bigger life style.”

Adam has spoken to more than 500 different universities on his mission to help students avoid debt by age 26. This then led him to create a documentary series entitled “Broke, Busted, and Disgusted,” which will air on national television later this year.

He spoke with personal experience on the topic. “I was a rich college kid and then a broke professional,” stated Carroll. This made him realize that climbing out of debt and saving for retirement were issues everyone faced, yet many didn’t know how to properly approach them.

Carroll’s presentation also focused on the value of a college degree and how our education system is flawed. Since the presentation was discussion based, the first question posed was, “What is the value of higher education in society?” This led to responses like a secure future and quality training for future employment.

No ones answers touched on value that the education brought to someone personally, especially regarding happiness and self-satisfaction. Carroll’s point was to follow your passion in a workplace setting, that way debt and a devalued degree would be worth it.

He discussed how the marketplace essentially demands a degree, but experience and workplace motivation critical too. Carroll noted, “The degree is great, but it’s table space, it just shows completion bias.” He reiterated how over time it turned from a commodity to commonplace. “We made the degree so valuable that it became less valuable,” remarked Carroll.

The Carroll presented thought provoking ideas and challenged attendees to critically think about them. Examples included,  “If we didn’t have higher education, what would be needed in its place?” And, “How can we bring inquiry into the higher education system to the benefit of our society?” The open-ended questions forced people to view their learning experiences in new ways.

Carroll explored a new idea in education called a “makerspace.” It’s a designated area that allows people to tinker with ideas and skills to find what interests them. A student can attempt unique tasks such as video editing or 3 dimensional printing, and this might show them their strengths or potentially lead them down different paths.

Throughout his presentation the model of current education was compared to fast food. The narrative of going to college and finding a job appears to be the right choice, but it doesn’t always yield the desired results.

Discovering your natural talents and the driving forces behind your life can add previously unseen value to an employer. Carroll stated, “What ever fires you up on the side, make that valuable to your future employer.” He concluded by challenging students to spend time adding value to their own position in the marketplace. “If you want to be valuable in the marketplace, then go accomplish something valuable in your free time,” pronounced Carroll.

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TEDx Features Money Expert on Becoming Debt Free