Fraudulent or misleading degrees can get you in trouble in Texas

I just learned it is a Felony now (or soon will be) to obtain a “promotion, position or advancement” in the state of Texas via a fraudulent or misleading degree.  I can’t wait to see what this looks like in writing.

I don’t have a degree.  My excuse is that I’ve been too busy, but I know it’s a lame excuse.  When I was 18 I joined the Navy and served my country.  At 24 I started my first business.  I got derailed (heh!) for some time getting married and raising kids – but at 44 I started 5 businesses.

In 1986 my partner and I sold our first business for 30x what we spent on it.  It was successful.  Of the five businesses I started last year, 4 are still in business, and one is making money (another is close to break even).

I’ve managed millions in annual budgets and managed dozens of employees.

But I don’t have a degree.  Sure, I could have bought one (still could, I guess).  But that’s exactly why I like this new law.  It puts me on a more even playing field with others who just bought a degree.  From here out it will be a lot harder to lie about your purchased “degree”. vs. an “earned” degree.  And since I never pursued one in the first place, this doesn’t hurt me any. 

Don’t get me wrong – not getting a degree is one of the biggest regrets I have in life – but I wouldn’t get a fake one.  That is kind of like taking your cousin to the Prom.  Sure, you have a date, but it’s just window dressing!  I’ve never had a desire to get a degree, but I have had a desire to HAVE a degree.  I think it’s important just like make-up, clean clothes and a shower are important.  They all give you a “leg up”.

In fact, one of my kids will be the first on my side of the family (my ex had a Master’s Degree – I know – I worked the whole time she was in school!) to go to college.  I know that may be hard to believe, but it’s true.  I come from a blue-collar family.  A lot of Military tradition thrown in here as well, but mostly just honest hard-working folk. 

I never had time for college – just like I don’t have a lot of time for sleep, or eating, or cleaning.  There is SO MUCH TO DO – so much to learn.  I always thought I was spending my time more wisely by READING than doing anything else – and I know that is still true.

Do I wish I had a degree?  Hell yes.  Would I feel good today if I had spent four years chasing that degree?  No way.  I would not have had to learn things I had to learn – like MAKING MONEY and paying bills, and programming computers (yes, this was self taught by books as well).  I learned on my own, through books, because that was the only real option I had.

Almost everything I know I have learned from reading – and generally from reading things *I* wanted to read. 

So if I could choose that my children either love to read, or they get a degree, which do you think I would choose?