Eric Dalius and the Value of Post-Secondary Education

October 2, 2018

Eric Dalius is a retired entrepreneur, marketing professional, real estate expert, and equal education advocate. He graduated from Penn State University in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Afterward, he spent over 25 years building a note-worthy career that is distinguished by more than $100 million in generated revenue. His roles include everything from creating a start-up in the coaching field all the way to being the CEO of a prominent realty business. In September of 2017, Eric Dalius retired with a long list of accomplishments. Nevertheless, he is still active in the real estate field where he frequently invests in the global market.

How long did it take you to get used to being retired?

Well, I will let you know as soon as it happens! Although it has been a little more than a year, I am still learning how not to be busy all the time. My career was very fast-paced, and I used to have extremely long days with short breaks. After a while, however, I became so accustomed to this way of operating that it felt normal. Nowadays, however, I have so much time on my hands that I can always engage in extracurricular activities.

What do you think was the turning point in your career?

Getting my post-secondary education. People often mistake someone’s career as everything that happens once they begin their first full-time job. I, however, think that one truly begins their professional life once they start going to college. The reason why is that it helps you become independent and survive in the real world. Additionally, higher education is where you decide what route you want to go once you graduate. In a sense, absent a solid college education, building a career will be much more difficult.

Do you think you would have been as successful if you never went to Penn State?

Well, it depends. I do not think that Penn State, in particular, is solely responsible for my success. Meaning, going to some other school would have probably resulted in the same career choices for me. This is because I had a never-ending drive and passion that eventually became my leverage. If I never went to any college, however, the outcome would likely be quite different.

It is important to understand that I am not denying how people can be successful without post-secondary education. After all, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs all dropped out of their universities. Now, they are the biggest names in technology with more money than the vast majority of countries have in annual GDP. Thus, I am not arguing that college is the end-all-be-all method for attaining prosperity.

My focus is on the fact that higher education makes it easier to get opportunities that lead to success. Regardless of the few exceptions, most people will find it easier to begin a career with a college degree.

Are there any trends that you believe are affecting college education?

The most obvious one is the constant increase in tuition and fees. When I went to college, our textbooks were almost as much as the cost to attend. Nowadays, students have to begin their full-time careers with five-figure debt due to college expenses. Tuition has gone up so much that the vast majority of college dropouts cite the inability to cover their costs as one of the reasons for withdrawing. This trend is quite worrisome as the future of our country relies on those who are now in their early twenties. If they are unable to even go through a higher-education facility, however, that future may begin to look scary.

Should post-secondary education be free?

I do not believe that such a scenario is possible. Given the inflation in our country, offering free college education would create an unprecedented financial burden on the government. Right now, most of the federal budget is allocated between the military, Medicare, and social security. Although there are only three major categories, we still have a multi-trillion-dollar debt! Imagine adding free college to the equation. The debt would probably go up so much that it would not pay off to even get a degree anymore.

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