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Good question, and one that should be given a lot of thought by perspective college attendees. Pursuing a degree in higher education is gratifying,enriching, and respectful thing to do, aside from greater employment opportunities. I can answer that question better with my two daughters in mind. One who is not a very good at typical scholastics, but is enthusiastic and motivated is going to culinary college. She will graduate with a degree this spring and work towards a degree in nutrition. My thoughts there are she will be employed in a big industry, and working, with the chance of earning more if she pursues the nutrition degree. You need to be able to find a job after you graduate, even better if you can work internships and learn more while in school.
My other daughter is an excellent student and at the top of her class in law school. I agree that there are plenty of people who graduate with law degrees and pass the bar but remain unemployed. I feel my daughter and others who are at the top will work, so that is another variable to consider. So you have to ask yourself or a future student, have you chosen a career with a future, are you an exceptional person if the field is very competitive?
Personally, I'm a full time house Dad and political comentator
Would you pursue higher education towards a degree right now?
That question has been haunting me since the day I earned my license. Especially since I come from a family of engineers, designers, and public activists, all with masters and BA's in various sciences. While humble little me, just has an Associates in a technology degree (Which led nowhere) and a trade. Combine this with the fact I literally live within a seven minute walk from a university with a small, but famed engineering program, AND being a vet and still serving, there is always the post 9-11 GI Bill to help out. One could easily believe that my situation is a no-brainer. However ,I made the jump off the old "trade" ship into the murky waters of higher education before to go back to school, and almost drowned because of it.
Don't need or care to pursue a degree, but I like to continue learning and have accumulated over 70 credits in various subjects. Since they are all over the map and not all related to a particular field, they can't be combined for an engineering degree say but I don't care. I am there to learn something that I want to know about because it interests me or I think that knowing more will make me better at what I do day to day. I don't need to impress anyone else with a degree and its too late to worry about it anyway. If I had the time I would take some surveyor courses as I have always been interested in surveying (and my brother is a surveyor), have an interest in math, and American history and how surveying was carried out in colonial times.
"When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)
For me, the choice was always a matter of money and time. I had no choice or chance when I was 18 and married at 23 there was no choice, as making a living was the only priority.
When I was 36, I had a choice because my company would pick up half the tab. But the choice was to give up four nights a week to go to Alfred on their "Tech" program, or stay home and enjoy my family. But hey, education IS important, so I took the pre-exam. Scored very high, qualified, and entry was given... but hey wait, "You don't have your Associates!"... so that meant that though I was now allowed into the program, I couldn't earn by "Bachelors of Technology" degree because I'd have to go back somewhere and get my "Associates". (There was no fast-track to that at the time.)
So you know what, the "enjoying" the little guy at home sounded like a much better choice for me. I've always worked with "degrees"... engineers, accountants, marketing people. I can well hold my own with any of them and in most cases are far better "read". In my work, I had a good reputation for being innovative, informed, and highly skilled and able to take care of just about anything that might be asked of me. My manager referred to me the company's, "renaissance man" and I was to others the "can do" person.
BUT, that lack of a degree was a constant challenge in my face. Those who choose to give me a problem could and did point out that I had NO DGREE and in the end (2000) that lack of degree cost me my job. My people, the departments that my work supported, managed to keep me on until 2003, when the new CEO declared that every person over a particular level must have a degree and of course that meant I was out.
There are laws against descrimination, against gender, race, and religion... but there no laws against descrimination against "degree or lack there of".
So our son has hold a "Bachelors in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell and a Masters in Business Administration from Mariss. I tell my grandsons that they must, above almost everything else, get a degree. It may not matter now, but it will haunt them in the future as it did me.