Post # 1
One of my very close girlfriends and I were having a duscussion at dinner last night about this topic. I went to college and she did not but we both have decent jobs and I only make about 4 grand more a year than her. I went to college and was lucky enough to land a job after I graduated but to be honest, after working this job for over 3 years I can honestly say that my degree had nothing to do with why they hired me and I really don’t apply much of anything that I learned in school. Every thing I know about the job that I do now I was taught or I brought the skills with me from previous jobs. So it begs the question…does getting a college degree really matter?
My friend went to a community college for about a year and landed a job as a bank teller after dropping out, now 4 years later she is a manager of the branch and makes about 50 grand a year, not too bad for only going to c ollege for a year! She gets annual raises and also has a great benefit package.
All this just makes me think, is college really worth it? I mean if you’re going to be teacher, DR, lawyer clearly you MUST have that degree. Just curious to see what other people think about this topic.
Post # 3
I think it really depends on what field you are in to say whether it was worth it or not. I got my Bachelor’s in Business Admin, and I’m a life insurance agent. The degree doesn’t get me anymore money, but I don’t think I wasted my time there. I built great relationships, learned a lot about myself, got involved like I wanted, and had fun while learning.
Post # 4
It depends on the field. In mine, you can’t do anything without a masters degree.
ETA: FI’s field also required a degree.
Post # 4
With the rising cost of formal education and the lowered value of it, I think that apprenticeships should be a wider used option. I also think that too many people devalue the carreer of the labor trades. My Darling Husband is in a labor trade, most of his trade makes well into the six figures a year, much more than most I know with a degree.
Post # 5
In my field, you are essentially stuck til you get a PhD, so I think it’s worth it 🙂 However, if your aspirations aren’t academic (or in my case neuropsychological), then I think you can build a perfectly good career from the ground up – just has to be in a field that’s open to that.
Post # 6
I think it is important, depending on what you want to do with your career. That’s not to say that you can’t do well or be successful without a degree, but going to college teaches you a lot more than what you learn in the classroom, and you’ll emerge better equipped to handle the demands of the workforce. It also helps get you in the door, most jobs won’t even look at your resume if you don’t have at least an associates degree or something. It may not be fair, but its true.
You may not directly apply the things you learned in college, but its hard to account for the general knowledge you acquired while you were in school.
It also possible that your friend is doing well now, but has most likely already reached her “peak”, while you have more opportunities to advance in the future, it is unlikely that she will move beyond branch manager without a degree.
College certainly isn’t for everyone though. My FI’s younger brother went to trade school and is doing very well in his field, but he works hard manual labor for long hours, his will never be a luxurious job.
Post # 7
The degree gets you in the door in most places. In my field, if you don’t have a college degree, you may as well not even bother applying, and I’m not a doctor, lawyer, or a teacher. Basically, the college degree is equivalent to a high school diploma from 20 years ago.
For what it’s worth, Fiance is an attorney and most of his friends from law school aren’t even working in the legal field because no one is hiring. I think your argument has more to do with the economy and less to do with the degree. Getting a job is hard even with a degree.
Post # 8
Depends on your field. My sister is a graphic designer and she went to college to get her diploma. Without it, she wouldn’t be formally trained on a whole bunch of things I hear her ramble about (font spacing, aethetic appeal, comic sans haha!). I’m a teacher, and I CANNOT teach without my bachelor of education.
That being said my Fiance went to one year of university and dropped out and has a job where he currently makes the same amount of money as I do, has great benefits and a pension.
Post # 9
I have been a vp for a couple of different fortune 500’s. In most cases you had to have a college degree for even entry level positions (except in manufacturing). It didn’t matter what the degree was in or if it benefited the position at all, but it was a requirement for an interview.
Post # 10
I’m one of those people that didn’t go to college and honestly wouldn’t go back unless there was something specific I really wanted to do. I’ve worked in an office for almost 4 years now and make enough that i’m comfortable. I think it just depends on the person and the field in which they want to work. I never had huge asperations to become one thing or another so going to college would have been a waste of my parents/my money. There was a time when I thought I might regret it but when I started to see my friends graduate, move home with their parents and pick up a serving job at night I didn’t feel so bad anymore – it seemed i was ahead of the game. I’m not against going to college though, it just wasnt for me, I think college is a great way for young adults to learn a lot about themselves, create relationships and have fun doing it. 18-23 is such a precious time in your life when you really start to figure out who you are and what you want to do and i think college is a great way to explore that.
I think you can be successful with or without a college degree and going or not going is a personal choice.
Post # 11
I think it’s pretty much the bare minimum these days unless you have a trade job. Even if you have a white collar job without a college degree, you probably won’t advance.
Post # 12
Like others have said, totally depends on what you want to do with the degree. I’m currently preparing to take the CPA exam, and just to qualify to take the test I had to have a bachelors and masters degree. Well, technically a masters isn’t required but you have to have so much extra schooling you might as well just get it!
FWIW, my husband has an associates from Devry and he does pretty well for himself. A bachelors wouldn’t have helped him at all in his career choice so there wasn’t really a point to dropping all that money on one.
Post # 13
For some fields, today’s college degree is the last generation’s high school diploma.
For other fields, a 4 year degree is a waste of time and you’re better off joining the workforce and getting practical experience.
Post # 14
I know plenty of people that have been successful/not successful with or without a college degree…in most cases, I think it depends more on the person than their credentials. However, in a lot of fields, a college degree may get you in the door but with so many more people attending college, I don’t think it necessarily gives people the edge that it used to. So many people are looking for work now that it seems work experience can carry more weight than a degree.
I loved my college experience and wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it’s not for everyone. I had a few friends in college who went just because they thought they “should,” not because they had any real desire to learn or enter a specific field.
Post # 15
A degree doesn’t entitle you to anything, but it helps in the long run. It also sounds like you’re still entry-level, and earning that mid 40s salary, while your friend has been promoted and is only earning $4k more than you are. I think it’s more relevant to compare the expected salary of your possible career paths in this discussion.
For the record, I’m a recruiter, and my company ($3b media company) doesn’t consider anyone, for any position, without a minimum 4-year degree.