Post # 1
I’m wondering if it’s even worth it for me to finish college. I started in 2003, and have been taking classes on and off since then. I have about 70 out of the 120 credits needed to graduate.
I’m working on my BA in history with minors in philosophy and English. I originally wanted to teach, but I now feel like that’s not the right choice for me. But what the heck else can I do with a history degree???
I have a pretty good paying, steady job with rockin’ benefits that I love and have been at for 2 years now. I don’t see myself leaving this job anytime in the next 5 or so years.
Does anyone “regret” getting their degree? Do you even use your degree in the job field you are in now? I’m just worried that I’m going into some serious student loan debt for nothing. 🙁
Post # 3
I will never, ever regret getting my BA. My Master’s, maybe a little but I think it will pay off in the long run. The only way I can relate is to tell you the story of my mother. She started taking classes when she was younger and during the time when she had young kids at home she completed her Associate’s degree. For years and years after that, she wanted to go back to school to get her Bachelor’s degree and kept putting it off but would realize that she needed it in order to change jobs and move up. She eventually did it and just graduated in December at age 51. Two lessons here: 1. you may not need a degree now, but it could hurt you to not have one in the long run if you want to switch careers or move up in a current career. 2. you may regret not getting your degree down the road like my mom did and it is a whole lot more difficult when you are older and have kids or other things going on in your life. In addition, had my mom done it earlier, she could have left the job she hated sooner and could be in a much higher and better paying position now in her new industry.
From experience, liberal arts degrees are very frustrating (I have 3) and it is harder to find a job with that type of degree because not many positions are looking for someone with a history degree in your case, or an international studies degree, in my case. It is much easier to find a job when you have a degree in accounting or engineering. Clearly you are going to look for jobs as an accountant or an engineer and your qualifications will match those job descriptions.
Overall, my advice is that having a bachelor’s degree always helps at some point in your life and you will never regret getting it.
Post # 4
If you only have 70 credits completed, it seems like it would be very easy to change your major over to something that you would find more useful, and would only add minimally to the time you have left.
Post # 5
I’m getting my MA right now, but I got a BA in English Lit. And although that also appears on the surface to be a degree that doesn’t directly translate into a job, numerous employers have told me that they love people with those type of degrees because liberal arts teach writing and thinking in a way that so many “practical” degrees don’t. Just something to think about. 🙂
Post # 6
Finish your degree! Unfortunately (and inexplicably) a bachelor’s degree is a prereq for most well paying jobs. You probably wont be in your current job forever and when you try to move not having a degree (and honestly– doesn’t matter what the degree is in) may really hold you back.
Post # 7
You dont forsee yourself leaving your job, but what if the job leaves you any number of reason… a college degree should be something to be proud of 1 and 2 if you ever do need it it is there… your half way done i say either finish your intended path or talk to an advirsor how you can change without setting you back too much
Post # 8
I agree – keep plugging away at it! It’ll be much easier to keep working on it now (when you can, apparently, and have a great job that you love that you can do at the same time! what a blessing!!!) than to decide to go back later to finish it. A lot of credits expire after 5 years, so if you waited that long, you’d have to start over from scratch, and all the time you’ve put in would be wasted.
I agree about changing your major though – maybe business would be a good fit? Combine a degree with a long stint of work at one job that you are good at, and you’ve got the start of a very strong resume, IMO.
Post # 9
Do your degree! I went to a college vocational school and only obtained a diploma, 5 years later I’m now in the middle of changing my career and I’m kicking myself for not having gone to do a degree first (though I wouldn’t have met DH in that case).
Incidentally, my dad has a history degree and he works as a political scientist and is currently writing a book. You could work for the UN as well so long as you speak 3 languages fluently (I think). There’s options.
Post # 10
Get your degree. Seriously. The lifetime income difference between people who finish at least a BA and people who don’t is massive.
If you want something more directly applicable to work, you might think about changing your major (I say this with pain, as I’m a historian). Also, can you take at least some of your coursework at a cheaper institution? Public community colleges often have excellent teachers, small class sizes, and much lower tuition. And their credits usually transfer.
If you stay in history, think about taking classes in public history – there is actually a career path there. And think broadly about the skills you are acquiring. Work on your writing and public speaking. I tell my students that they are learning to do research, to think critically about evidence, and to present their findings professionally. All of these skills are useful in business.
Post # 11
Agreed with all the posters! Job security should never be assumed (as so many have all recently learned) and a BA is your best route to bigger and better things (and in so many cases not having it will be a barrier). Earning potential in any job is going to be heightened by a college degree. Plus you said the next 5 years. What about in 6-10 years?
Post # 12
I do hiring for a large company and we require a BA for a majority of the positions. (even if it isn’t a related discipline)
Your 70 credits are nothing on their own, but adding those 50 more opens a whole lot of opportunity to you.
Post # 13
Oh yeah, and I have a history degree. go figure.
Post # 14
Also, I know history majors that are lawyers, consultants, teachers, chefs, business owners, even doctors. I’ve found that your major matters very little when it comes to life after college. Study what you love and the rest will come from there.
Post # 15
Aww, thanks girls. I’ve just been feeling really bummed about school lately. I had to withdraw from both of my classes this past session because I had a serious emotional meltdown from my mom coming to visit, and my finals were supposed to be this week. 🙁 That’s another story for another thread.
@ddw: You’re right, I should be feeling very lucky that I have a great job that I love while I’m still in school. Thanks for pointing that out. 🙂
I think I just need to get past the mindset that you HAVE to find a job that’s related to your degree. I forget that so many employers just want to see that you finished college, and liberal arts degrees are good in the sense that they do give you great writing, critical thinking and research skills. Thanks for pointing that out too, @Gemstone:.
Post # 16
@CorgiTales: I second everything you said! I was about to make the same comment myself. I don’t matter to many (I could maybe even say most) employers what your degree is in, as long as you have one. You may be content in your job now but if you ever want a new one, not having a degree could really hurt you.