Post # 92
@renwoman: I think it definitely varies by profession. There are some professions where keeping your credentials in tip-top shape is key. Finance/accounting is one of them. Nowadays, you need an advanced degree to get an accounting gig at one of the Big 4 firms. If you don’t have one, you can bet that there will be 10 applicants with an advanced degree to pretty much take your place (I have seen this happen).
If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t even bother with undergrad. Seriously. I’m an office slave and miserable. I would get some kind of certification and work on a SKILL that’s in demand. Way cheaper than college/grad school and probably more rewarding and non-suicide-inducing.
Post # 93
@LilRhodyGem: I went to a private school for undergrad, even though it was more expensive, because I knew I would get a better, more personal education there. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. State schools are not for everyone, and are easier to get into (with a few exceptions).
Post # 94
@renwoman: i voted ‘no education is ever wasted’ and i sincerely believe that. i developed a keen sense of self, and i am leaps and bounds better at writing, negotiating, speaking and debating now than i was before graduate school.
i am in debt to the tune of $100,000. i do not have a job as a direct result of my degree, but if i put the ‘worth-it-ness’ on a scale of 1-10, i’d say it was a 7.
Post # 95
@renwoman: My graduate degree is absolutely worth it. I was hired in my current position because of it. HOWEVER…it’s so easy to get a degree online that master’s degrees are becoming worth less and less. I wish employers would judge people more harshly on where they chose to go to graduate school. University of Phoenix is just NOT the same as a real school.
Post # 96
total waste for both of us. i never finished college. i took the loans and went to school because that’s what you were supposed to do. no adult who ever talked to us about our future even gave us other ideas or choices.
Darling Husband has a degree that he can’t use (and isn’t even needed in his career), but he’s got 30k in loans that we are still paying off.
My best friend has over 100k in student loans and she has two degrees. you know where she works? Best Buy… for less than $10/hour.
Post # 97
My problem is that a degree was sold to me as a way to make money. Now, if they had been honest and told me “it’s not about the money, it’s about doing something you love and growing as a person, but it won’t help you money wise”, then that would have been OK. As it is, I feel as if I have narrowed my options.
If I had stayed working in a music store rather than going to university, I would be earning 3 times as much now, allowing for a normal career progression scenario.
If I had joined the army as a regular soldier at 17, without a degree, and had specialised as a workshop worker, I would also be earning 2-3 times as much.
I can’t help but feel I would have had more options without a degree, especially as I am now pigeonholed. I also feel that I was sold HE on a false pretence.
Post # 98
I’m just getting into the thick of this now. I went to community college off and on for WAY too long. I used financial aid for most of that, but I can’t get any more grants (apparently there is a limit, which I didn’t know about, and I hit that limit right on my last semester there!). I just started at a 4-year college last week and had to take out loans. Luckily, I had so many credits from community college that I was able to knock a semester off my bachelor’s degree.
After this I’m going to apply to therapy school and I don’t know how much that’s going to cost.
It’s scary. I waffled for such a long time because it’s a lot of debt, but I realized I had 2 choices: be a CNA for the rest of my life and never make any good money or go into debt and get a better job. If the field I wanted to go into wasn’t something reliable like healthcare then I may not have bothered, but the outlook for OTs is pretty good, so it’s a risk I’m willing to take. I’m also saving a lot of money by going to community college and avoiding private and out-of-state schools.
I have friends that went to private schools and majored in hit-or-miss subjects and they’re hurting now. My own boyfriend doesn’t make any more money than I do (which requires only a semester of school), and he has a 4-year degree, but it’s an art degree and we live in a fairly dead area. At least his family paid for his school, so he doesn’t have any debt.
Post # 99
@peachacid: I guess I got lucky by going to a great state school with a great program!
Post # 100
Mine were definitely worth it. I studied Engineering and worked at a consulting firm prior to graduation so I had my first job lined up right after I graduated. I owed about $28,000, which I paid off in 2.5 years. I did not want that hanging over me for ages. I’m really happy that I didn’t have the mountain of debt some of you US bees seem to have. Ugh, what a shitty way to start your “adult” life.
I could never had justified studying a program with slim job prospects. I knew that by studying Engineering I had very good chances of landing a well-paying job so I considered it a good investment. However, DH’s field had great potential when he signed up for his program. Job prospects everywhere! Now, after the economy went south, it’s slim pickings and crappy pay. So much for researching ahead of time.
Post # 101
Well I have a disclaimer and that is my college was paid through using grants and scholarships however I made the most of the student loan system and took out approximately $40,000 to live and travel abroad over five years. It was absolutely worth every single penny and those amazing memories (some not for the faint at heart) are priceless.
I have three paid off with two more to go. I don’t regret paying them at all.
Post # 102
@renwoman: I think the undergrad/grad degree varies by field. For me in Engineering, a grad degree isn’t extremely important. We can receive professional designations with an undergrad. Graduate studies in Engineering are useful if you are interested in working in research or want to work in education. This is my opinion of course, but the majority of the engineers I’ve worked with at consulting firms and construction companies only have undergrad degrees.
Post # 103
@Aquaria: It’s so frustrating. We don’t have to pay everything up front, but it’s still a huge chunk of change every month. I’ve heard from other graduates of my school that they almost failed their certification exams because most of the test were things we were never taught. We were promised all kinds of hands on experience but I’ve been inside a lab four times in the last 8 months of school. It’s a pharmacy technician program, and if I had done any kind of research, I would have known that I didn’t need schooling for this. My tuition is $16,000 for a 10 month program, and half the people that finish there can’t find jobs because we’re just barely accredited. Of course, I didn’t find out about the accreditation issue until I was 6 months into the program, so too much money invested to go elsewhere.
I finish in November and hopefully I manage to find a job that will pay the bills. I still want to finish my Bachelor’s degree. I’m only irritated that I’ve spent the last 10 months at an iffy school when I could have been finishing up my Bachelor’s. Hind sight is 20/20 though.
Post # 104
Mine were a waste. I only went for one semester though and when I realized I could care less about university, I dropped out even though I was making really good grades. Instead I went and got a certification which benefited me way more than my stint in university did, and cost way less money.
Post # 105
@renwoman: I don’t see how student loans would ever not be worth it. If you need to go to college and don’t have the cash, that’s the only way to further your education. I’m willing to bet that most of the people who regret their loans are people who either didn’t finish school, people who took out more then they should have or people who took out an astronomical amount for a career with low pay.
Post # 106
I think my loans were worthwhile simply because they put me in the “college educated” social category. People with college degrees divorce less often, get less Alzheimer’s disease, have better overall health, and so on. Plus people with college degrees tend to marry others with college degrees, who bring the same social benefts to the partnership. The social benefits are almost more worthwhile than the economic benefts!