First a personal disclaimer – I earned several undergraduate degrees at an overseas extension of a USA University in (West) Germany that I have actually never visited the home campus of, all during a single overseas deployment, and then did my masters in England. So in about 6 months longer than what a by-the-book 4 year undergraduate should have taken, I knocked off two AAs (needed to keep my employers happy), a BA, a DipBA on paper which I never did understand and an MBA. Squeezed in about 3 to 3-1/2 years of full time employment during the process as well as finding a way to visit about 15-16 countries in my “spare time!”
So I have never been a fan of being ensconced in a classroom being lectured at as a serious form of education.
I’ve collected some articles that cast different lights on the reality that you need an education but that you don’t have to squander your time and money in a lockstep educational system:
Common Sense on Education….
You can take away a couple things from the readings:
- Not all degrees are worth the money and the time
- There are ways to get degrees that use less time and less money
- Alternatives may be career-appropriate at an individual level
- Always look at the ROI (Return on Investment)
- Don’t forget to consider the Personal Joy into the equation.
- Peer pressure preys on your weaknesses and will not help you make sound decisions.
My personal take is education fills two roles:
- Adding to your Life Tool Box of skills and knowledge
- Opening career doors earlier for you
Beyond that I suppose you can consider it a good shopping expedition into the “mating market” as many meet their life companions during education. That makes a lot of sense as the people in your education social circle have all prequalified as similarly minded people by being there.
There are alternatives – investigate and grab the ones that fit well for you.
I worked indirectly for a fellow who sent off to study something he had a passion about and to get his doctorate, starting when he retired. Since that day PhD programs have become commoditized and have a huge amount of low value in-classroom time requirements – all to enforce conformity and as quality control. I don’t think I could do what my old boss did under that sort of conditions.
Thinking I should write more about that “Life Tool Box of skills and knowledge” angle, as it is the most important part of all of this.