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Switch to Forum Live View What's a Degree REALLY Worth???
5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 9:19AM #1
LeahOne
Posts: 16,402

online.wsj.com/article/SB100014240527487...


 


Is it worth $800,000 over a work lifetime?  More?  Less?  Does it matter?

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 10:10AM #2
Erey
Posts: 18,940

I think a degree, just like life in general is worth what you make of it. 


If a degree allows you to be in the very job you love, albeit low paying then that degree is priceless. 


For me personaly, I am glad I have a degree but I can see doing the same thing without a degree.  So for me there is probably not alot of worth other than the value of pursuing and achieving education (which has it's own worth).  My sister is a teacher, which she loves being and makes less than half what tend to make.  Her degree is worth more because without that degree she could not be a teacher and do what she loves. 

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 10:46AM #3
LeahOne
Posts: 16,402

Erey, that's a much more philosophical POV than anything in the article - but then it does come from the Wall St Journal, lol!


The article was much more focused on economic 'value' in terms of earning power.  You have raised an entirely different question, which is well worth examining.


Or we might ask the question "Is it worth the cost, to get the degree?"  - and again it will depend on which degree and what kind of career.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 11:05AM #4
Ironhold
Posts: 11,549

Feb 3, 2010 -- 10:46AM, LeahOne wrote:


Or we might ask the question "Is it worth the cost, to get the degree?"  - and again it will depend on which degree and what kind of career.




Bear in mind, though, that some of your better-paying careers are generally closed to a person unless they have either a college degree, some sort of advanced training in the field, or both.


And even then, you may have to have advanced training beyond that if you wish to keep moving upwards.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 12:14PM #5
TemplarS
Posts: 6,868

This is so dependent on what you get a degree in that generalizations are impossible.


There were all sorts of people 20 years ago who got degrees in the exciting high-tech field of computer programming; now, you want to do that you need to take your degree and move to Mumbai.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 12:31PM #6
Cesmom
Posts: 5,147

Erey makes a good point.  I tell my kids to get a college degree, not so they can make lots of money (unless that is their top priority), but more to give them choices.


Having only an associates degree from a local community college, which was what was realistic for me based on my circumstances, my choices have been somewhat limited.  In order to make ends meet, I have found something that I am reasonably good at and can make a reasonable income doing.  I like my job, but it's certainly not my dream job. 


I tell my kids not to make the same mistake...find something you love and get an education in that area.  Teachers may not make a lot, but you must have a 4-year degree in teaching to do it.  There are other career paths like that...they may not be great money makers, but you can't just jump into them with no specific education, either.   I don't want them to ever have to 'settle.'


I think the impact that higher education has on your future income depends entirely on what career path you choose.

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 1:13PM #7
REteach
Posts: 14,821

We wanted our kids to get a college education to open their minds.

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 3:22PM #8
solfeggio
Posts: 9,352

Most definitely getting a university education is mind-opening!  I've always thought that one of the best reasons to go on to higher education is that it teaches you to think, to ask the hard questions, and to try to find answers to those questions.  I would add that I think that the best education comes from studying the Liberal Arts.   I've got degrees in English Literature and History, so I'm probably biased, but I've always been glad I had the chance to read great literature, and to learn something about the history of the world and its people.


I never took business courses, but I would guess that the business majors don't always get to take literature, history, anthropology, art, music, geology, geography, etc., etc. classes that give you such a good insight into the way the world works. 


On the other hand, a degree in business will get a you a better-paying job, especially if you have good people skills and can relate well to others.  Everything in the Western industrialised world has to do with money and its acquisition.


 


 

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 3:24PM #9
Christianlib
Posts: 21,848

Americans need to recognize the difference between education and job training.  They are NOT the same thing.

Democrats think the glass is half full.
Republicans think the glass is theirs.
Libertarians want to break the glass, because they think a conspiracy created it.
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2010 - 3:30PM #10
TemplarS
Posts: 6,868

Well, Solfeggio, my daugher is right now in the process of selecting a college, and of course thinking about a career.


She's definitely a liberal arts person; maybe art, maybe literature, she's not sure.


But that raises the question, what do you really do for a career in those fields?  My thought is, you can always start off teaching, and keep your options open to do more as things evolve.


But I think liberal arts can be problematic.  A good buddy of mine got a degree in history and ended up driving a truck; actually, now that I think about it, he made a helluva a lot of money driving a truck... 

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