If you are a college grad, do you think all the work, etc, was worthwhile?
I have a Master's Degree that was earned long before things became so costly, so I feel the cost and effort were worthwhile. I don't know if I would feel that way these days. How about you?
I also have a Master's Degree, which I earned on scholarship, and I have to say, because of that degree, I got to skip over a lot of struggling and low-level jobs. While friends without degrees, or even with BA's were doing unpaid internships, I was salaried staff with my own office. I traveled all over the country, doing freelance jobs, pulling in good money, while many of my friends were still trying to get their feet in the door at their first paid position.
At the same time, I was very lucky: I went to a community college and a university in California, when tuition was $5/semester and $350/semester, respectively. I was able to take my time getting my BA, which allowed me to put together the stellar portfolio that got me my grad school scholarship. I'm pretty sure that if I had to do it all now, I wouldn't have been able to complete my BA at all, because costs have gone up so much.
I feel exactly as you do. It was much less expensive to go to school back in the day. Today my family could never have afforded it. I went all through school on scholarships and low interest government loans. It was a great experience for me.
I think college is not only an educational experience but it also teaches many good life lessons. I think it teaches people how to balance their lives better between responsibility and having a social network.
I'm actually going to school now. I'm working full time while going to school full time. That's literally the only way I can do it without putting myself thousands in debt. I'm convinced that this is worth it though. I hope to go into cyber security and computer forensics, which really does need formal education. However, I know that my degree will actually pay halfway decent money. Someone taking women's study or philosophy might not think it was worth it.
I think too often we connect college with career. College, for me, opened my mind up in a way that would never have happened for me without it. I can remember sitting in a Sociology Class in the summer of 1964 and learning about other cultures, societal motivations, Maslow's Hierachy of needs, and all the rest in a way that it never was introduced to me before. Philosophy classes led me to discover Socrates, Aristotle, Kant, and Descartes, and most importantly to Logic itself. Art History classes exposed me to art I had never known existed having come from a very working class family. Music History introduced me to Mozart and Bach, and operas like Aida. Courses in Child Psychology taught me stages of child development and Blooms' Taxonomy of thinking skills that prepared me, not only for the classroom, but for the raising of my own child. Of course, courses in my major led me to the technical expertise I needed in my field, but by far, it was exposure to information about the world in the disciplined fashion of critical thinking that I needed for which I am totally grateful. I will never regret the cost and the effort!
I was lucky enough that I didn't leave college with any student loan debt, which came from a combination of no social life (so I had money in my bank account) and help from parents when I needed it. So, I look back on college with rose-colored glasses. I enjoyed my time there, what I learned, and how it has helped me since I left.
Having said that, I'm technically not using my degree, at least not for my day-to-day job. So the effort to get it hasn't quite paid off yet. And I'm not sure if my wife (who had student loans) would agree it was worth the cost.
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