Let's talk a about that expensive degree you can't use

I dropped out of college but I still believe pursuing your education is important.The tradition of going to school, getting a degree then a job is slowly fading away. Because students are having a hard time finding jobs, they go back to school and further their education only to find that they still can't find jobs. If you are trying to be a doctor the career path is very clear. Even though it is very very expensive, a job in medicine may allow you to pay back your student loan. However, in this day and age, if you paid for your Philosophy or Music degree with a student loan, you might find a few problems ahead.

I am sure a degree in philosophy has its own merit. When I took my first programming class in college I also joined the philosophy club. I loved philosophy. I wasn't much of a talker but I enjoyed listening to all the debates and arguments. One day the debate was about whether or not every action is motivated by selfish reasons. It was a heated debate and the teacher derailed into a completely different tangent by telling us his story and how he came to be a philosophy teacher.

El Camino College

Professor Randal loved philosophy. But he wouldn't recommend us to pursue a degree in this field unless it is our passion. In college he was studying what he loved but only ever thought about his career a few months before graduation. With his degree in hand, the only option he had was to work on a path to become a teacher. Instead, he decided to go back to school to get a law degree. He became a lawyer which was his breadwinner skill but never entirely gave up on his passion. After working for years in his own firm, he closed shops and went to get his PhD in philosophy. What seemed to be a bad idea years before turned into the one thing that he would love more then philosophy: Teaching philosophy.

A student made a comment saying, "you must have had a huge student loan in your name". He chuckled and said "Back in my days education wasn't a financial burden, especially for the lower middle class." He then added that if he had to worry about paying back a loan he would never have considered choosing this career.

I can't even begin to imagine the stress I would have if I was trying to get a degree in music or history with a student loan over my head. Spending a good 4 years of your life and money trying working on something where there is no guarantee to get a job in the end would be a waste of time. It would actually be harmful. School is a promise. A promise made to you that if you go through it, you will have a guarantee of getting something better in life. A good job. A job that will allow you to buy a house, raise a family, and contribute to the world. If you get a degree that doesn't allow you to do that then ... it was a bad investment.

This is not to say that nobody should get a degree in these subjects, but being $100,000 in debt with no means of paying it back is not good for the stomach. There was an interesting question on reddit a month ago that is both exciting and depressing: What university degree do you have, and what job position do you now hold. Here are a few comments that will add a positive note to this post:

I have a B.S. in Journalism. I now build swing sets for a living. It's oddly satisfying.

Economics degree. Working at Dell as Data Quality. I ain't even mad.

Sociology...now I'm a brewer

I have a Masters in Business Administration. Naturally, I'm a paramedic. EDIT: I fucking love my job.

BA in Anthropology. I work as a Wildfire Operations Technician. I love my job.

Because I have to also depress you:

I have a first class MSc from Cambridge. I'm currently CEO of- ahahaha I'm kidding, I'm unemployed.

Music Theory and Composition. I work at a hotel.

I have a Psychology, B.S. Apparently the nomenclature is accurate, since I now work in a movie theater.

BA in English Literature (history minor)... Currently an escort.

This one is familiar:

History degree. I am a law student. It never ends.

“School is an investment in your future, not a tradition to continue.”

OK I have depressed you. Good, it's called tough love, now move along.


Dariel :

Check out degreed.com. The value and promises of what a formal degree offers is changing day by day. At degreed, we believe education isn't a means to an end. People learn every day, why can't that count?

Love your blog. Keep at it!

Ibrahim :

@Dariel, thank you. I checked degreed. In the traditional sense education is a mean to an end, and what you learn everyday should also be considered part of education.

Let's hear your thoughts

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