How many of you have an education, was it worth it? Are you working in your "field"
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  1. #1
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    Default How many of you have an education, was it worth it? Are you working in your "field"

    I'm just curious how many people on this forum have an education and are working in their field. I'm in university right now, 2nd time coming back after taking some time off and everytime I come back I just feel as if it's a huge waste of time. I'm taking a business degree up here in Canada and it is just so frustrating, education seems so far behind and just irrelevant. When I look at the ROI of university compared to a $30 book from Amazon it's disgusting. If university was a business and their product was degrees I'd feel ripped off and want a refund.

    Sorry that's my rant basically i'm just looking for someone to convince me what the use is of a degree. Especially in this day and age where I feel like it's so easy for individuals to create their own value and become an authority in their field. Look at Ean for example, no amount of schooling could have taught him to operate a blog and how to create a following. He just decided that he was going to be the best with midi controllers and basically become a guru on how to get some kick ass features from Traktor.

    Another example is someone locally here, he has established himself as a social media expert. Again runs his own blog and has made a point of learning everything he can about social media. He has created his own value.

    The problem with our education system is that by trying to make students "well balanced" with numerous courses we've just created a bunch of people who are average at best at everything. What's the value in everyone being average at everything? Not much. For example i'm taking an accounting course right now(it's required), I am terrible with numbers, I have no desire to be an accountant and this stuff will drift out of my memory the moment the final exam is over. Why not leave this stuff to the people who love their numbers and who are very good at accounting. And vice versa i'm sure those people hate their required marketing classes because they're too abstract.

    Sorry for ranting, it's frustrating when school eats up so much leisure time that could be spent doing the things I love doing.

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor shr3dder's Avatar
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    A degree is worth as much you are willing to put in and take from it. All education seems pointless at the time, but there is a reason for example, you mention you're doing a business degree, of course it's useful to have an idea of the basics of accounting, they aren't asking you to do a full accounting degree, just to know how it works. I don't know if Canada is different, but in Australia most universities take lots of feedback from business in the industry to find out what they think graduates are lacking. Then they try and add that to the degree.

    I think you've gotta look at the bigger picture, if you don't really want to be there it's never going to work for you. Try studying something that interests you, it helps massively. I'm currently doing a double degree (Law/Business in the Music Industry) and I love it, despite the stress it brings, a job at the end is a bonus.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru SirReal's Avatar
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    I have a degree and am working in my field. My thoughts on having a degree are basically, it's telling a potential employer that you're willing to put in at least four years of time (the same time it takes to get a degree) into a specific career. Any person of average intelligence could "learn on the job" MOST jobs that are out there BUT a degree tells your potential employer that you are willing to put up with at least 4 years of crap if they hire you.
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  4. #4
    RGAS Guru Xonetacular's Avatar
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    I don't know I have mixed feelings about education too and will probably go on a rant here and things have definitely changed a lot in the past couple years for people coming out with degrees- if you got a degree four years ago or more it's a completely different situation. I was going to a prestigious university for a pretty specialized degree in a very small field and some life circumstances forced me to take a break and I ended up moving across the country and I happened to find a job doing exactly what I went to school for with no degree by getting lucky and being really prepared and a perfect match.

    I absolutely love my job and they 100% could not live without me or replace me with what I bring to the table since I brought a new skill in to this small business. The downside of not having a degree is even though I am doing way more than the person I replaced who had a degree they can get away with paying me accordingly. If I was degreed I would be making 50%-100% more than I do now there which I need if I want to sustain my current level of living and hobbies.

    This is where I've gotten frustrated. There is only one university in all of south florida that offers a degree in my field and I checked it out and would have to go back to school full time for 3 years including summer to get a masters degree (I don't have a bachelors yet and this program would only net me a masters) and they don't offer a bachelors degree for it. I would have to go about $100,000 in debt and I would just never pay that off and in no way is it economically worth it. Not to mention I still have to wait a year until I have established residency in FL to get in state tuition and FL makes it incredibly difficult to get for people who move.

    I would never pay off those student loans or come out ahead and I would not be able to work at the same time, so I would be going for a degree for 3 years to hopefully come back to the job I was doing and hope I still like it and by then I'm sure the company would have moved on since they would need a replacement for me in the time between, not to mention there aren't exactly many (like any) job opportunities outside the company I'm at and I lucked out, so this would all be for the hope that I stick with this one company and would pretty much be stuck if it didn't work out because anyone else getting a degree in it is screwed. I look at like the 20 people who graduated in the class I stated college with on facebook and less than half have jobs in the field and have been degreed for a couple years now.

    I will finish my degree in something it's just a difficult situation and it needs to be worth it and an actual investment that won't needlessly put me in debt I will never pay off since the days of my parents paying for fancy ivy league university are over...
    Last edited by Xonetacular; 04-03-2012 at 10:55 PM.


  5. #5
    Tech Mentor shr3dder's Avatar
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    We're lucky in Australia, we have a great system for student loans (HECS) basically the government pays for all of it and you pay it back interest free once you are earning a certain amount (over $50,000 AUD a year) even then they only take a small percentage.

    Basically if you never gain a decent job, you'll never have to pay it back.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru djproben's Avatar
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    I have degrees and am working in my field. Even if I weren't, it's worth it - those letters after your name mean higher pay, more respect, and being taken seriously both on the job and off. What you call "average at everything" used to be called "Renaissance man" or well-rounded, and I can't overstate its value both in the world of employment opportunities and in everyday life. It may or may not be for you, but there is no question I have benefited immensely both from what I've learned and from the experiences I had in school. Of course I work at a university so I'm biased in this regard, but even well outside of university life I have always greatly enjoyed the benefits of being a well-rounded and well-educated person. But perhaps it's not for everyone; some people want to specialize in whatever they see as their niche and just stay in it. But an education is an incredible opportunity, and seeing how those opportunities are dwindling these days (at least in the US), I'd say if you have the opportunity now you should not let it go to waste.
    "Art is what you can get away with." - Marshall McLuhan

  7. #7
    Tech Wizard benjackal's Avatar
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    I finished high school with decent grades, but decided to goto the military (Australian). Was the best choice i could ever make, I spent 5 years with great friends and I learned quite a lot, and experienced even more.

    Have been out for 3 years and I'm in a really comfortable position in IT (what ive always aimed for). Being in IT in the Army taught me a lot of things you would never learn in tertiary education. This was proven over and over when I had to teach incoming interns who had Degrees.

    You really need to find out where you want to be, and do what's needed to get there. You dont have to do tertiary education in every circumstance. A lot of Degrees are not designed for the workplace.

    BTW Now im ready to save up and hopefully make the plunge to quit or move to part time and spend a lot more time doing music. (have been producing since i left the army just about non stop)
    Last edited by benjackal; 04-03-2012 at 11:56 PM.

  8. #8

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    Have 16 years of experience in a field I hate doing. Thankfully I work in a fairly specialized field where my experience adds to my value. I have education but in a field unrelated to any I work or have worked in. Basically after 90% completion realized I didn't want to continue it and instead of wasting the time and money completed it. The Skills I have the most experience in I use for secondary income and nets quite a
    Bit.

    Long and short is its good to have education and gets you taken more seriously but if you aren't 100% that what you want to spend the next 20 to 30 years doing then no it's not worth it besides it looks very good on you. Any degree is better then none.

    I have more thoughts but rants would go on and on... Was kicked out of high school when I was 15 enrolled in jr college when I was 16 had my associates by time I was 17 and then switched to a different science degree had that by time 20. Had big ambitions to go for 8 more years in get my phd but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Sometimes think I could of but then remember I wouldn't be where I'm at now and think I couldn't trade what I have now for the world so... Yeah my thoughts small rant

  9. #9
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    I am a sys admin specialising in virtualisation, open storage and Infrastructure as a Service.

    My only qualifications are an incomplete diploma which I should of finished in 1 year but took over 2 years to do most of it and never completed it in the end and a bunch of industry certifications I had to shell out a lot of cash to do.

    In the end I do not regret having done the little training I did. However looking back on things they really didn't add much either in knowledge or employment prospects. In my opinion society now overvalues education and undervalues experience.

    There are a lot of jobs which certainly requires years of hardearned training and they should go through a formal education program before they are allowed to practice. Like doctors for instance.

    However I believe many people are fixated on getting a degree without realising that it often adds no real value.
    There are a lot of success stories about people getting a degree and getting ahead, but I believe there are a lot out there with degrees and getting nowhere.

  10. #10
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    As someone who is 2 years out of B-school and not working in my field of international business let me say this. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!???

    Obviously you have not been paying attention in schools when it comes to ROI. A degree does not guarantee you anything, ever. In fact, nothing in life is guaranteed except death and taxes. Why do you think the world values experience over a degree every day of the week. That being said, you obviously have no concept of the value of college. The value lies in the knowledge you gain from class, the skills you learn by interacting with people daily and the understanding that you cannot get this combination anywhere else in life. A degree also shows that you can work for 4 years, towards a goal, and achieve it. The piece of paper you get at the end is just a trophy. It is up to you to decide what that really means and how you are going to use it. The education you receive is only part of what you need to learn while you are in college.

    "Another example is someone locally here, he has established himself as a social media expert. Again runs his own blog and has made a point of learning everything he can about social media. He has created his own value. "

    Nobody said you couldn't do the same, what the hell are you waiting for? Someone to tell you it's ok? Seriously!!!??? OK, I'll say it, it's ok to get off your butt and do more then just go to school. You don't have to wait to be finished with school to start a career.

    If in the end you don't see the value of college, don't go. Nobody is making you and you are and adult. There are plenty of very smart people who have done well without it. Just remember that a lot of jobs are not going to consider hiring someone without a college degree, it's pretty much the same getting your high school degree 20-30 years ago.

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