Pros And Cons: How Much Education Do We Need

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Is more education the answer, I wonder, as I scroll through the job postings on Craigslist on my super fancy iPhone, a ‘congrats college graduate!’ gift from my parents. I’m reading ad after ad, each sounding like the hand of God reaching down to save me from the dismal abyss that has become my life, but alas, I’m always just a letter or two shy of being the perfect candidate. So I ask myself, should I dig my debt hole even deeper?

Do I really need another set of initials that supposedly decides my worth? BA, MA, JD, Ph.D.?. OMG, will those letters rearrange to spell fulfilling, high paying job with flexible hours and great benefits? Who knows!

All I know is the first degree didn’t spell anything worthwhile, it amounted to something that sounded like ‘nope, try again’ and it landed me right back where I started, in the pink-walled room that I grew up in. Man did life throw me for a loop!

I am 24 years old, and I have an over-priced degree that got me a job making coffee at the local Starbucks. I heart my life. Don’t get me wrong college was incredibly exciting and thought provoking and inspiring. I met lots of engaging people who made me see life and my position in this world from refreshing points of view and for this experience, I will be eternally grateful.

I will also proudly wear purple and cheer my team on until the day I die, and perhaps one day, if I do ever make the big bucks, I’ll make a donation to the Alumni Association, but until then can they please stop sending me flyers and emails asking for money? I mean HELLO!, the ink on my diploma barely has time to dry, not to mention I’m only making minimum wage plus tips, so if the AA can please hold off, I would greatly appreciate it.

But seriously, getting a master’s or some higher degree will mean that for the next 2-3 years I will NOT be earning money, but supposedly earning something more. That unknown “more” isn’t as intriguing as it once was. For some reason, my view on education, or institutionalized schooling to be more specific, has changed vastly since I graduated from college.

This may have to do with the fact that I thought having a degree would get me something or somewhere more than not having one, however, my first job out of college was at a very small law firm doing legal admin work and like seriously, no one else in the firm except for the lawyers had more than a high school education.

Sure, they had experience doing legal office work for 10 plus years and they made a decent living off of that, but they were NOT up to their you-know-what’s in student loans like I was and it seemed like everything that I once thought about how the world worked was wrong.

Not going to college didn’t mean you were working at McDonalds or bagging groceries, not going to college didn’t mean you couldn’t raise a family and have nice things and drive fancy cars, not going to college didn’t mean you made less money than the people who did.

Perhaps it’s only the legal industry that offers such discrepancies and maybe in the long run, my degree would have meant something (too bad I got laid off and never found out), but from my experience in the job search, I have to wonder if going back to school will offer me that something extra to help me get ahead, to help me get more, perhaps more isn’t always better, maybe better is just to settle.