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I just wrapped up a week-long invasion of my good friend E's house.  

First off, I'd like to say thank you to E for allowing me to stay at her pad instead of a hotel, thereby saving a little extra to put in the good ol' Roth IRA's.  

The truest friends care about your retirement funds.  You can quote me on that.  You could quote me on any of this, technically speaking.  

Let me tell you a bit about E.  She is a well-spoken, well-written, black-belt.  Maybe not a black-belt, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't take her.  

E put herself through college at the University of Georgia using a combination of work, parents, scholarships and student loans.  Her degree was in theater.  

Now an Air-Force-induced transient soul like me, E, up until recently, had been working in a church office. The job required good time management, work with technology, toleration of coworkers, you know, the usual job-type stuff (but no theater-type stuff).  

Yup, college is expensive.  

Yup, expensive endeavors are not to be taken lightly, especially by the non-loaded.

But E and I got to talking: there are many college degrees that some people would consider worthless.  We submit that a great deal of the value derived from a college degree has nothing to do with the concentration/focus/major.


I'm going to go ahead and tell you to be reasonable here.  We don't think you should rack up $100,000 in student loans for a job that will only pay $15,000/year.  We don't think you should take out $1,000,000 in student loans just so you can be a perpetual student.  The whole "Van Wilder" thing starts getting creepy past age 25.  

 

What E & I Learned at College:

1. How to interact with human beings.

Let's see, what was harder: Intermediate Accounting II or the fight I had with my roommate over whether or not I accidentally took her pan when we were moving out?  Tie.

Roommates, coworkers, same thing.

 

2. How to manage your time.

Knowing that you need to sit down and write a 20 page paper is one thing; actually doing it is another.  

Due dates at school, deadlines at work, same thing.  

 

4. What "nostalgic" means.  

You may have already known the term.  We learned lots of other non-accounting, non-theater related stuff too.  This is what everyone is talking about when they refer to a "well-rounded" education. 

 

5. Networking.

I once met Michelle Kwan.  Not really, but I very nearly bumped bookbags with her though. The point is, you meet people at college, and some of these connections will proove to be invaluable.  

 

Would E have chosen a different major if she could do it all over again?  Probably.

So what?  

The point is that "worthless" college degrees have varying degrees of worthlessness.

Say you ended up unable to use your degree and unable to meet a deadline, unable to interact with your coworkers, unable to take care of yourself and unable to hold a decent conversation with a client.  I'd say you'd probably end up unable to hold a job.  

Now that would be a worthless degree.

 

Article publié pour la première fois le 19/10/2010

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