I graduated in 2006 from the mighty CAA powerhouse George Mason University. GM-U-KNOW! I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Technology with a focus in information security. I went into school doing what I love…, which at the time was something with computers! At first I was a computer science major then I moved to math then I became an engineer before setting with the IT.
I viewed college at the time as a way of learning the corporate mechanics of what I love. College didn’t teach me my craft, it taught me the basics. I was passionate enough to go the extra mile and become specialized. What college did teach me was invaluable soft skills and how to deal with other cultures.
Your ability to communicate and influence people is what keeps you employed. A wise man once told me.
Anyone can do the work, I want people around me that I like
VIEWING COLLEGE AS AN INVESTMENT?
At first I didn’t see my degree as an investment. YFS today would punch YFS of 2001-2006 in the mouth. How could I not view my degree as an investment? It was a very expensive investment! That has a payback period, rate of return and investment risk all built into it. Some people (graduate students) face re-investment risk.. /gasp. Education is a huge investment.. hmm .. Maybe if people viewed education as an investment in which they have something to lose we wouldn’t have spiraling student loan debt???
But I digress…. I was also fortunate enough to live in the D.C. area while studying information technology. D.C is the capital of cyber security.. NYC has the finance district. CA has fancy start ups. In D.C. we have cyber security. It is such a push for smart talented technical people who can speak well it’s not even funny. The demand is due because of the initiatives that were created from the September 11 attacks.
The government got pregnant and out popped what we call the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland security adopted the components (CBP, TSA, FEMA etc etc) then the components birthed cyber security programs! (Yahh… little cyber kiddies!) The cyber security programs were so hot that everyone wanted a piece of them. The demand for talent exceeded the supply then I graduated! (Perfect timing like a boss) And stepped into a high paying secure job. But a degree in my field is not needed in order to get a high paying job. You need soft skills! So, I have to say college for me, was one of the best investments of my life. Not for finance reasons, but for emotional reasons. College mentally prepared me for life in the real world. College prepared me to handle people and all their differences.
IS IT WORTH IT?
It depends. I believe that if you are going to pay for something or spend your time for something you need to quantify it. I don’t get into the doing stuff just to do it. What is the payback period? Will you use the degree? Will you work after you have your degree? I still do not understand the point of stay at home parents who will never enter the workforce spending thousands of dollars on a formal degree! I have nothing against education! Especially free and self-driven education. I do have a problem with a person using student loans for a formal degree that they never intend to use.
With that said, after you accept the payback period and decide, yes, I will enter the workforce and use the degree. I believe a bachelors degree is worth it’s weight in gold. Why? Because high school is not real life! In high school you don’t have a choice and despite what you think, you’re not an adult. You’re still on the teet of your parents. In high school you don’t have life decisions to make like:
Do I party or sleep?
Do I play videogames or study?
Do I get up for class or start pre-gaming?
Do I network with this group or that group?
In High school you’re still a dependent. When you go to College you become independent. It is as simple as that. College is a small dose of life. When you graduate college nobody is telling you when to get up, if you should go to work in the morning, if you should go party the night before. You learn this in college.In a nutshell, college teaches you to deal with other people, to make decisions, and to live with the consequences of your actions.
Think of college as the parents driving you to the prom. The parents get you to the prom but, what you do once you’re inside the prom is totally up to you! What you say and do while you’re in the prom might, just get you lucky (bow-chica-wow-wow) after the prom or it might not. But, realize it’s up to YOU!
What are your thoughts on obtaining a College degree? Is it needed? What points of mine do your agree or disagree with? What makes a college degree worth it to you?