Has completing a university degree really improved your life and career? When you think about how many years of your life it took from you, how long it took (is still taking) to pay off debts, and the quality and pay of your job now in comparison, was it really worth it? What alternative path could you have taken?

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If I was a doctor or lawyer then yes. But I would say no given where I am now.

I worked really hard for five years and got an IT degree, then a years worth of Industry certifications that were harder than the degree yet it really only helped when I had just got out of Uni and looking for work. But later it seemed to make no difference at all.

Years later companies were interested in what I'd done in the previous two years only and much later they were also interested in my age and looking for younger people out of Uni with a couple of years experience.

Now the job I have couldn't care less if I had a Uni degree from 20 years ago as they say it's all irrelevant. So given the 5 years it took from my life, I probably would have got into a trade like being an Electrician. Something I could be employed anywhere at any age.

The biggest benefit from it is that I can look at a computer and see how the whole thing works and is put together in my mind whereas it seems a mystery to most my age.

@OzSurfer If I was a doctor or lawyer then yes. But I would say no given where I am now. I worked really hard for five...

This is most enlightening...

You make a very good point Dallas. I wonder how many degrees out there include a similar experience. It makes me wonder why we follow through with university apart from the only reason I can think of: status, a degree to the name, and fitting in to a higher social class.

@LiVi This is most enlightening... You make a very good point Dallas. I wonder how many degrees out there include a...

You're right. I found that the degree really just helps get you into the industry ahead of others that don't have a degree. But years later it makes no difference as employers are only interested in recent work experience. Also I discovered that with all the training I had at Uni, nearly all of it was theory and I applied very little to my first job. It was useful in that it was a basis for me to know how to be given a huge project in my job where I had no understanding, then work out how to get the knowledge, pull in the resources and solve the problem for my employer within a certain time line. That was the useful thing I took from Uni, it was process management and carrying on day after day when you lack sleep and are exhausted as well as assimilating a ton of information in a very short time. That I use even today.

@OzSurfer You're right. I found that the degree really just helps get you into the industry ahead of others that don't have...

Well it sounds like you did learn a lot of very useful information and skills from uni, so it can't all have been bad. But it's a shame that after a few years, employers don't see as much importance in your degree as your work experience. I think you're right - university will get you in the door to start off with, but after a while it will be your actual work experience that will gain in value. But at least you studied a useful degree.

Anything to do with the arts, unfortunately, is pretty useless unless you are studying graphic design, and even then, you could end up working in the same job getting the same pay as someone who only did a diploma or certificate in website design etc.

I'm wondering if I too am wasting my time at university... :-/

@LiVi Well it sounds like you did learn a lot of very useful information and skills from uni, so it can't all have been...

I don't think anything you learn at Uni is a waste of time, but there can possibly be better uses of your time depending on the course you are doing and what your goals are.

I found it very stressful so that all paid off for me when I got a job out of it just before finishing my degree. But if I thought I was studying something where there were few job opportunities, then I might reconsider the course unless I really loved it.

For me, yes, but I graduated in 1985. At that time is was a no-brainer. I think my first semester cost me around $600, and I received no financial help.

The degrees opened some doors that would have remained closed without them. Without a degree, you can't even open the door to some careers.

It was totally worth it. I'm confident that I'm providing a good life for my family and myself. Not much more I can expect than that. As far as alternatives...sure there were plenty of different options I could have made. But if I'm walking around with some semblance of happiness then I am going to trust in myself and assume I chose the right path.

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@2555513

That's a great example of doing well in life without needing a degree. I guess the important factor that seems to be coming from these comments if the fact that where you get in iLife mostly comes down to your own drive and hard work.

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@2585822

Good point!

How does that old saying go? If you do what you love doing for a living, you will never work for a living. But obviously, the financial aspect should be considered if your future goals require a certain income to be able to achieve them. In my case, I went to study engineering with civil engineering in mind, only because that was what my uncle was and I saw what his job was like. After I got into the engineering college, I looked around to what other kind of jobs were available to engineering degreed people and I switched to mechanical engineering because those jobs paid more at that time. I never regretted that decision and I had a very rewarding career, both intellectually and financially. But that did involve a period of time early on to go to night school after my working day to earn an MBA degree which was necessary in order for me to be promoted into the corporation management positions. Now I live a very comfortable life with the adequate pension from my former employer and the income from the various investments I made during my working days.

Oh it was worth it for me,when I was working I got my employers to pay for all my classes. but I never really needed a degree to do my current work.

@LiVi Wow really?? That's lucky!! What industry are you in?

Well right now I am taking some time off to recover from n injury, so only working product demos and marketing right now. I took business classes in high school so there were tons of jobs for secretaries at that time. While doing that I took night classes for business administration then accounting. The trick is to get into any big company that has good benefits usually the company will hire from within so always look for a step up or a free tuition they may offer. I started working at police department when I was in 9th grade just sending out delinquent parking tickets. Then when I got out of high school I was known by them and applied for work as a clerk typist in the printing department. They offered free class reimbursements so I took night classes as many as I could get them to pay for. When a higher paying job came along in accounting department they knew me so I got that job. I got my retirement time into the city.Then moved onto another job at the local hydro. They also paid for higher education. So I kept taking more classes. When I worked after that I got 35k a year plus benefits so I took more classes whenever they were offered, went to any kind of group or seminar to meet people joined women's business groups. My education and jobs were what drove me and what I most enjoyed. Then I had sickness and injury and could get disability payments if I wanted. Instead I started doing the marketing work. Write to me in a private mailing if you want more suggestions on how to get ahead without paying your life away for college - well unless you want to be a dr then you have to pay the schools.

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