Is a University Degree worth it?

Rum

Pigeon
Is it worth it? Well....maybe.

Here are my advice points:
  • You need to pick a degree that you can get hired with. Not a common degree, and not a degree that isn't in demand. STEM degrees are great. Any engineering degree. You get the idea.
  • Go as cheaply as possible. Fill out the FAFSA and check out any possible grants or scholarships you can get.
  • BEFORE YOU EVER START, get as many of your basic courses done via DSST or CLEP exams as possible. I mean it: study for the courses, and take the exams. A bunch of them can be done in mere weeks. This way, you knock out a course for $100 that would take an entire semester and cost $900.
  • While you're getting your core credits done via testing, research and apply to schools. Want a cheap school? Don't necessarily go with the "Big 3" like Western Governor's/Excelsior/Thomas Edison. Those are super-easy to take credits from alternative sources like Study.com/Straighterline...but at the cost of less legitimacy. (i.e. they're not quite "diploma mills", but everyone knows the deal with how people use them for "degree hacking"). Instead, pick a totally legit school that offers online degrees (and is actually cheaper than the big 3). A couple of examples would be Fort Hays State or U of NC Pembroke.
  • Transfer all your CLEP courses in to your school and if you did it right, you got all your basics done in less time and for way less money. (Ideally you will be able to get federal grant funds to pay for your college - and if you picked a school with cheaper credit hours, you can likely do it debt-free.) You can then take your remaining courses at your school, or alternately you can get within ~30 credits remaining for your degree and then transfer all your credits to a more prestigious school and graduate from there.
  • Regardless: when you get that degree you WILL have more open doors and opportunities than someone who doesn't have a degree. Certs are nice, life experience is invaluable, but a degree is the "cost of entry" to the majority of good-paying jobs with benefits.
  • The best case scenario is to have done this right out of high school. The next best scenario is to do it now.
 
nobody likes to talk about it but only a few winners and most come out uni losers with nothing to brag about. the only one's that came out winners were one's that did in-demand trades like plumbing, things that most people wouldn't consider doing. Others studied coding and went to the US to make 6 figure salaries. basically people that got a return on degrees were willing to leave Canada, jump through the hoops of getting visas and work in other countries. Not much opportunity in Canada even if you have skills. that same 150k USD job working for a tech company exists in Canada but pays 40-50k CAD. the latter is barely a liveable wage that can barely support a family and has not kept with inflationary rise in prices.

i was thinking about this subject yesterday and i came to the conclusion that there are 2 optimal strategies. one is the high risk high reward of actually gambling on a uni degree with a known guaranteed payout. you go into ten's of thousands of student debt, waste 2-4yrs in uni not earning money and miss out on all the opportunities available but come out hitting the floor earning a lot of money (80k++). Within 1-2 years your loan is paid off and you get on the property ladder ASAP. if not possible you buy other deflationary assets like stocks, Bitcoin. this strategy works but there are big trade offs like time, money, opportunity costs. keep in mind that universities are continually minting new degrees so your wages are likely to stay stagnant, for example Ive made $50/hr for the last 8 years. That sounds good until you realize that every year I don't get a pay rise, inflation is robbing me of my purchasing power, in other words i am getting a pay cut every year. Most people understand their wages do not go up thanks to deflationary forces of technology, mass immigration, degree minting and central bank inflation is a thing so they buy property and let that rise in price. While my wage didnt go up, in the same time frame the property my parents owned went from 500k to 1.1m. This is how people in the West profit, by paying their debts with inflation. people that saved and rented became losers because we were punished by inflation by holding our money in the bank. This is unfortunately the majority of millenials and zoomers and I can understand why there is a push toward socialism.

the other strategy is almost the exact opposite. you stay at home, live with parents telling them you will figure something out within a set time frame. you dont pay for rent, food, wifi, bills etc. while this may sound unconventional it is the norm now where the majority of millenials and zoomers do not own property and live with parents.

you don't take on any student debt that can ruin you. trade certification is cheap, so are coding bootcamps. you get a job and start earning immediately, use your capital to start your own business or dollar cost average into bitcoin or other deflationary assets. The basic premise is you take 0 risk and still make modest gains while not missing out on opportunities. because you have no student loans you are much more able to get a property loan and pay down the morgage without having to service a student loan. Your wage might be modest 40-70k) but you have an asset or property that goes up with continual inflation. eventually the inflation causes the house price to rise, you cash out, win.
IF housing prices rise.
 
I got a STEM degree and can easily find jobs but I wouldn't recommend it to any young guy unless you're really wired for it. It certainly wasn't worth all the time, effort and the stress which aged me a few years. To not talk about the money I missed out on the few years I was studying when I could have had a job (and that wasn't really an option while I was studying because studying was a full-time job in itself).

If I could go back in time I think I would either focus all my attention on finding a way making money online or joining the military and study while I'm in there. It would take longer to finish the degree but at least I would get paid during that time and have some fun and excitement and not just be stuck with other low energy engineers and learn some useful skills, discipline etc.
 

Hypno

Crow
Start at your Target and work backwards to find your answer:

As an Example:
-Target: I want respect, to start a family, contribute to society in a positive way, and be financially stable.
-Options: Businessman, Doctor, Bestselling Author, Bridge-Builder etc...
-Selection: I choose Doctor (due to my interest in X and Y and my natural work ethic, desire to help others etc)
-Do I need a degree?: Yes, to attend medical school, I need a Bachelor's Degree/enough credits and score high on the MCAT.
-What kind of degree is best?: Biology, Chemistry, Biomed Etc...
-What school?: I want a largely Conservative School with a good pre-med program (Southern US)
-Where?: Auburn University, Alabama.
-Am I competitive/can I afford it?: Yes, if no, find ways to become competitive/afford it.
-Am I willing to get into debt/dedicate a lot of time and energy into this and see it through: Yes
-Answer: The 4-year university degree is worth it, in this case.

Work Target-Back to solve most of life's problems.

I like the logic to your approach, because if focusses the mind and opens it to other opportunities.

For example, some people think being a lawyer commands a lot of respect. But you don't need to go to law school to become a laywer - at least not in every state. Currently, Washington, Vermont, California and Virginia are the only four states that allow this process. Wyoming, New York and Maine allow lawyers to practice without earning a J.D. degree, although they must have at least some law school experience.

I went to law school and then took a bar (exam) review course after to pass the bar exam. But I could have skipped law school!

(In my case, the law degree was from a school with some prestige so it landed me a very good starting job, which is different from actually becoming a lawyer.)
 

louisjxn

Newbie
It's totally dependent on what type of degree you get, and in some fields, where you get that degree. I have a BA and MA in political science, and as you can probably imagine, they are not worth the paper they are printed on. I know people who have engineering degrees, and they never worry about finding employment.
 

Rum

Pigeon
I know people who have engineering degrees, and they never worry about finding employment.

Yes - advice given to me a long time ago (by an engineer, who did not work as an engineer) was to get an engineering degree even if I did not want to build things or do any kind of engineering. The reason? "With an engineering degree, you can get ANY kind of job you want."

It's true.
 

Lionheart

Sparrow
I like the logic to your approach, because if focusses the mind and opens it to other opportunities.

For example, some people think being a lawyer commands a lot of respect. But you don't need to go to law school to become a laywer - at least not in every state. Currently, Washington, Vermont, California and Virginia are the only four states that allow this process. Wyoming, New York and Maine allow lawyers to practice without earning a J.D. degree, although they must have at least some law school experience.

I went to law school and then took a bar (exam) review course after to pass the bar exam. But I could have skipped law school!

(In my case, the law degree was from a school with some prestige so it landed me a very good starting job, which is different from actually becoming a lawyer.)
I thought Louisiana was the only state where you didn't need to go to law school to be a lawyer?
 

paninaro

Kingfisher
For example, some people think being a lawyer commands a lot of respect. But you don't need to go to law school to become a laywer - at least not in every state. Currently, Washington, Vermont, California and Virginia are the only four states that allow this process. Wyoming, New York and Maine allow lawyers to practice without earning a J.D. degree, although they must have at least some law school experience.

How easy will it be to get clients or a job in a law firm if you haven't been to law school? I know my company would not hire a lawyer who never went to law school.
 

Reader

Newbie
This question is for all men with all different ages, education and outlooks.

Is a University Degree worth the 4+ years of:

Cons:
-Increasingly online instruction(except labs/practical)
-Being on a Liberal Campus with low critical thinking and low tolerance for challenging ideas.
-The potential student debt (50k+ easily and more)

Pros:
-Letters behind your name
-White collar, better treatment than blue collar workers
-Higher avg. wages than with no degree

There are of course many variables here, feel free to list more pros and cons.
You don't state what you want to study. Law is too general. Your problem is you don't approach university in terms of theme and inspiring competent instructors. If you invest research in developing your own study plan and seek instructors from whom you want to learn, then you know what you're doing.
 

ralfy

Sparrow
Globally, it's critical because only 7 pct of people worldwide have degrees, and more are needed as the global economy industrializes.

Also, large numbers of people worldwide lack schooling, which means even teachers are lacking. With that, most courses are needed.

Given that, the answer to the question is "yes." However, may change if you look only at your own country or region. Also, it's obviously better if the cost is much lower.
 

third_eldest

Sparrow
I'd say its worth it if you are going for a useful degree, something like a high-demand STEM degree, any sort of computer science or engineering degree is the best. That, or become a doctor, but I don't think most people are willing, able or really want to go into the medical field. Most people have already said this. Almost finished with my Bachelor's in Mechanical engineering. My advice: don't go for it if you can't do mathematics. You'll be miserable.

Also, universities are only going to suck more as time goes on with all the online stuff. Half the reason you go has effectively been removed. Glad I'm done soon.
 
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