Seeking advise on going to college/university

by joe134cd 23 Replies latest jw experiences

  • joe134cd

    Here is the current situation of an acquaintance of mine.

    Age early 40s.

    Currently lost her good paying job.

    Managed to find another reasonably quickly. Although be it with not good money but with the possibility of been able to take an adult apprenticeship which would increase her pay over time.

    She is also looking into going to university in the new year.

    Here is the question I have bearing in mind the above scenario. I read in an article it roughly takes about 10 years to fully recover the costs from a university course. Taking into account her age she would really have 10-15 years tops of earning good money. Where as if she became an apprentice who stayed working might this be a better option. I'm looking at this purely from a dollar, cents and effort required to get it perspective.

  • steve2

    There are so many variables involved - it warrants your friend doing very detailed homework on what her study costs will be, whether she will work part time during her tertiary study and what her potential earning power will be once she graduates, among so many other factors.

    Some agencies actually provide professional assistance with these sorts of cost-benefit calculations - it may be worth her while to seek their input to clarify what outcomes she could expect.

    In my view, this is far too important a matter to leave over to other people's opinions or hearing about what they did - although their views and expereinces may provide starting points for her to consider.

  • Mephis

    Something which may be worth investigating are the bursaries/grants/scholarships available to your acquaintance. They may reduce the cost significantly and so change the calculation right from the outset.

  • joe134cd
  • talesin
    It's important to look ahead 10-15-20 years to see if the skills she is now attaining, will still be marketable. I know the GC website has prediction tables, and they can be found elsewhere online.

    That's just one part of this decision-making process.
  • Oubliette

    The Value of Higher Education

    Why you should seriously consider the merits of a college education:
    Employment Projections (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • talesin

    More like this, Oub.

  • Simon

    I think the education vs earnings stats nearly always assume that the degree is earned early on.

    The point of education for the sciences is to teach you how to do the work, at least the background theory to it. For other jobs they demonstrate aptitude and a certain level of intelligence / work ethic to pass the courses. These are most useful when you don't have experience but they are an arbitrary differentiator (Google actually crunched their numbers and found that a degree is no correlation to productivity or creativity).

    Once you have a certain amount of experience, the attention paid to academic credentials unless you are in a field that particularly values them.

    Something to look at is how many people have degrees in the field of interest vs people working in that field. Education is an industry like any other and wants to sell it's product whether it's really going to benefit the customer or not.

  • talesin

    This is interesting.

  • OneEyedJoe

    My mother went to college and got her masters in her 40s (she must not have complete faith in the imminence of armageddon) and it didn't take long to pay for itself in her case. It helped that she worked somewhere that helped with tuition, of course, but there are all sorts of ways to help pay for college that can help supplement things. It would be better to look at the field she's considering to determine ROI rather than just looking at "college vs no college" because there's a lot of kids that go to college and get a degree in history and are no better off financially for it.

    Something else to consider would be to think about this beyond dollars/cents ROI - Personally I would consider returning to school once I retire purely for the pleasure of learning. If there's something that she's really passionate about learning, then even if it never pays for itself monetarily it may be worth the cost for the experience and the opportunity to work in a field that better suits her. If she's an exJW or otherwise has limited social support college can also be a great way to meet new people, have new experiences and make lifelong friends that have similar interests. A college professor of mine once said to the class, in the context of choosing a career, "money is almost never a good reason to do anything" and for most people who are in a good enough position that they're considering college as a possibility, I think he's probably right. Obviously if she's struggling to get by things might be different but if she can make it work and it will have a significant impact on her enjoyment of life, then who cares whether or not it pays for itself?

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