Was the cost of your college degree worth the outcome?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by avia93, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. bo79

    bo79 New Member


    Please forgive me for getting a little off topic here but I feel that you have touched an important point here that has crossed my mined many times in the past.

    I have often wondered if employers really care much about what your masters degree is in, or are they more concerned with the fact that the candidate has a masters degree from a respected RA school, and not really care much about the major?

    Someday I would like to earn an MA in a subject like History or Museum Studies. I think it would be a lot of fun, however I don't think it would be worth the ROI from a career point of view.

  2. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Since your original investment was $0, any increase in salary would represent a return on investment which is unquantifiable in percentage terms. In other words, IIRC, any dollar value salary increase divided by $0 initial investment equals a return on investment of the null set.
  3. avia93

    avia93 New Member

    Re: Re: Was the cost of your college degree worth the outcome?

    I see you want a MA in a subject I too also had wanted. But, changed my mind after friends and family said it would be too much of a risk. Besides paying loans out on a degree later on that might not be well accepted was something I didn't want to do. However, I have always had an interest like you in those two subject matters.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2005
  4. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

    I have several answers to this question. The first is a bit philosophical and probably a bit silly as well. The concept of "was it worth it?" suggests alternatives, including not having done it . Since we can't ever really know what would have happened had we made other major life choices, it will be impossible to ever really know how things would have worked out otherwise and whether it was really "worth it." (Meaning, do you imagine that you are somehow better off than if you had not done "it" (completed your degree).)
    Answer number two is simply, "Yes." I have learned much. I now earn enough to support my family and my various interests. I continue to study and perhaps someday I will earn yet another degree. Then I will have a new "it" to evaluate.
    Answer number three is that I believe that education has value in and of itself, regardless of whether the individual recoups their costs within any given period of time.
    Answer number four is, I like the previous answer that stated that this is a lifelong endeavor. Don't count your chickens too soon. There may be eggs in the offing.
    Also, I liked the previously stated answer related to setting an example for ones kids. The value of this, I believe, can not be overstated.
    Good luck to us all.
  5. aic712

    aic712 Member


    I've actually taken a cut in salary transferring from retail management to counseling @ UOP. The people I work w/ and the free tuition make the difference, but I agree w/ Rich, the salary leaves a lot to be desired and is by no means in sync w/ the cost of living in Northern VA.
  6. bo79

    bo79 New Member

    Re: Re: Re: Was the cost of your college degree worth the outcome?

    Hi Avia,

    Could you please elaborate what you mean by using the word "RISK"? I think I might someday get an MA in History just for fun and to boost my ego. I don't think that an MA in History will be much help when out looking for a job, however I don't think that it will hurt me either. Am I missing something here?

  7. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Was the cost of your college degree worth the outcome?

    Basically, it seems that the risk is paying student loans on a degree that didn't get one a degree-relevant job. The term "worth" seems to be being used in at least two, and maybe three, ways. A degree is certainly psychologically worth it if it gives one personal satisfaction. In a business sense, there are two types of worth. Economically, if a willing buyer and a willing seller agree on a price and the transaction is made, then the transaction (be it paying for a degree or whatsoever else) was worth it to both parties. In an accounting sense, worth measures money out to get the degree (cost of the degree itself, lost wages if one quits one's job) and money in after getting the degree (any increase in salary attributable to one's new degree over the life of one's remaining career). So, it helps to specify whether one means that one's degree does/does not have psychological worth, economic worth, or accounting worth. Of course, if one has the money, either goold old cold hard cash on the barrellhead now or the ability to pay student loans forever and a day (with or without that degree-relevant job), go ahead and get that MA in History (or whatsoever else degree one may wish) just for the psychic rewards!
  8. jdaug

    jdaug New Member

    I graduate in May with a BS in Sociology/Criminolgy from Colorado State University - Pueblo. I've already been offered the type of job I wanted in the Children & Youth division for a local county. My pay will be a little less to start (currently have a computerish type job), but the long term potential will be a lot better and in a field that really interests me. So I would say a definate yes to it being worth it.
  9. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member

    Indeed, getting a new job in a field you love has psychological worth. Even though you say you'll take a pay cut for now, the fact of the bigger upside potential down the road makes it worth it in an accounting sense. Congratulations on your graduation!
  10. w_parker

    w_parker New Member

    Absolutely, BS in Accounting at Upper Iowa University, paid from GI Bill and military tuition assistance. MBA Morehead State University--in progress, paid by GI Bill and military tuition assistance, so in both cases cost to me was the price of the books.


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