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Is a degree a good investment?
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adigaskell
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:47 am    Post subject: Is a degree a good investment? Reply with quote

Graduates can expect to earn 100,000 more over a working life according to Lord Brown, chair of a review into university fees in England.

The figure is a quarter of what ministers originally claimed was the graduate premium when tuition fees were raised to 3,000 per year.

However, the inquiry document says that graduates are more likely to be rewarded in other ways like living healthier lives, being in work and being less likely to smoke.

Is a degree worth the expense?
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Kay
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends on what you do with the degree, I suppose.

Paul doesn't need a PhD in Glaciology to run travel websites. I don't need an MSc in e-Business to blog. (And the degree hasn't stopped me from smoking. Twisted Evil ) And my husband, Dave, doesn't need a PhD in History to be BE's gofor.

That aside, I think a degree is a good investment, if the subject interests you and you gain from the process of learning and expanding your knowledge. Cool
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject: Its usually a long term investment Reply with quote

I agree with Kay, in many ways. If your interested in the course then by all means go for it, after all, there's no knowledge lost in knowing (at least thats what I always tell myself...)

That said, when it comes to earning more or getting a better life style, its more of a long term investment. You cant get a degree today then expect to get paid for it tomorrow. It usually takes time and some extra experience to back it up. I know of a friend who worked for a couple of years with a good first degree, she went back to school, got an MSc and now she's earning almost twice what she was getting with the first degree.

So I see education as a long term investment, if you want result asap, then forget about it... and don't do it unless your interested in it!
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Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've paid for various courses (formal education) and have often been disappointed with them because they didn't teach me what I wanted to learn. Sometimes they can have a quite rigid set of "what you must learn", and no flexibility to move with the times or needs/wants of the student.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's definitely worth the expense in my eyes but then I did mine before they introduced tuition fees. Cool

I don't (directly) use what I studied in my day to day life but I suspect there are many facets of what I learned during my University days which I use without realising.

I would give examples... if I was more aware of them. Wink
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Kay
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I also got my BA in ye olden days when you didn't have to pay. The government even gave you a small subsistence grant to do it. Brilliant! I'm all in favour of that.

But later in life, I think it's fair to pay for tuition if you fancy doing something else, especially if it mostly likely won't contribute anything to the economy.
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stephenxanders
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A degree is important if you will use it as your profession.. I have a friend who went to college taking up a Commerce degree related course, but what's weird is that after that, he enrolled another 4 year course as a nurse. It's quite such a waste of time and effort.

But if you want to start a business, it's advisable to have a business degree to help you on your business.. Smile
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree that sometimes what you specifically study can help you with specific jobs. However, I'd also argue that 'a degree is a degree' and it shouldn't really matter too much what subject you studied. There are many people out there running very successful internet companies who didn't do computer science, for example.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I graduated from Oxford last year and I think that, although I gratefully received a lot of financial help from the state, it's still an expensive business but it's all an investment and worth every second!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Isobel

Welcome to Aardvark and well done on graduating from Oxford. Did you not see the bit at the top in red font asking people who are new to post an introduction first?
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isobel84
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, that's very kind. I've not introduced myself formally, no; shame on me! I studied French and German at university, and now I'm looking into careers in marketing.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

paul wrote:
I'd also argue that 'a degree is a degree' and it shouldn't really matter too much what subject you studied.


Hear, hear!

There were times when I first started work when I questioned the point of having done a PhD. All the more so as the subject of my thesis (history - elementary schools in Hamburg under the Nazis) had no direct relevance at all to the job I was doing (Foreign Office). But as time went on I realised that I'd gained a lot of useful experience in researching a question, marshalling my findings into order and arguing a case from them.

There was next to no chance of me getting a job directly relevant to my field of study. When I expressed interest in doing a PhD, the first thing I was asked was why. I replied that it was pretty much for the sake of it, my history tutor said he was glad I didn't have thoughts of getting an academic post - times were pretty lean for historians then, and getting leaner.

The main point of a university education - in arts subjects, anyway - is the training in thinking, not the substance studied.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 01, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave McM wrote:
paul wrote:
I'd also argue that 'a degree is a degree' and it shouldn't really matter too much what subject you studied.


Hear, hear!

There were times when I first started work when I questioned the point of having done a PhD. All the more so as the subject of my thesis (history - elementary schools in Hamburg under the Nazis) had no direct relevance at all to the job I was doing (Foreign Office). But as time went on I realised that I'd gained a lot of useful experience in researching a question, marshalling my findings into order and arguing a case from them.

There was next to no chance of me getting a job directly relevant to my field of study. When I expressed interest in doing a PhD, the first thing I was asked was why. I replied that it was pretty much for the sake of it, my history tutor said he was glad I didn't have thoughts of getting an academic post - times were pretty lean for historians then, and getting leaner.

The main point of a university education - in arts subjects, anyway - is the training in thinking, not the substance studied.


Hi Dave,
I have to say I agree with you on a number of points. Sometimes its not just about the hard core skills you learn related to your degree but also the soft skills you learn along the way. well said...
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you use the figures above then it's maybe 43 years assuming you finished the degree at 22 and worked until 65, so that works out around 2000 a year more for someone with a degree. Doesn't sound a hell of a lot of money really to earn for all that time and expense.

Not helped by the fact that you go from school to uni and then to the work place with absolutely no work experience behind you. Therefore any employer looking for someone who doesn't need a specific degree to do the job is probably less likely to want to employ you vs someone with general work experience and attitude.

Not saying this has always been the case but with the number of people now doing degrees being so high, there's a glut of them without any experience, so I'd say for those who left school at 16 and got a job and worked their way up it should be a much better picture. Plus in that extra 6 years they'll probably have earned quite a chunk of this extra and be much much more likely to be kept on in harder times.


What they really need to work out is how this relates to social background and expectations. Eg: are the people in more deprived areas more likely to have lower paid jobs and much less chance of a degree by virtue of affordability and expectations, vs the ones from middle England who tend to have higher expectations and thus more likely to go for degrees because all their friends are, and also higher paid jobs just by the nature of what they expect in life.

Trev
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,I think a degree is important if you will use it as your profession.
But if you want to start a business, it's advisable to have a business degree to help you on your business.
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