On almost a weekly basis, I receive an email from people of various ages and backgrounds who ask me if they should go back to college to obtain their bachelor's or master’s degree. The answer I tell people is, maybe. Related: Low Wages: 13 College Majors To Avoid Like The Plague Unfortunately, our current U.S. President as well as his predecessor convinced any and everybody to go to college and to continue going to college. It didn’t matter if you got a degree in basket weaving as long as you got a college degree of some kind. This is absurd, and thanks to this ridiculous one-size fits all advice, Millennials exploded the student loan deficit by over $1 trillion dollars in just five years. Keep in mind that prior to this, the federal student loan deficit was a ¼ of this amount, and that amount stood in place from the beginning of time up until 2010. It’s not Millennials who are to blame though, it’s their parents, teachers, professors, guidance counselors, and U.S. Presidents who sent them down a highway to hell. If you hate your job and your career, you shouldn’t be asking yourself if racking up tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt sounds like a good idea. Instead, you should really look at yourself in the mirror and really figure out what drives you. Focus on your aptitude and think about some of your natural talents and gifts. If the new career you would like to pursue requires a college degree, then get a college degree, but if you are not absolutely certain that a degree or an additional degree is necessary, then don’t go back to college by default. Where most people go wrong in their careers is they choose careers that pay well or are in high-demand. On paper, that sounds like a good idea, but in practice it’s a terrible idea. Your chance of longevity in a career that’s solely based on income or so-called “job stability” isn’t going to sustain your ability to hang in there through the rough patches. The inconvenient truth that most people don’t want to deal with is that sometimes when you focus on the things that you should as it pertains to your career, such as your aptitude and your passion, it doesn’t always yield the income or lifestyle you desire. However, what’s the alternative? Wake up at 35, hate your life and go back to college with a bunch of 18 year old kids? Does that really sound like a good idea? When you think about your career you need to really figure out what drives you, and not just with your job but your life in general. If you’re driven by money than pursuing your passion may not be a good idea, as it may not lead to a high income. On the flip-side, if you care more about enjoying what you do for a living, then you must be willing to potentially live with less. In life and in your career, it’s important that you know who you are and who you aren’t. Allow this to guide your decisions.
December 05, 2014