Are you ashamed you don't have a college degree?

by theory expert Banned
60 replies
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I am conflicted at times about this subject. I am pretty adamant a college degree is not worth the paper it is written on by itself. On the other hand, when I see a persons academic credentials it makes me think I should go back to college to get those degrees.

There is a big perception in the U.S. that a degree somehow makes you better able to do whatever it is you want to specialize in. Even those who get a degree in general studies there is some kind of perception that they earned a degree and therefore are smart.
Another myth that is highly perpetuated is that people who earn college degrees earn $1,000,000 more than those who don't. When a major tv show(can't remember if it was 20/20 or not), asked where did this assumption come from. The department heads said they don't know where those numbers came from.

Anybody here has a college degree because it is the vogue thing to do?
  • Profile picture of the author skoh
    I have a degree, but I also would be right where I am today without one as a co-worker of mine has been equally successful with a GED followed up with industry specific certifications.

    A college degree 30 years ago was worth its weight in gold.

    Today, not so much the case.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
      I'm more ashamed that the college I graduated from went out of business.

      Think about it...they're supposed to have taught me how to make it in the
      business world and they couldn't even keep their doors open after I graduated.

      Just disgraceful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laura B
    Not ashamed at all. Having a degree doesn't seem to mean as much as it used to. And it's certainly not necessarily an indication of a person's intelligence level.
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  • Profile picture of the author BiggieG
    I'm 37 now and I regret not getting my degree. I kinda feel like I missed out on something. I have a 14 year old who is a freshman in high school that I try to convince everyday to prepare for college. I don't think it's the paper you get in the end but the experience you have along the way that will mean the most.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeAmbrosio
      Originally Posted by BiggieG View Post

      I'm 37 now and I regret not getting my degree. I kinda feel like I missed out on something. I have a 14 year old who is a freshman in high school that I try to convince everyday to prepare for college. I don't think it's the paper you get in the end but the experience you have along the way that will mean the most.
      To me, this is indeed part of it - the experience.

      I did not go to college. I went in to the Navy instead, which was like my college.

      About 18 years ago is when I realized for myself that HAVING a degree doesn't necessarily mean much when you are out in the work world. I worked in the pharmaceutical industry in engineering and maintenance departments. I was an instrumentation and controls specialist.

      ALL my education came from hands on and some classes.

      I worked closely with degreed engineers. While many were very smart, I also ran circles around many of them - in their own fields (usually electrical or mechanical engineers). In fact, I trained a LOT of engineers over the years.

      Me, I have a GED I earned while in the Navy.

      In the end, the ones I trained ended up making more than me because of the piece of paper. While they may not "mean as much as they used to", the do if you work in larger companies. Many companies require a 4 year degree just to be a maintenance supervisor. And trust me - you don't need one for that job.
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    I'm only ashamed of Kurt.


    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author George Curtis
    I have a college degree. That being said...I would probably NOT attend college today if I had it to do over.

    To keep your parents, friends, in-laws (whatever) off your back...I would:
    1) Get a diploma from one of the decently accredited (not scammy) schools that offer giving you credit for years of experience. You may have to take some classes and prove that you have experience and even write a thesis...but eventually you get a degree.

    2) Or simply go online at your own pace and get a degree that way.

    Oh, and by the way...when I hire someone, I usually do not hold the fact that they have a college degree against them.
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  • Profile picture of the author JenniferNavi
    I think it depends on your connections AND your skillset.. like it's possible to succeed big without it, but if nobody will give you an opportunity without it, why does it matter that you have the skillset? Of course, you can hustle and overtake that. Show up at their doorstep. Call. That will make up for it.. but there are still skills there you get.
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  • Profile picture of the author mousecalls
    I never received my college degree and it's not the degree that I regret not having but the entire experience. My husband has his BS degree and he tells our two sons that it was the entire 4 years experience that he remembers fondly, not the academics.

    Therefore, we, as parents are making sure that we can give both our sons that same experience. So far so good, One will be leaving for college next year and the other the year after.

    So in answer to the question. No, I don't feel that a degree is worth it's weight that it once was 25-30 years ago but it's the sum of what you learn in the classroom and outside of the classroom that make it worthwhile!
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  • Profile picture of the author prettypretty
    Never think more about the degree thing. Only if you work hard and you will be succeed someday. Many people without degree are very successful in the world. What's more, the higher degree one have, means the more books he/she has read. This might not be a good thing. For because of this, they are more probably to lose in the books and lose their creativities.
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    Depending on how you look at it.. there are tons of millionaire without a college degree and too many who are bum.. Degree is just one of those things in life that can always help you open certain door of opportunity when all else fails
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  • Profile picture of the author KimW
    I went back and got my college degree when I was in my 40s. Don't regret it a bit.
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  • Profile picture of the author Seleyna
    I have a degree but I wasn't able to practice it. I have a job in a completely different field and so far so good.
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  • Profile picture of the author djbventures
    I have watched many a man with a college degree run businesses into the dirt.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesCpaWay
      I have 1 class left to get my degree, but I can't find the time(mostly) or motivation to go back and finish it for a piece of paper that won't help me make any more money then I am now.

      If they really wanted to send kids to business school, just let them work at hertz or enterprise for 6 months. That's a great place to get a real world business education started.
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    Getting a college degree is part of the modern world initiation ceremonies into society.
    --In many if not most cases, one will not get a job in a field related to one's college degree, but lacking one is an impediment.
    -- A college degree is related to learning:
    a)self-discipline
    b) analytical skills
    c)time management
    d) learning to be submissive to the ofttimes arbitrary standards of authority that have little or no relationship to reason.
    e) perhaps directly applicable knowledge and technical skills (in somewhat more rare cases)
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
      Nope, I got my Masters in Disasters from the University of Hard Knocks while all my friends went to college.

      It's just a matter of degrees...
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  • Profile picture of the author colomedia1
    I have no degree, and I am not ashamed.

    In fact, I have realized that more and more people I know that have a college degree are far less successful, having wasted 4 or 6 years of experience.

    Experience is King.
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  • Profile picture of the author un
    I'm not ashamed of not having a degree, I'm annoyed that not having one limit's my earning potential in the traditional job world. So many businesses these days put degree requirements on job listings just to limit the amount of applicants they have to look at.
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  • Profile picture of the author vok
    Degrees are over-rated and stupid people are still stupid regardless of what they can flash in front on me, I find people with degrees full of their own self importance and the guy that had to start with nothing and work his way up is the guy that will always put in 10X the effort at the end of the day. I don't need someone who knows everything I have Google for that. Information is cheap... real life experiance isn't.
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    • Profile picture of the author theory expert
      Banned
      Originally Posted by KenThompson View Post

      I'm only ashamed of Kurt.


      Ken
      Captain Kurt? Kurt Cobain? Kurt Douglas? What Kurt?

      :confused:

      :rolleyes:


      Originally Posted by chriswick View Post

      Degrees are over-rated and stupid people are still stupid regardless of what they can flash in front on me, I find people with degrees full of their own self importance and the guy that had to start with nothing and work his way up is the guy that will always put in 10X the effort at the end of the day. I don't need someone who knows everything I have Google for that. Information is cheap... real life experiance isn't.
      oh my this is funny especially the bolded in black part.
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      • Profile picture of the author KimW
        Originally Posted by janok View Post

        Captain Kurt? Kurt Cobain? Kurt Douglas? What Kurt?

        :confused:

        :rolleyes:




        oh my this is funny especially the bolded in black part.
        Sorry,its Kirk Douglas..............
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        • Profile picture of the author theory expert
          Banned
          Originally Posted by KimW View Post

          Sorry,its Kirk Douglas..............
          Great Kim...

          In that case I meant Kurt Angle

          and Kurt Russell instead of Captain Kirk while I am at it
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          • Profile picture of the author Bill Farnham
            Originally Posted by janok View Post

            Great Kim...

            In that case I meant Kurt Angle
            Oh yea, like Captain Kurt will fly...:rolleyes::p
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  • Profile picture of the author josephaleg
    I'm still an under graduate and doing a job simultaneously.
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  • Profile picture of the author MoviesBlaster
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  • Profile picture of the author Rick B
    As I see it, the more educated you are in your field the more likely you are to be successful. A college degree is one way to achieve that goal. How much of a positive a degree is might be questionable but it most likely is a positive.

    Of course, formal education is only one way to learn. Especially if you are going to be self-employed for life, self learning could be even more efficient as you learn exactly what's needed to be successful in your chosen endeavor. On the other hand, a degree won't detract from your ability to self educate in those areas.

    One big advantage of a degree is that is expands your possibilities. If your business goes to pot and you have little education, you might be lucky to earn $7.50 per hour at McDonalds. While a degree won't guarantee you a job, if you find one it will likely pay considerably more than that.

    Education also exposes you to things that can make your life more enjoyable. Learning about politics, economics, science, history, society, psychology and the arts can help us appreciate life more fully. Of course, these things too can be self taught and gained through experience. An education just speeds up the process.

    So if you are reasonably successful and happy with your life without a college degree, that's fine and reason for pride, not shame. If you think that a degree would help you achieve success and happiness then go for it!
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  • Profile picture of the author garyv
    Originally Posted by janok View Post

    Re: Are you ashamed you don't have a college degree?
    Hmm... That's a good question. I shall ponder it later while I'm driving around in my $50,000.00 automobile.
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Not everything is a matter of how many bucks you can tool out of it. I've got a kick ass degree from a kick ass school. I enjoyed every minute of school - I had intense subjects, I had good professors who offered a lot of one on one time with the students that were really hot for the subject being taught. I learned to synthesize and analyze information and situations rapidly, honed my skills in writing.

    I haven't always done well in the business world - degree or no degree, I don't fit in the corporate arena that well. Many employers don't understand my education blend or what the success in tooling through it says about my mental capacity. But ya know.........

    There have been times in my life that all I had to hold on to that I could take pride in achieving is that damned piece of paper - and the memories it brings always make me smile, too. Like the group of us who used to sneak out and have a bowl before logic or epistemology and how we drove our prof nuts (in a good way) - what a lark.

    I'm glad I got my degree. It's true that some people can really excel without a degree -- but they never really understand what they are missing. It's like being happy in a box with walls without ever seeing what is on the other side of the walls..........travel is like that, too.

    I would not be ashamed if I had no degree - and you can't miss what you never had. I will never ever regret those years of school - in any way shape or fashion.
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  • Profile picture of the author Austin john
    There is no need ashamed on it. Remember one thing your talent is more important then your college degree.
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  • Profile picture of the author gareth
    Where would the world be without higher education ?

    It wouldn't really be civilized would it. So yes its better to have a degree even if its a painful process.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marian
      Originally Posted by gareth View Post

      Where would the world be without higher education ?

      It wouldn't really be civilized would it. So yes its better to have a degree even if its a painful process.
      This is not necessarily true. Sometimes (and more often today) I feel if people were more simple and would follow the rules like it's in the Bible - the world would become much more better!

      Marian
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      • Profile picture of the author Rick B
        Originally Posted by Marian View Post

        I feel if people were more simple and would follow the rules like it's in the Bible - the world would become much more better!
        I agree that there are some good rules in the Bible. Whether one believes in a supreme being or not they shouldn't murder, steal, cheat on their spouse or resent what other people have.

        I don't agree though that people with less education tend to be more ethical or moral than people with more education.

        For every ponzie schemer or corrupt CEO there is a convenience store armed robber or a high school corner drug dealer.
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        • Profile picture of the author Will Compton
          I'm 24 and I'm glad I don't have a degree. I do have over 100 hours of credits though, so I could get one within a year, if I wanted to...

          ...which i don't.
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          • Profile picture of the author phoenixx9000
            I have a first class honours degree in Historical Studies and it aint been worth **** to me. Still dont regret doing it though as it enabled to me to doss about as a student for three years and hence avoid getting a "proper job"
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    • Profile picture of the author garyv
      Originally Posted by gareth View Post

      Where would the world be without higher education ?

      It wouldn't really be civilized would it. So yes its better to have a degree even if its a painful process.

      With even a high-school education, you know that the word civilized is derived from the word civil. And the level of your civility has nothing to do with the level of your education. In fact recently it seems as though the opposite is true.
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  • Profile picture of the author theory expert
    Banned
    MAybe ashamed should be replaced with a feeling something is missing without a degree. I am sure you know or know of people who have money and are already successful yet they go to college to get a business degree.

    Or

    you may know of someone who went back to college for a 2nd bachelors, 2nd masters, or, an advanced degree.

    @bill I must have been editing while you were typing.

    @James ....I knew a woman that needed one class to get her bachelors but then she got married, kids, etc and that was that.

    @Will wow.....I am like you with less credits except I am not sure if I want to return or not. I think it will depend on how flexible the college is what courses offer among other things.....
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    College degrees and university degrees are not always one and the same thing. College tends to be more practical and hands on while university often takes a roundabout route to being abstract and disconnected from present-day society. It is not uncommon to learn things in either university or college that become obsolete even before acquiring a degree. A degree is, in many cases, more a "Perhaps, just perhaps I'm not stupid" symbol than anything else.
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  • Profile picture of the author dan216
    As it stands now degrees are not worth it. The price needs to come way down in cost. Right now there is a big push for everyone to go back to school and get re-educated. But in doing so you really are just supporting an industry.

    There are certain courses I would like to take out of interest. I wonder what could happen if I just show up, miss the first two days, and skip the exam days.

    I'm more ashamed of not being able to code, and lacking or forgetting the mathematical skills to do so. Also not very good at putting up websites.
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    • Profile picture of the author MWZ81
      If you want a stable decent paying job, a college degree really helps.

      I went to college for about 3 years, I did not get a degree..... but only because I did not want one. I went to college to learn everything that I wanted to learn (computer science, web design, photography, history etc).

      Knowledge is power!

      Do I regret not getting a degree? Yes and no. If I got a degree I'd probably have a nice paying job, but I would have never got into internet marketing. In the long run I will probably make FAR more in IM then I would with a job I could have got with a degree.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joe Benjamin
    My god.

    What is all this bull about spending thousands of dollars
    and getting into massive debt being an "experience"?

    This is almost always the "fallback" response when I tell
    people getting a degree for ME (as a entrepreneur) is a
    total waste of time...and for most fields it's the same
    (except for highly trained professionals)

    Experience...

    the experience of paying back bad debt and not finding
    a job in your related field because you have no hands-on
    training or the training you DID recieve is obsolete by the
    time you GET the degree?

    Oh...that experience.

    Well, that and if you can count the parties, friendships &
    bonds...but are you serious?

    You can go out and create those SAME experiences if not
    BETTER outside of college with OUT a third of the stress
    that comes with being in college.

    Going to another country for a few months comes to mind,
    jetsking comes to mind, sky-diving, fishing, attending more
    social events, etc.

    So...sure, college can be a good experience...I've been to
    one before...but by no means is it a justifiable way of living
    in the real world save for professions in the medical or lawyer
    fields.
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  • Profile picture of the author deep12
    Right now am pursuing with my college and i hope i'll get my degree quite soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    Well to be honest, with the economic climate, having a degree does seperate the wheat from the chaff so to speak, but personally dedication in any area you find yourself will get you there too, many people don't realise Bill gates doesn't have a college degree, and many other businessmen and many people in the public eye
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    • Profile picture of the author garyv
      Originally Posted by dagaul101 View Post

      Well to be honest, with the economic climate, having a degree does seperate the wheat from the chaff so to speak
      That's if you're gullible enough to continue on w/ the rat-race. Once you get out of the maze, you realize that you don't need a piece of paper to tell you how to get the cheese.
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  • Profile picture of the author Owen Smith
    I am currently working towards a degree, as of now I have never needed one and as soon as I graduate I doubt I will ever need the degree, it will just be a fallback from Internet Marketing.

    I have decided it is worth it due to unstable times. It would also be nice to put a few more letters after my name .

    Regards
    Owen
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGuruHustler
    My opinion on this is simple:
    If you plan to have a JOB (a dream job) or some kind of CAREER where you'd be content with doing it for the rest of your life, a degree will be good for you. If you're planning on having your own business, company, etc., then yes, a degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on. When the world got to the point that people with PhD's have been laid off, it became apparent that the degree was no longer a necessary step towards success. All in all, no I don't feel you should be ashamed for not having a degree; be more focused on where you want to be and work on getting there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rick B
      Originally Posted by TheGuruHustler View Post

      My opinion on this is simple:
      If you're planning on having your own business, company, etc., then yes, a degree isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
      I think that's going too far. Obviously a college degree is not necessary to become successful in your own business but I use things I learned in college every day in my business.

      You can get the skills you need to operate your own business in many ways. You can gain knowledge of Art, music, psychology, etc. in many ways. Anything learned in college can be self learned. But that doesn't mean that getting a degree is useless. It's just one way of learning things.
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      • Profile picture of the author TheGuruHustler
        Originally Posted by Rick B View Post

        I think that's going too far. Obviously a college degree is not necessary to become successful in your own business but I use things I learned in college every day in my business.

        You can get the skills you need to operate your own business in many ways. You can gain knowledge of Art, music, psychology, etc. in many ways. Anything learned in college can be self learned. But that doesn't mean that getting a degree is useless. It's just one way of learning things.
        Rick,

        I'm definitely not saying it's USELESS, but depending on your learning capacity and your plans, it's not AS NECESSARY as it was 20-30 or even 10 years ago. Back then, you were supposed to graduate from High School and then go to college....PERIOD. Anything that you learn in school can be learned with experience as well, BUT it can take you longer because you're learning "the hard way." Hell, you can intern at a big company for several years and learn more to become the CEO of that or your own company and never even sat in a college classroom.
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  • Profile picture of the author vok
    All a college degree does is measure your ability to take in, understand and spit out information, but to be honest I could tell that in 10 minutes of talking to you.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris broad
      There is no need to ashamed that you don't have degree if you have talent then can do every thing.i agree that degree is important but without your talent your degree is nothing for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author LacyJ
    I have to admit, I do sometimes feel ashamed that I never got a degree... But I don't regret any of my decisions. I'm on my way to building a successful business, and I know plenty of people with college degrees chained to jobs they hate.

    I'd take this life over that one any day.
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  • Profile picture of the author newbie2011
    Not ashamed,I only depend upon my skills.
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  • Profile picture of the author Harriet02
    No not at all, I only live to my standards, not others
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    • Profile picture of the author Customerservice
      Years ago i use to think people with degrees were better than me. I now realise we are all equals. I may not have a degree but i have common sense thats why i joined this forum.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by Harriet02 View Post

      No not at all, I only live to my standards, not others
      ding, ding, ding! We have a winner!

      this is exactly how I feel.

      I don't have a degree. It doesn't mean I won't ever get one. Maybe I'll get a degree in journalism or in computer technology by the time I'm an old lady...lol...who knows. All I know is, my lack of a degree has never stopped me from being an entrepreneur and creating money from nothing.

      My life has been a journey and it's not over yet. But the best part is, it's all my own intinerary.

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  • Profile picture of the author pethanks
    I will not be ashamed If I were in the situation that I don't have a degree. That is because I know God has another plans for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeverinH
    I got my degree from a private university just a few months ago. My B.S. in Marketing hasn't done a thing for me as far as getting a job. Sure it might help me get an interview or two, but everyone wants to know about your work experience. I am in debt 20k for my education with no job. All in all I am happy that I went to college as I studied abroad in Costa Rica and had some other great experiences. But as far as helping me land a job, it has done nothing. In retrospect I wish I had attended a public university and worked as an intern throughout the 4 years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris broad
    If you have talent then without degree you can do everything so there is no need to ashamed on it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Clyde
    I have an engineering degree from the most expensive college in the US (according to forbes). None of the things I learned in classes have made me any money per say but the experiences I've obtained through networking, and socializing me has helped me grow as a person.
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  • Profile picture of the author truesouth
    This is a great discussion. I'm in the same dilemma.

    Thanks.
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    "Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new." Brian Tracy
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  • Profile picture of the author mousecalls
    I don't miss having a college degree, it's the college experience that I miss (not regret) not having. I have been successful at just about everything I have done when it comes to earning a living.

    My husband went away to college and had a great time and uses his degree every day in his line of work. Although I agree that most college degrees aren't worth what they may have been worth many moons ago. There are still many fields of work out there that you WILL get paid more because you do have the degree.

    We have two sons that will be starting college next year and the year after. Whether they start with a junior college or 4-year, as parents, we both agree that going away to college, if you can swing it; is beneficial towards their growth and maturity as young adults.
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    Frustrated with your slow computer? You need 'Ready to Shoot Your Slow Computer, Holster The Guns, Help is Only Clicks Away' in WSO

    Deb-n-Lee
    (Deb Marsden and Lee McVey)
    1-800-ShowMeHow.com
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