Is Paying For A Degree Worth It?

Are you thinking of getting a degree? Maybe you have people saying you should. Maybe you have heard that investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Are they right? Going to school is a big decision and as a young leader it could be the best decision of your life. I went to university and found more benefits than just obtaining a fancy piece of paper.

But if your education is an investment, we need to approach it like one.

Many people call something an investment when really they are just looking for an excuse to spend money they don’t have.

At the end of the day, an investment needs to have the potential to yield more than the original investment and the investor must be willing to lose their investment.

This means you shouldn’t spend money on education that you don’t have.

Now back to education. If going to university or college is an investment, than we must look at it as an investment. Is Paying For A Degree Worth It Paul Jolicoeur

The first thing you look at when assessing an investment is its ROI. What is the potential return on your investment?

Based on the ROI you can then make an educated decision on whether something is a good or bad investment.

If I give you $5 and in a week you are going to give me $7, that is a good investment. If on the other hand you only give me $3, I made a bad investment.

If you are looking at education as an investment in yourself, then you need to ask yourself what will be your return on that investment?

Not all degrees are created equal.

Some are useful and will yield greater opportunity in your future and some will be a waste of your time and money.

Here is a simple yet effective 2 question test to decide if you should seek higher education:

1. Do you know what you want to do with your life? What job, ministry or business opportunity are you seeking?

2. Will your degree help you achieve that?

If you can answer both of the following questions with a YES, college or university is for you!

If not, you don’t need to go to college or university or you might need more time to develop vision for your life.

Many people wonder around secondary education. They change majors, drown in debt and many never end up using their degree.

Don’t just go to university because your friends are going or because you think it might be beneficial in the future. Go to university because you know exactly what you want to do and getting a degree will help you get there.

Learning can take place through formal and informal education. I love learning and believe every one of us should continue to grow every day. We should take classes, read books, and utilize online learning and any other way to grow intellectually.

What advice might you give to a young leader desiring more education?


Paul Jolicoeur

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Husband, Father, Disciple, Blogger, writer, author. Learner & desire to make an impact on others. Each one of us have influence on the world and this influence is a gift. We can continue to grow and increase in our influence.

8 responses to Is Paying For A Degree Worth It?

  1. Great thoughts on focusing on the ROI. I’d also add that with the plethora of choices available, it’s important you choose a university that will help you fulfill your calling.

  2. Great point about making sure it will reap a return on our time and money. We should make sure the degree is a field we would enjoy for the long term and that it matches what we will need to achieve our personal goals.

  3. All good thoughts. The educational system is heading toward a brick wall due to increasing cost and the difficulty in finding jobs to support paying back the debt. Not too long ago, however, we – as a society – not only focused on the ROI of higher education, but also in the fact it made you a well-rounded, educated, more informed citizen. Education was not seen merely as an economic decision. That said, the reality today is that few can afford to pay these bills and so your conversation is becoming more and more common.

    I have also seen the ROI thing go too far. One young man I coached made his decision based purely on ROI. And he was right. The problem was that he was miserable in his job. I told him increased stress and misery would guarantee a higher income for the short term and then he would burn out or worse. So you also need to consider what you enjoy, your passion, your gifts before you make a decision on $ alone.

    • The costs are hight for sure, that is what makes debt even more of a burden.

      I always want to see someone have a vision for their life before they get an education.

  4. In many ways the concept that university is an “investment” financially speaking is the reason it is so ineffective. We have come to believe that you only have a future if you have a degree. We have grown into a culture that needs others to give us permission to succeed. Too often getting a degree is about getting that permission from others, when you should have just given yourself that permission.

    University is simply a training grounds for your dreams/life purpose. So going there without any dreams is somewhat futile. I agree that we need to figure out our dream/call/purpose first. When we do that we may go back to university for a purpose even though we end up earning less later than we did before.

    Having said that, we need to keep learning constantly. Formally or informally.