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Education = my worth or does it

14 February 2006

I have in past posts looked at this topic as a part of other topics, but now, today, I am looking at it for its own merit. What good is education? (And by education I am referring to the expensive, book learning that we all seem to hold so dear) Now, I am a person that loves to learn; I like to read and converse and pick up new information. I love everything from useless trivia to Kierkegaard. I want to teach, so it is obvious that I value education. In no way, is this post saying that education is useless. I firmly believe it is not, but my question is, is all this learning really worth as much as we say it is?

Supposedly, we go to college to get jobs and become “productive citizens,” but will education really make me a productive citizen? I feel as though education is making me a snob. Those that educate us and everything around says, “the more you learn the more you are worth,” so if I have learned more than others this should mean that I am worth more than others are, and I know, in my heart that is not true. Nevertheless, it is very difficult not to feel superior. It is difficult for me not to devalue majors that while useful to society do not necessarily invoke higher-order thinking. God is no respecter of persons; I as well should not be. However, the more I learn the more I am worth. It is not just in middle and upper socio-economic statuses where this is preached. It is at every level of our society, even at the most poverty-stricken. Most likely, one of the reasons, I have worked so hard and value education the way I do is that my parents always said, “You will go to college. You will not struggle for money. You will get a good job.” The last two statements hinge upon education. It is the golden ticket, even though it cost a bucket of gold to get it.

What of the time we spend getting education. Does getting an education equal living life or does life begin after we “finish” learning? I have currently spent the last five years working a BA and now a Masters. I am seriously considering getting an additional degree that I am sure I would enjoy working on and receiving but for what end goal: to increase my worth, to help me get a better job, what? And with each degree that you receive you wonder and now what. What do I do with this degree: do I let it suffice and be content, do I get another degree, do I work the original job that I wanted to work three degrees ago or am I now over-qualified for that job? If I have all of this education/worth am I wasting it by not working at the highest level that I am qualified for?

I am at a loss. I feel as though I may be wasting both money and more importantly time. But what if education is better than working or other things. I acquiesce to your comments and suggestions. Is education really all we make it out to be?

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