What is the value proposition of your degree?

There has been a lot of talk lately about whether a college degree or master’s degree is really worth the money invested. John over at Married with Debt brought up what’s the point in getting a higher paying job at the expense of massive debt. Some say maybe it’s not worth the money invested. Let’s figure out if it is. Specifically, I want to talk about the value proposition your degree offers yourself and your future employer.

A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered and a belief from the customer of value that will be experienced.

If you are worried about the financial aspect of your degree, ask yourself the following:

  1. How much is your degree going to cost?
  2. What is the probability of finding a job in your field?
  3. What will be your salary?
  4. What other value, apart from financial benefits, will you derive from your degree?

My answer to these questions:

  1. I went to an in state public school. Total typical cost for a 4 year bachelor’s degree is ($22,000×4) plus a dual master’s degree ($36,000) = Total ($124,000) -I included room and board, transportation, personal expenses
  2. Likely. Scale of 1 to 10, probably 8. Not as high as an engineer.
  3. Anywhere from $50K to $65K.
  4. It will give my family and I a better life. Only way to rise in income levels. No minimum wage here! Hopefully!

My answer to question 4 is what makes the degree worth it for me. I don’t want to work at McDonald’s, so I had to go to college. Maybe your answer is to pursue a musical career or to teach the younger generation. Find out what your motivation is and determine if it fits with the value proposition of your degree.

I started out as a history major. I did not know what I wanted to do, but after looking at the careers I could go into with a history degree, I realized that it did not fit the future me. I switched to business. When it came to choosing my Master’s degree, I thought about the types of careers the degree would open up once I finished. It was a fit. I do not regret getting a Master’s degree. It’ sucked because it meant more studying, but I know it will pay off in the long term.

If you are thinking about which college to apply for or what degree to choose, ask yourself what is the value proposition of your degree? Is the field growing? Are employers hiring? You should also consider your passion. Remember, a job is not a job if you are passionate about it.

If you already finished your degree, think back to when you chose it. Did you consider the value proposition of your degree? Any advice to those seeking a degree?


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