December 30, 2011

The Worth of an Education

I begin writing this with a little trepidation. I don't post much and I'm not sure any of the people who actually read this have any interest in what I have to say. Nevertheless, here I am, hands on the keyboard.

Hopefully what I end up with is coherent because at the moment I'm pretty tired. You see, I have a new job. I work in the bakery at Brick Oven which means I have the pleasure of waking up at 5 AM in the morning so that I can be into work on time at 6 AM. Once I get there I basically make all the dough for the restaurant (pizza, breadsticks, etc.). and then help out with a lot of the other food prep which can be a lot for a restaurant of this size. We do this for about four to five hours and then I come home and crash. All of this for just over minimum wage.

Now don't get me wrong. I know that a lot of people do a lot worse jobs than this at even earlier and stranger hours. I know that the previous paragraph might come off as me complaining but I didn't write it for that purpose. I'm actually really grateful that I have a job right now in this stage in between graduation and career. Most the times it's pretty fun. It's been a great blessing and I've had a lot worse jobs.

And that brings me to the major point of my post.

I sometimes wonder what the worth of an education is. Specifically, what is the worth of MY education?

Can I determine the worth by looking at how much it cost? Is it the amount of my student loans? Is it the 6 years (I started in the Summer of 2005, just minus 2 years for a mission) of my life that I spent studying?

Is that what my education is worth? How do I know?

Is it worth my future unearned salary? Is that millions? trillions? or hundreds?

Or is it worth anything at all? Does a bachelors degree in communication give me a leg up on anything? Does the economy negate a degree? Are there so many people out there with degrees that the market is saturated so much that it doesn't mean much?

Perhaps it's worth what I make it.

Honestly, I don't know. I think it's probably a mix of all of the above. I do know one thing though and my new job at BO has helped me realize this. My degree (at least theoretically) is worth me not having to work for minimum wage. It's worth being able to chose what I want to do. It's worth wearing an ID badge instead of a name tag (unless you count a lower third as a name tag). It's worth dress shoes and suits. It's worth a whole lot more too.

I'm not trying to put down those who do physical labor for their careers. Lots of people find fulfillment in all sorts of work. I'm just saying that it's not what I want to do for mine and my degree is worth at least that. It's worth a chance at doing what I'm passionate about as a career.

Looking back at the years I'm so glad that I had the opportunity to go to BYU and get a degree. I don't know where it will take me. Maybe I'm wrong about this whole post. Either way, I wouldn't have done it any other way. Whatever it's worth to me in the end I can say with a surety that it was worth everything that I gave to get it.


1 comment:

anna. said...

i like this post. you and beth are very talented people and i can't wait to see where you end up someday.