Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why I Chose My University Degree

I am envious of all the people that know what career they want to go into when they are young.  I struggled with what I wanted to do, how was I to really know what each job would entail?  In high school I considered becoming a doctor, a medical technician, a lawyer, an accountant and a teacher.  All very respectable professions.  When the time came to look at colleges, you had to know what you want to do to be sure the school offered that program.  When I looked at colleges, I made my decision on the feel I got from the campus.  I fell in love with the grounds and the buildings.  Then I looked to see what they offered and thought, OK those classes sound great.

During my first year of college I realized how much I loved science and math.  I decided I wanted to go into forensic science (this was before CSI), and that was only offered at like 6 schools in the country at the time.  I decided to transfer out to attend one of those colleges and began my studies.  I struggled in calc 2 because I couldn't understand my professor and I struggled in physics.  I loved biology and chemistry but spending all day in front of a microscope started to worry me.  I didn't know what the everyday job responsibilities of a forensic scientist would be, but I worried I'd get bored.  I started to wonder if I needed to change degrees.  I did, I took the easy way out and finished up the following semester with a criminal justice degree knowing full well I would probably not use it.  That is a decision I've regretted quite a bit over the years, I should have stuck it out and got the science degree.

A few years later I decided I needed to further my education because I was at a dead end.  I constantly saw accounting jobs listed and figured there was a huge need for this, so I enrolled in a college that had an exceptional accounting program.  I hated it.  But I was already immersed in the program so I took a few other classes and changed my major to strategic management - a very broad degree, but one that I did very well in understanding the concepts.

When I graduated, I was not really sure what my options were. I fell into my job and they did not pay me a graduate degree salary, but one more of a recent undergrad with no experience - which was somewhat true.  The college debt is massive and I've struggled to determine if it was really worth it.  I obtained my second job based on my experience, not because of my degree.  I am on the super slow extended plan to pay off the debt, which means I'll end up paying like 4 times what the original loan was...but who has that kind of extra money, especially when our salaries allow for us to barely pay rent/food/commuting costs?

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