*Al Pacino impersonation*
Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!
Ok, ok. I actually want to go back to school. This is something I’ve considered carefully, and I think now is as good a time as any to learn more skills and get a leg up in the future job markets.
Many Millennials grapple with the same issue of education benefit vs. education cost of time/money, and I believe it really depends on the person. When weighing the possible outcomes many people fear that the return on investment will not be adequate. However, I know quite a few Gen X and Boomer workers who would not be able to get their current job today based on their previous skills or education. This is to say, as skilled, qualified, and well-suited as a worker might be, they might lose a job opportunity because they don’t possess a specific credential in today’s market. By expanding our skill sets, we become more marketable, and increase our chances for success.
And what am I going to study?
I’ll save the long form title and just say it is a master’s degree in public relations. Based on my research and quintessential Millennial self-reflection, I felt it would be the best path for me.
Have you ever seen the show Star Trek?
Before you roll your eyes or discount this post as something unimportant, I should say this idea is only conceptually tied to the show. From seeing the various productions over the years, I found an interesting thread. In order for a ship to travel the stars for extended periods, one would assume there would be a great cost involved. There are forms of currency and exchange in these series, but almost every need or desire can be fulfilled without any money required. In this kind of world, I wondered what skill would be in demand.
I’m not just referring to family or what people do when they are in love. Relationships (professional, personal, etc.), and the ability to understand and nurture relationships are the core of society in the future. Yes, there is disagreement, and even major conflict, but that only goes further to support the need for people who can bridge those gaps. I hope to work towards a future like the one imagined in Star Trek lore, but I have many ways of accomplishing this. Public Relations does not just represent marketing or spinning a situation to fit a particular story. Training and later working in this field will help me help others and support a necessary function of society. Bonus points as well that this kind of training and work could never (I hope) be replaced by a robot.
My takeaway ideas from entering this degree program are the following.
1. If you invest in education, find a degree or interest that is marketable, and will have longevity throughout your career.
2. Try to do things that match your personal goals. If you want to make the world a better place, find ways, even small ways of trying to do that. If your work is in conflict with this, you will probably be unhappy unless you can find other positive ways of furthering your goals.
3. Any education is an investment and it cannot be taken from you. However, try to be conscientious in your planning so that you don’t have crushing debt. This is a challenge for Generation Y, but as we pull ourselves out of this economic pit, we will be better prepared with new skills, and (one hopes) able to sustain ourselves through future endeavors.
Do you have a perspective on whether higher education is a necessity or a waste? Get in on the conversation and you could be adding a guest post on VFMG.