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  •  There aren't jobs for Literature Ph.D's!? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, PSzymeczek

    Who could've guessed?

    But really, as long as you study the right subject, grad school can absolutely be worth it. I'm currently going for a Master's in Computer Science, and once I complete it I'm basically guaranteed to have a job that pays well above the median household income.

    •  Worth it? Curiosity, learning and enlightenment (4+ / 0-)

      used to be the motivator for some to seek additional education, not simply the promise of wages.  But I am, I think, an artifact of the past.

      Of course, I knew a fellow who went to MIT, got a couple of degrees in Math and then became a potter.  He's a happy man.  He's part of an informal monthly club of men similarly possessed (mathematicians, engineers, theoretical physicists) who spend one weekend away from their wives and families working on theories of time travel.   Life is a funny thing.

      "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

      by Uncle Moji on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 12:55:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sure, if you're just interested in learning (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Uncle Moji, PSzymeczek

        then there's certainly nothing wrong with it. But doing it in the hopes of getting a job related to it is naive.

        One of the members of my group in a Computer Science class majored in English, then worked construction before going back to school for CS.

        •  Not naive, just different from you (5+ / 0-)

          My father, a very successful business man and investor, had a degree in education.

          The only piece of advice (he was a man of very few words) he gave to me when he was near dying was this:  Do what makes you happy.  

          If money makes you happy, if financial certainty makes you happy, by all means pursue your happiness.  But it doesn't mean people who make different choices are naive, or foolish, it just means we have a different standard of happiness.

          My father's happiness was providing for the education of his many children, and for the financial security and well-being of his wife (widow) for the 30 years he had projected she would out live him, without financial burden to their children.  She outlived his projections, but not his wealth.  She was lovingly and happily cared for until the end of her life, and he would be happy for that.  

          My young friend, do whatever makes you happy.  Enjoy your life.  And live without regrets.  

          ps.  The MIT potter I mentioned is very successful in his field of art, and has made more financially than most mathematicians.  But he did it for love of art, not for money, and that's his happy coincidence.    

          Good luck in all you do!

          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 01:22:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That often is what happens. (1+ / 0-)
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            You do what you love, you tend to be good at it, not just because you love it but because you devote enough time to it to get really good at it.

            Most people in the world aren't really good at much of anything. They may be able to do things, but they often don't devote enough time and effort to them to become really skilled.

            So if you are really good at something, people tend to seek you out. Or buy what you make. Or pay you for advice, training, or expertise in some way.

            They often pay you well, because few people have that level of skill.

            And you make money. Often more than you would have in whatever field you formally trained for.

      •  You can learn that stuff for free (0+ / 0-)

        Why would you pay untold thousands of dollars when you can read all the literature and literary criticism for free?

        (They say it's just one weekend away from their wives working on time travel, but each time they actually go away for several months, then come back just after they left and return home.)

        It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so. — Will Rogers

        by dconrad on Sat Apr 06, 2013 at 03:39:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A mentor of mine (0+ / 0-)

          upon hearing my interest in getting an MFA told me that they would help me get into the program they taught as, but asked why I wanted to spend thousands of dollars on a degree.   I said "To learn."  To which my friend replied, "Read, read everything you can, and write, write, and write some more.  You don't need a degree."  So, I read..

          "Out of Many, One Nation." This is the great promise of the United States of America -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 10:30:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  unless Congress ups the number of visas (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the way MS and other major software companies are pressuring them to so they can fill out their ranks with cheap(er) non-citizen proles, er, trainees, er, the best and the brightest. Who will be dependent on keeping their corporate master happy if they want to stay in this country.

      So Id be cautious about the term 'guaranteed'. And you might want to consider learning a 2nd language.

      •  I doubt it. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Writing software is difficult. I was talking to a professor who said that a large portion (I think 50% or more) of the students in the introductory programming classes either failed or dropped the class.

        Sure, companies may flirt with hiring foreigners without much education for cheaper, but they'll son discover that you get what you pay for, in this case cheap software that doesn't work well.

        And when that software does breakdown, now you're worse off than you were before. You've already spent the money on it, and you don't have anybody who can fix it without paying people like me the wage you were trying to avoid in the first place. So you end up spending more money then if you'd just hired the well trained people from the start.

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