Lately I have been spending time in twitter chats centered on the topic of millennials. Most of the participants are my generational peers (i.e. millennials). One of the subjects that comes up a lot is that college degrees are overrated in today’s day and age. Each time someone makes that point I have a small panic attack. Why? Because I have spent a good portion of my adult life in a classroom.
I got my undergrad in 2006 and am about to finish up my MBA. It has been a ton of work. More so the masters than the undergrad because I have so much else going on. When I started the MBA program my wife and I had just welcomed our little boy into the world and our daughter joined us about half way through. I have also had the privilege to lead an incredible product development team at the same time. With all this going on, the true champion has been my wife. Without her love and support I would not have even made it out of the starting blocks.
So that’s why I have a mini heart attack when people say degrees are no longer valued. That being said, I think I understand the perspective. In fact I might even agree with it. With the advent of the internet and social media, the way people transfer information and knowledge has drastically changed. Universities have been slow to catch up with these new ways of learning. Young professionals like myself are increasingly frustrated with some of the antiquated ideas and methodologies we are learning in the classroom.
So the original question still stands. If you are a busy young professional and already have a great job, is it worth sacrificing more time to get an MBA (or any degree for that matter)?
I believe the answer is yes, but not because of what you will specifically learn. I think the reason you should get any degree is because the journey should force you to stretch. That has been the most valuable aspect for me personally. I have been challenged time and again to go far beyond what I thought I was capable of. I have been forced to consider new ideas and perspectives that have opened my eyes to other ways of doing business.
Those lessons have made it worth it for me. I am not going to claim that every class and every teacher have changed my life. Because they haven’t.
The diamonds in the rough have gotten me through. In fact, my recent entrance into social media has been the result of one of my professor’s commitment in pushing his students beyond their comfort zones. I probably never would have jumped into the wealth of knowledge that is the online social experience if it had not been for the MBA program. So yes, I think it has been worth it.
Do you think higher education is still relevant for the millennial work force? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!