There are many reasons, but here are some of them:
1. My parents pretty much insisted. I didn’t want to, but once I finished my Associates, I was enjoying it and wanted to continue.
2. I’m not actually very good at “doing things.” I am, however, very good at knowing what should be done and when, and allocating resources to that end. That’s a natural fit for being a manager, but they don’t let flunkies be in charge of stuff.
3. There is very little on this Earth I hate more than getting up early in the morning. Worker bees always seem to have shifts starting at 6 or 7 AM, and I knew I didn’t want that.
4. I am insecure enough that having degrees, certifications, and credentials make me feel less worthless. Yes, I realize that’s dumb, but it works, so don’t knock it.
5. Without school, I would not have ever managed to have any friends. Aside from work (where I’m generally detested), the only place I had human interaction was at school. Fortunately for me, now that I’m done going to school, they’re letting me teach.
6. Lifetime earnings for a high school graduate = $1.2M. For a Bachelor’s degree = $2.1M, and for a Master’s degree = $2.4M. I like making twice as much in my lifetime. That sounds like a good equation. Now granted, lawyers and doctors can make up to $4.4M in their lifetime, but they have to be around the sick people of the world (medically and otherwise) and go to school a lot longer.
7. I actually enjoy learning stuff. When I finished high school, I thought I was pretty darn smart. Then I started college, and with each passing year, I felt dumber and dumber. Not because I knew less, but because I knew more and more about how much more there was to learn. The old saying “arrogance is always founded on ignorance” is incredibly true. It’s hard to think you’re smart when you realize you only know about 0.000000000000000000000001% of the information available for you to learn (that’s being generous).
8. Advanced degrees are required for the type of work I enjoy. With an advanced degree, you get a lot of things – you get a lot more flexibility in your career, and in the type of work you do. For instance, in my job, I basically choose 95% of what I do. No one is giving me a list of tasks. I have a couple of overarching objectives, and I can achieve those however I see fit. You just flat out can’t have a job like that with a GED – that is, unless you start your own business (which I encourage!).
9. It really sucks to hang around with your coworkers and you’re the only one that doesn’t have cool acronyms (Ph.D., MBA, CPA, CPIM, PHR, etc.). When I took the job here, I had a BA. In a lot of jobs, a BA is good as gold. In this job, I was basically seen as the doofus of the group. Our office is made up of very credentialed people – in fact 50% of our employees have a Ph.d. and most of those have been published. Yikers. The people here who have BA’s are the people that have to run errands and pick up coffee. Thank god for the Marketing and Journalism majors of the world. Yeah. Ouch.
10. Paying your way through college is character building. You can’t possibly pay for college AND have a life or have stuff. Keeping your eye on the prize when you’re broke and living in a basement working a zillion hours – that makes you appreciate the success that much more. I’m glad my parents didn’t pay for my school, because I’m positive I wouldn’t have worked so hard at it if they had.