I have a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from a four-year university though I milked the experience and took five and a half years to get it. I was accepted into law school but after five years of sitting on my ass in a classroom being preached at by self-righteous professors who were teaching “real world” applications but had never been in the real world themselves I decided to forgo that opportunity.
Thirty years ago very few of my classmates went on to get an advance degree. The students working towards their MBA’s were typically older, already working or had been working. At that time, having some work and life experience counted greatly on your getting accepted to a university’s MBA program. Not anymore.
My father did not go to college. Despite that, he was a national leader in his field of work something that is typically unheard of in today’s workforce. Sure there are tech entrepreneurs worth zillions of dollars that only briefly set foot on a college campus but they are the exception, not the norm. Over the course of my father’s business career his “lack” of an education was, for him, an unfortunate source of embarrassment. While his other peers had degrees from prestigious schools he had a lowly high school diploma from a small town school whose main focus was to train future farmers. Despite that handicap he was extremely successful. So, as you can imagine, in my household, not getting a college degree was not an option. Each of his children would have the opportunity and responsibility, even if it took them (just me) five and a half years to make it happen.
My children have or are getting advanced degrees, masters and PhD’s. They had too in order to work in the field they have chosen, which, given the technical and educational nature of their occupations, I understand. It is expensive and has been a sacrifice for my wife and myself. We have driven cars a little longer, and have not taken any exotic vacations to far off destinations like some of our more well-heeled friends but that’s okay.
I am a parent, a father and these kind of sacrifices come with the job. I knew that going in. I could have opted out and just gotten another labrador retriever instead of having children, though my wife would have divorced me. So when I look back, thirty years and several hundreds of thousands of dollars later I am okay with the decisions we made. I hope my over educated kids will be happy, healthy and successful so that they can take care of their poor Mom and Dad and maybe, just maybe, send them on a cocktail cruise to the Bahama’s for their 50th anniversary. I will give them a not so subtle hint if they happen to forget.