To Go Back to School, or not to go Back to School…
To Go Back to School, or not to go Back to School…That is the question. Especially for our generation of “Neverland” followers and dream seekers. Whether it’s to avoid the real world or to follow a passion, school is the number 1 option for our generation and those to follow. The Master’s Degree is now what opens the doors to opportunities like a Bachelor’s Degree once was to our parents’ generation. Doctorates will soon equate to our Masters… Do we keep going back to school to gain a fighting chance against those fresh faces that will inevitably be replacing us in the future?
The new scares we face in our generation cause a “Fight or Flight” reaction in us all. Our draining Social Security that cannot sustain our inflated spending habits and an “iffy” stock market that could make or break us – literally. To think, my parents at my age had infant twins and a toddler running around the house with a gracious benefits plan and 401K to offer the option to actually sustain an at-home-mom and housewife. Neither of my parents completed their stints in school – my mother barely finishing high school and my father landing a dream job before completing his last years at college. Yet, still they managed to build a cushy life and an amazing upbringing for my siblings and I. We traveled the world and they now have a house fully paid off with some retirement money stashed in stocks. But, do I have these same opportunities with my two Bachelor Degrees in a troubled economy and worrisome unemployment rates?
I might be nervous about going back to school at age 26, but I am also nervous not to. Authors Emma Koenig and Peg Streep feel that those of us in our twenties have difficulties coming to terms with adulthood and explore the reasons. Although I agree with them the flashing outliers that go unconsidered way a troubling toll on this truth of pushing off adulthood. Peg Streep notes studies that say Millennials, like myself, “switch jobs every two years, compared to every five years for Gen-xers and seven for Boomers.” But, I don’t think we are “willingly” switching jobs, but forced to leave jobs as if a vicious cycle to stay abreast all the new roles, niche markets, and ever evolving industries. We’re hesitant to stay still because the constant thought is – “Do I leave before they make me leave, or do I stay loyal and get ousted anyways…” It’s an employers market and they hold the dice.
Grant it we can dedicate the long hours, but it doesn’t always mean the company itself will survive the economy at hand. A recent release by the Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that the average personal income and average annual compensation per job has increased, but the companies’ profits as a whole seem to be slowing. Also, United States Economy Profile 2012 by Index Mundi shows that the majority of the workforce are in roles such as managerial, professional and technical – which goes to show that education is king, but are we flooding the market with chiefs?
Well, it looks as though no matter what year we end up finishing school there will always be something that threatens our employable status. If beggars can’t be choosers we mine as well be doing what we love and be the best at it. Who says achieving higher skill sets and becoming more educated is a bad thing?! No matter what age, for me my late twenties, may reveal your true passions for your ideal career path you should always strive for it. I don’t see it as avoiding adulthood, but attaining higher standards. But, for those of you who feel differently – Here I come Peter Pan!
- Hottest Careers for College Graduates (bigfuture.collegeboard.org)
- Record Numbers of Young Americans Earn Bachelor’s Degree (nytimes.com)