The True Cost Of Education

Schools least of all teach people about the power of incentives:

It sounds harsh, but let’s understand the incentives education offers. Graduating from university means that you spent X amounts of money––to solve Y number of problems––for 1 degree.

There are roughly 25 courses in a degree program. Each course takes around 10 weeks to complete. 10 problems per course each week would be ~2,500 problems to solve for 1 university degree (give or take). Forget about debt, that’s a lot of time and energy to be spending for one credential. I’m exaggerating, but not by much.

Truth is, we go to university because we’re incentivized to prove that:

  • We’re capable individuals who are responsible members of society
  • We can finish what we start

Those are the two ideal traits employers look for and why they’re so attracted to new graduates. It’s a shame those incentives no longer apply to recent graduates:

“According to Richard Rothstein at The Economic Policy Institute, wages for college-educated workers outside of the inflated finance industry have stagnated or diminished. Unemployment has hit recent graduates especially hard, nearly doubling in the post-2007 recession. The result is that the most indebted generation in history is without the dependable jobs it needs to escape debt.”

Of course, getting a degree isn’t a complete waste. It just comes down to sacrificing your time, energy, and money. It’s up to you whether your credential outweighs its cost.