Is a College Degree Useless if You Don’t Use it?

Do you have to directly use your college degree for college to be worth it?

This is something that I’ve been thinking about. I showed some serious school spirit this weekend. I attended an alumni event for a few hours where I drank free coffee and met a few interesting people.

The topic of using your degree came up a few times and I really wanted to write about this because I know many college graduates are torn on this topic…

Use your college degree

“Are you working in your field?” 

That’s what my new friend Ryan asked me. I confessed that I wasn’t. It turns out that he also wasn’t working in his field. Ryan is very ambitious and is working on all sorts of exciting projects. I for some reason get really excited when I meet someone that’s not afraid to try something new. I’ve always done my own thing. I have a feel that you may want to do your own thing.

Let’s get into our topic today.

Do you have to use your college degree?

I started college as a greedy 17 year old kid. I graduated in my 20s and a much different perspective on lie. I graduated from college debt free because I started this blog to hold me accountable.

Anything can happen after college.

From the moment that you begin studying to when you finish college, you’re going to be a different person.

Some people will study a topic and then fall in love. My cousin has been in school for a decade in his field.

Other people, are fed up with the topic and want to move into something new.

A lot can change from 17 to 26. It’s important to learn to go with the flow.

I don’t believe that you have to use your degree if you don’t want to.

You don’t have to do anything. It’s your life. A degree doesn’t guarantee you a job nor does it force you to work a specific job.

It’s your life. There’s nothing wrong with changing directions or with wanting to do your own thing. Just because you studied something for four years it doesn’t mean that you have to spend the rest of your life devoted to this field. It’s your life. Your choices.

This brings us to me…

Why am I not currently using my degree?

The main reason that I’m not using my degree or working in a specific job is simply: freedom.

When I wrote about unique ways I save money, I wasn’t afraid of hurting some feelings. Through finding unique ways to save money and increasing my income, I’m proud to say that I’ve been working towards total freedom by 30.

Now I realize that I could have a much easier life if I got a job. All I would have to do is go to work, show up, get my duties done, and come home. That’s a lot easier than going through launches, chasing people for money, and relying on freelancing clients. You never know what’s going to happen next.

I just love the freedom too much.

That’s the short answer of it all. I want freedom and options.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” –Nelson Mandela

Starting a blog in college opened my eyes to the opportunities that existed in the world outside of a 9-5 setting. I realized that I wanted to do my own thing. I also learned that I don’t do well with a boss.

Will I use my degree in the future?

Anything can happen next.

I can get sick of writing and just look for a job.

Truth be told, I’ve been thinking about this lately. Some days, I just feel like finding a job where I don’t have to stress about anything.  Who knows what the future holds.

The best part of life is that you can always change paths. You can never screw up so badly that you can’t start again.

There will always be jobs out there waiting for you in your field. You don’t have to use your degree immediately to feel like it was worth it.

Why get a degree if you won’t use it?

What’s the point of going to college then?

It never hurts to have a backup plan. Anything can happen. Why not prepare for it? With a degree, you increase your odds of finding work or at least get your foot in the door.

College was also the best move to make in my youth.

I was pretty clueless at 17 and didn’t know what else to do. It sure beat hanging out at bars or getting myself into trouble. I found myself going in the right direction once I started studying business.

Many folks bash college, but I’m proud to have a degree. I was the first person in my family to get one. My parents were very proud and I set an example for my younger brothers. I also showed everyone that you can go to college and not be a broke joke when you’re done with it.

I suggest that we all focus on the importance of fighting the right battles. Life’s too short to be pissed off about work 24/7. Don’t feel bad if you’re not using your degree. Don’t worry if you never attended college. Make the best of your current situation!

What do you think about using a degree? Should you directly look for work in your field?

8 thoughts on “Is a College Degree Useless if You Don’t Use it?”

  1. I have a degree, and I use it. I’m working in the field, and I know I would never have been able to get my job if I didn’t have it. Also, I wouldn’t be able to understand my job if I didn’t have it! But, I think all education is enriching and valuable, regardless of whether you work in the field.

  2. I have a love-hate relationship with my degree. I studied History, but I don’t work in a history related field and never have. Although my student loan debt is less than most people owe, it still feels like a big weight hanging around my neck, and I can’t wait to get rid of it.

    That said, going to college gave me something really valuable: time to figure myself out. I learned a lot of valuable lessons about living on my own, forming a household budget, how to foster a good relationship with my wife. Access to the university library was really important to me, and I learned more from the stacks of books I checked out from there than I ever did from my professors.

    I came out of it with a very broad education and a lot of knowledge in a lot of different fields, and that has been very valuable to me.

  3. I use my degree and I HATE my job. Thankfully I have a degree in Communication so I’m networking my ass off to meet people and get side gigs writing and implementing social media strategies. I hope to be completely self employed in 6 months to a year. Working a 9-5 is the worst thing imaginable for creative types.

    1. Thanks for your honesty Candice. I’ve actually heard a few friends tell me how a 9-5 is a killer for the entrepreneurial spirit. Do you find that you still have ideas in the evening time? Does hating your job motivate you?

  4. None of your business

    I have a degree and don’t use it and personally, find your article insulting. I have tried to find a job in what I went to school for and haven’t even made it to an entry level position. So here’s your pat on the back since you got yours debt free and have the “freedom” to work when and how you want. The majority of us don’t have such luxuries.

  5. I graduated with a bachelor of science degree in education – interdisciplinary studies. I didn’t finish internship when I was in college because it was a load while studying for a state exam that I had to pass with at least an 80. If I failed, I had to pass with an 85 for the 2nd try, 3rd try a 90, 4th try a 95, and so on. Instead, I chose to graduate uncertified, and pass the state exam on my time. I started volunteering one semester at a title 1 school district, and then I was a substitute teacher for another semester. I decided to take a break so I can really put more time into studying for the state exams, also because COVID-19 hit and I was petrified. I didn’t wanna “die” or get sick from working with kids. So, I took the longest break. I also met the love of my life and we had a COVID-baby. And I’m happy being a stay at home mom atm. I’d like another one so my baby can have a sibling, but i also want to work. I have this 4 year degree not being put to use, all because I’m uncertified. Hopefully one day I’ll find time to study for it, get certified and become a school teacher. Although, it’s a lot of work for very little pay. And I always ask myself if it’s even worth it since I don’t plan on going back to college and paying out of pocket for a new field of study.

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