Wednesday, April 26, 2006

College experience -> over.

Wow. College is over. One week to go and I'm off to the real world. Here are my thoughts on the whole "college experience" and if it was actually worth it.

Major advantages:
  • A future $1 million dollars. Having a college degree will increase your income 60% over high school graduates which translates to around $1 million more over the course of your life (from increased income and time value of money).
  • Key to getting a good job. College education puts you in a more diverse pool of jobs and if you don't prefer manual labor, you are likely to get a job that doesn't require it.
  • Earning power. Moving up in a company comes easier with a degree. The financial benefits alone will entice many people to accept.
  • Job movement. It is much easier to find other jobs if you dislike your current one. The pool of jobs is better for college grads than for high school grads.
  • Networking. One of my favorite benefits. I have met so many people here and the experience alone was worth the cost. I have had a great time and people that I have met here will be great networking opportunities in the future.
  • Fun. College is awesome. You stay up late because your class doesn't start until 12:00pm the next day. You go out and have fun with friends on almost any night of the week. Responsibilities are low unless you have a paper or exam that week. I had the time of my life here, which is why I don't want to leave.
Major disadvantages:
  • Expensive. I spent close to $40,000 on my undergrad education. Factoring in that I could have saved that $40,000 and been working full time, it's a lot more expensive then it seems. That is just tuition expenses and doesn't include room and board.
  • Stress. Exams and homework were not usually all that fun but they weren't the end of the world either. I never got too stressed out and it wasn't really all that bad but sometimes it is enough to push some people to give up.
What's next for me?
  • Learning never stops. I will never stop learning. It is really what makes me tick. If I am not learning something, I am usually bored. I will learn through a job, reading, talking to people and any other experiences I will have.
  • MBA Degree. After a few years of working, I will be going back to school for my MBA (Master's of Business Administration). I am really set on doing it and I think it will definitely happen in the future. Average salaries for MBA graduates is $88,087 starting out and $167,052 after 5 years as listed on Fortune. My industry focus is going to be Venture Capital (starting: $103k, in 5 years: $233k), Investment Banking ($95k, 239k), Management consulting ($97k, 195k). I feel that I would enjoy any of these fields and if I push myself hard enough I will be there someday.

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