Education

The Value of Education

I graduated from college in 2014. Finally, I had reached a very important milestone in my life. I had earned my degree. I attended Cal State Long Beach in order to further my education. It is a local university in Los Angeles County. Despite the challenges of changing majors and transferring, I was happy to be accepted. It was an exciting time.

Now I have a degree from Cal State. The reason I chose to go to a state university was to save some money. After talking to my friends, I realized that the school you pick is not as important when getting Bachelor’s degree. You need the education in order to get an office job where you will be paid $5 above the minimum wage (but let’s not talk about that).

I have a friend who studies at a very prestige college. She had some trouble with the course, and she asked me to come listen to a lecture from her professor, so that I could explain it to her in a way she understood better (which I eventually did). The lecture was fun! It was a Macroeconomics class, and they were studying the Foreign Exchange market. I love that topic primarily because I tried to trade currencies (and unfortunately, the high risk venture was unsuccessful). The professor covered simple things like pairs of currency, weakening/strengthening, and other exciting material. However, he didn’t seem to be very excited about the topic (maybe because it was a late night class).

I watched as this man tried to engage his students, but nobody would raise their hand to answer extremely simple questions. Back at Cal State, I had a professor (whom I respect a lot) who criticized us for being lazy, not reading, and not being on top of the latest news. It pushed us to do better, and take more control of our education. When I sat in on my friend’s course, I understood that I had a much more exciting class back at Cal State and knew much more than these students. It was disheartening. I paid around $7,500 per year to receive the same education that they are paying about $22,000/year for (a rough estimate). I knew the material, and they didn’t. The irony is that when they apply for a job, they might have more options for positions, and might be more likely to be considered for the position while my name will be looked over because I didn’t attend a top school. In reality, we know the same material, and in some cases students at less prestigious schools may end up with more knowledge than their peers who attend top schools.

At the end of the day, I didn’t get my degree in order to impress a potential employer (I’ve become my own employer anyways). I got an education so that I could grow and improve. It is fun to learn something new, and you don’t have to go to a top school in order to be smart; you just have to want to educate yourself.

Arman Vakili

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