I always tell people to go back to school.

Do your research. Don’t attend a private college that makes crazy claims about job placement rates, but go back to a boring state college — even if it’s just in the evening — and finish your degree.

Why do I care if you go back to school? Because I love you. And because of messages like this one.

A few years ago you wrote, “Quit worrying about the SPHR and get an MBA.” I took your advice and finished my dissertation. I now make about 25K more than I did two years ago. Also, I only teach nine months a year. (It used to be 12 months.) You say that we should work to make money and care for our families. I do that. But now I have a chance to do more things that I enjoy. Thank you for that. You will never know how much it means to me.

Education is everything. Be a consumer of knowledge. Then go do something special in the world.


  1. Excellent advice. The combination of education and experience cannot be beat. Certifications can come later.

  2. This resonated with me.

    This is simple but highly sound advice. I spent 3 years in college studying Chemical Engineering, and got great grades. But I dropped out to snowboard, get an earring and grow out my hair (and because I realized I hated engineering and was on the wrong path).

    I went back 7-8 years later and got an undergraduate business degree from University of Washington.

    **It was the single most important thing I did for my career**.

    The degree became the ticket that allowed me to enter the corporate world and I went on to have a great career working for some of the world’s most noteworthy fast-growing companies like Google and Starbucks and Microsoft.

    Without the degree, it’s unclear what might have happened, but I am 100% sure that I never would have had the opportunities that I did.

  3. I was just having this discussion recently. Trying to decide if I should just finish my Bachelor’s in whatever I’m closest to, and worry about specialization at an MBA level or something like that.

    Either way, I’m tired of having to fight to prove I can do the work because I “only” have an Associates degree. And fifteen plus years of experience, but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore.

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