What’s more beneficial? Education or Work? Find out my thoughts!
The Plans Are Always Changing: Education or Work?
When I graduated high school, I had a plan. Go to a local college for a couple years and then finish off the second two years at a University to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. I was dead set on this. It’s funny how opinions change the more you grow and experience life.
The plan was going great until I decided I didn’t want to learn about writing anymore. I just wanted to write! Dropping out wasn’t the answer though. I wanted a sense of accomplishment. Purpose. I wanted to say I have a degree! So, I ended up finishing out my two-year Associate of Arts degree in Sociology. I really enjoyed my Sociology courses, and I almost had enough credits to major in it, so I thought what the hell? Schooling wasn’t needed anymore. I wanted to put myself out into the world and get started with my writing career.
Which Path Works Best?
Take time to think about this question: In your experience with schooling and your current chosen career path, how much schooling is necessary to succeed in the field you want to be in?
In my case, I took all the courses I needed to succeed. Of course, I’m no master and there’s always something more to learn. But with writing, I needed to DO it to get better at it. That’s not to say I’ve given up on learning and improving. I’ve read books and taken single courses on grammar, creating the perfect book, editing, and so on, and I did all that voluntarily. That’s because it’s a path that worked for me. I didn’t need a classroom to tell me all the things I learned from reading on my own time. I think that people are more motivated to do something when they don’t feel obligated to do it. We like our freedom of choice.
With careers in creative arts, I don’t think formal education is as important as experiencing the craft you wish to master. Going to university isn’t as important for me, a writer, as say someone in accounting or law. There are more specifics and rules to follow in those fields as opposed to creativity. Art is subjective. Yes, education is important, but post-secondary (especially to the extent of a Masters or Doctorate) isn’t always required for someone like me. I still learn from reading fiction, talking to other writers, and getting advice from people more experienced than me. Could I get the skills I have all from a classroom? Maybe the technical ones, but the emotions and the experiences I need come from outside a textbook.
School Isn’t Always in a Classroom
If I’m ever feeling rusty, I can decide to take a few courses here and there, but I don’t need to get a full-blown degree. I’m fine learning on my own accord, under my own control. Maybe I’ll never be as skilled as someone who has a creative writing degree, but we’ll never know that for sure. I’ll get there, keep growing, and be as skilled as I need to be and better in my own time.
Time to Think
Life experiences or formal education?
Here’s a little exercise for you:
- Think about your desired career.
- How much schooling do you need and do you have enough right now?
- What will help you improve on your craft more: life experience or post-secondary education?
- Are you on the path you need to be?
- If not, what are you going to do to correct that situation?
There’s no one-size-fits-all to get an education. We can learn many things just by taking a stroll around the neighbourhood. Learning about life, people, and relationships is just as important as improving your skills to further your career.
What’s your career path?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. What are your thoughts on education or work? Comment below!
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