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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Don't Listen to The Fear

In 2007, as I was getting closer to becoming Sallie Mae's bitch graduating from law school, I had a brief period wherein I flirted with the idea of staying at Indiana U for another year and getting my MBA. It wasn't that suddenly, out of the blue, I had decided that I needed, or even wanted, an was more me thinking, "Another degree means another year to avoid having to study for the bar and start taking responsibility for this idiotic decision to go to law school in the first place." It was The Fear talking.

But, luckily enough, I had dated two boys(....not entirely at the same time.) at Kelley School of Business and the relationships had ended so badly, that I realized I'd rather deal with the horror of studying for the bar exam, which would at least, eventually, lead to my freedom, than have to ever bump into either one of those men again. (For once, my vagina was on my side. For once.)

Recently, I've been working with a number of clients who weren't so lucky, and for whatever reason, they went ahead and got the dual-degrees. Now, to be clear, I think joint-degrees, are an excellent idea...for the graduate schools and their bank accounts. If I was the dean of some school and never had to face my conscience again, sure, sign up for an extra six-figures of debt when you're 25 and now have degrees in two industries, neither of which you really understand or are even that interested in. Don't mind me; I'll be at my estate in Majorca.

For the people actually graduating with two degrees into our um "Darwinian" economy, I think that those two degrees gives you more opportunities to be glared at suspiciously by HR people who wonder what, if anything, you're really interested in.

I have no doubt that at one time, say during the Interwebs boom, a joint-degree meant another reason for a start-up to hire you and start throwing money and grandiose titles at you. All the people with joint-degrees would be hanging around a cooler filled with champagne, drinking from glasses made of solid gold, while English majors rubbed their feet and spritzed them with perfume. A simpler time. However, back then, people had credit and optimism and they didn't care about things like "experience." Who needs experience when you have credit! Nowadays, virtually no one has credit, and everyone's cranky. Everyone's knitting their own underwear and/or stockpiling for the End of Days. 

My point being...think very carefully before you sign up for that joint-degree. How are you going to use it? How, specifically, is it going to help you?  (If, I swear to god, you say, "Well a law degree is always helpful..." You hear that knocking at your front door? That's me, come to kick your ass. Lay back and think of England; it'll be over soon.) How specifically will having two disparate degrees help you move ahead and get noticed, in whatever industry you're interested in? Will that joint degree define you as someone especially educated and relevant...or as someone caught between two industries? Go ahead and speak to other people, close to your age, who also have joint-degrees and see what they have to say. Don't talk to the person who graduated in 1996 and got a joint-degree, and is now making bank. That guy graduated during an economic boom and he's had 20 years to create his career. You need someone who graduated fairly recently who can attest to specific ways that the extra letters after her name helped her.

I'm just saying, that before you add on that third or fourth degree...there's a lot of living you could be doing instead. You have many options. Don't believe me? Oh, you. Well then email me @ and I'll even give you a free consultation to prove how wrong you are. #bonus


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