I have weekly meeting with my business partner Brandon. He holds two bachelors degrees but is now in the process of starting a business to which he is devoting his whole life. Brandon has been fully committed and is making steady progress towards generating the kind of revenues he sets as goals. It is amazing how much energy and enthusiasm emanates from passionate people.

During one of our meetings a few weeks ago, Brandon told me he holds two Bachelors degree from The California State University, but staring at the pieces of paper, he did not see any value in them. Even though he plans on continuing his studies toward an eventual Phd. degree, he said to me that now that he is involved in a business he is passionate about, he does not see the practical application of the knowledge he spent so much money to acquire. Do we really acquire knowledge in school? Yes. Does that knowledge always translate in a good job (or good money) after graduation? NO, more so now than ever before.

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Being a student at a relatively small private university (California University of Management and Sciences – CalUMS), I sometimes hear other students on campus complain about the small size and low popularity of the school. They believe that because the school is small and not very popular in the United States and abroad, their degree will have a lower value than those issued by MIT or Harvard (for example). Even though it is true that an employee will be more familiar with MIT or Hardvard on a resume, the degree has the same value regardless of the institute it comes from.

“Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it sure has earned a lot of people graduate degrees.” Robyn Irving

What really makes a difference is the set of experiences a student has been through in addition to the knowledge acquired during the completion of his or her degree program. I firmly believe in lifelong learning, just like my father. I am a student of life and I will continue with my education for as long as possible (read forever).

The ultimate worth of your degree is in the experiences you go through to acquire the degree, and your level of involvement in the acquisition of knowledge related to your field of study. What is your degree worth?