August 3, 2021

What to Do Instead of Going Back to College? - Ep. 6

Using Company Education Benefits, Getting into a Different Industry, and Deciding Whether a Master's Degree Raise is Actually Worth the Time and Money

Here are Some Things You Can Do Instead of Buying Another College Degree

In this episode, we talk about:

  • how to improve your current job or transition to a different role in the same company
  •  how to find a different job
  • how to start a business in your spare time

Ryan shares his experience of enrolling and almost starting a mechanical engineering program before he dropped out, and how people can get into an industry they want to work in.

Hannah talks about how to look for opportunities to retool or educate yourself to move up or around in a company, and how to realistically assess the value of getting a master's degree for a small raise.

Enjoy the episode!

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Want to know what type of businesses you can start without a degree? Don't miss last week's episode. We talk about resale, digital products, and how to start a service business in 1 day!

Links and Notes from the Episode

Episode Transcript
Please enjoy this transcript or our episode!

Please note the transcript may have a few errors. We're human. It can be hard to catch all the errors from a full length conversation. Enjoy!

Ryan: Aloha guys! And welcome back to the degree free! We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah, Maruyama. On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.

Hannah: Hey guys. Thanks for coming back and listening to the podcast again, if you are new here. Thanks for listening. If you are returning, we are glad to have you, if you found something interesting in one of our past episodes or after you listened to this episode, it's so good that you listen again and you want to take action on some of these things.

We did make a guide it's called. How to get a job without a college degree. It is on our website, which is degree free network.com that said, if you want to just listen and take notes, you can find all of this stuff for yourself. But if you want it all in one place, it is on our website.

Ryan: Absolutely. And let's get into today's topic today.

We're going to be talking about what to do instead of going back to school. We get this all the time. We get this all the time and it comes in different forms, but the essence of the question remains the same. A lot of times we get this question from people that already have a degree. Sometimes they have two degrees.

And they're thinking about going back for a second, they're thinking about going back for a third. Sometimes this is from people that have never gone to college, and they're thinking about going to college for the first time, and then. The other, the last one is going to be people that have went to college for a little bit, dropped out and thinking about going back.

It all stems usually around the same thing. And that is a general unhappiness or Discontentment with where they are in their career and with their life at the time. And a lot of people think of going back to school, going back to college, is the answer. Of how to educate themselves and how to get job training in order to make a transition in their career and in their life.

Hannah: Some of these people are people who are working the careers or close enough to the career that they were intending to get. When they graduated from college only to be met with the shocking and unpleasant realization. That the field that they chose when they were 17 years old is not the field that they want to work in now as an adult.

And I think not only those people, but also the people who, like you said, they dropped out and now they're feeling really lost. And they think that going back to college is a way of finding themselves or reclaiming their identity or almost resetting their life. They feel like they're finding themselves or that if they go to college they're not lost or it takes away some of the shame of the fact that they don't have a specific type of job, the societal shame that comes with that, or there are also people who have degrees who didn't know how to apply, then know how to get the jobs that they went to college to get. And so now they're working in an industry that has nothing to do with their degree. And then they think the answer to the fact that the first degree didn't work is to buy another degree. And this episode is for those people.

Ryan: And sometimes it's even maybe not another degree, but sometimes it's an advanced degree. Sometimes they're thinking about going back to school to get their masters.

Hannah: That one really gets me.

Ryan:  We're not judging anybody for this. Little story for myself. I've shared it before, but I was literally one of these people.

I got my degree in economics. I was thinking about, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I just like many other people. I didn't know. I wasn't happy with the direction my life was going. I, right after college, I did get a job, not really in my field, but I got a job in consumer credit underwriting.

And let me tell you that wasn't my life's work. I didn't want,

Hannah: You weren't passionate about, about, about that. I can't imagine why!

Ryan: I was basically a monkey with a headset is what I like to say, underwriting these loans. And it was terrible. I ended up working there for a year. I ended up quitting and then I continued, I never quit my restaurant job, but I continued to work my restaurant job full time.

For years after that. And I just felt very lost. I felt like I was unhappy with where my life was going. I didn't know what I wanted do. And so I wanted to throw stuff at the wall and see what stuck. One of the things, what I wanted to do is oh, you know what? Maybe I'll become a mechanic engineer I heard that's pretty fun. I heard about a job about being an Imagineer for Disney. And trying to work on the robotics for the different rides, like making Buzz Light Year move. I had no idea. I just had a minor exposure to somebody that I met briefly, that I was like, oh, you know what? That sounds like fun.

Maybe I'll go. Maybe I'll become a Mac mechanical engineer and do that. I ended up moving my life to North Carolina. I ended up enrolling in,

Hannah: In wake forest.

Ryan: I ended up enrolling. Yeah. I don't even remember. It was a community college. I ended up enrolling in community college. I went there to. Oh, man. I forgot about that.

I literally went to the school.

Hannah: You went to the campus.

Ryan: I went to the campus. Bought books, at least when I at least went into the bookstore.

Hannah: No, you did. Did you buy one or two textbooks? I think. I think we had them for a while. I think you resold them actually, maybe.

Ryan: I know that I went to the bookstore.

I'm pretty sure that I bought books for these classes that I needed, that I that I was going to take. But then I just stopped. I was like, wait a minute. I have no idea what I'm doing. I have no idea. I have no idea what being a mechanical engineer is. I have no idea. I don't even know if I'm good enough at math.

I don't know if I, I don't even know what math I need. I don't even know what that job they do. I still don't know what a mechanical engineer does. I'm like, oh, maybe I'll go do that. And because I was just throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what stuck, I was like, okay, maybe I'm not going to pay that money to do it.

I'm very happy. Very grateful that I made the decision to not to.

This is all a long way of saying is we're not judging people when they're thinking, when they're thinking about doing it.

Hannah: No. And I'll say this because I'm the one that comes off judgmental about this. A lot of the times I will, and I will say this, I want to go on record and say this.

The reason part, a huge part of the reason that I feel so strongly about this is because of the conversations that I have had with people that. That hurt my heart, where they feel so trapped. There's only one answer to their problems. There's only one answer to their uncertainty, to their feeling of being lost to their feeling of not having a career, to their feeling of shame about that.

And that answer is an extremely expensive piece of paper and it's the second one, because the first one didn't work and they just, they already feel so trapped and it's they go further into the thing that it has put them in this position. And it's not just the people who consider it and then do it.

It's afterwards when they're in the same position and I have the same conversation with them and they put all that stress. And financial stress on themselves and they get to the other side and they're in the exact same position. And it's heartbreaking. It's a heartbreaking thing, but they've been told that's the only answer.

And that is a huge reason why I'm so passionate about this is because I'm tired of seeing people who just see their whole life laid down in front of them and they feel trapped and they feel like they have no options when that's not true.

Ryan: Yeah. And so we definitely understand. I definitely understand.

I used to be one of those people. I get it. It's tough. So here we are. And we're trying to give people options, tell them what their options.

Hannah: Because they just don't know. They don't know. That's why they only think there's one. That's where I think we can help when I'm having this conversation with people, this is the first option and that is improve your current job.

And that is do what you can with what you have, where you are. And the most simple moves are usually the ones that are right around you already. So instead of going back to school to get another degree. If you're unhappy with your current job, ask for a raise, look around you in the company that you're in and see if there's a different position that suits you better.

That pays more, that does a different type of work that you're more interested in or more suited to. The other thing is you can look and see if your company has some sort of educational credit that you can use to leverage, to give yourself a more valuable skill within your company to help with the moving around or getting a raise.

If you work for a company where there's no formal education credit, a lot of times, if you go to the manager or whoever you trust, who's in your corner and you say, Hey, I want to learn this thing I think is going to help the business in this way, make your case, see if they'll pay for it, because that's a really great way to retool your skillset and not have to pay for it, which we're all for.

And the other thing is. You can move further up in the field if you want, if you really hate it though, it's probably a good idea for you to look around in the company and see where else you can.

Ryan: Simple as moving to a new department. And one of the things that I find myself, whenever somebody asks me this, whenever somebody is talking about going back to school, it's generally because they're unhappy.

They're unhappy or they're discontent as I was saying. And I think one of the biggest things that you can do in this case is you just have to sit down and have some pretty honest conversation with yourself. You have to sit down and have an honest conversation with yourself and take an honest inventory about what, what is going on.

Hannah: And it's not fun to pick that apart.

Ryan: About what is going on and about what you're going through. Why are you unhappy? Why are you discontent? Is it because you don't like your coworkers? Is it because you feel like you're a fraud, is it because you're not making enough?

Hannah: Is it because you genuinely don't like the work or it's boring.

And is it because you don't feel fulfilled? There is a lot. And this is, as Hannah was saying, it's not fun all the time. These are difficult questions that require honest answers. What's causing you to feel the discontent. For you to feel that you have to go back to school a lot of the times, if you can sit there and you can have that honest conversation with yourself, and it helps to really write it down, it helps to really write it down, put it on paper, name your demons.

You want to put a face to what it is that's bothering you. It could be something as simple as staying in the same field, but moving to a new company, it could be something as simple as look, I actually don't mind my job. My job is actually pretty. Okay. But maybe I want to negotiate a four day work week.

Maybe I want to negotiate one day work from home. Every Wednesday I work from home. Not possible in every job. I understand that. But those are the types of questions that you have to ask and you have to give the honest answers to get to the bottom of this. I know that for myself, it was very difficult.

I had to sit down and have this conversation with myself.  Because I sat down and had this conversation with myself I came up with, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I said before I wrote that check. To that community college in North Carolina before I sent the payment. Or wait!. I'm not sure.

Maybe I even sent the payment. I don't even know. Maybe I sent the payment. I needed a refund. I don't even remember. I either before I sent it or I needed a refund. I forget. But I had to ask myself, why do I not feel like this is, why do I not feel like this? Is it? Why do I feel like I like this? Isn't going to solve my problem.

And the reason why was because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I said, look, I don't want to, what I want to do. I don't even know what a mechanical engineer does this isn't going to solve. My problem. The problem is that I'm unhappy. The problem is that I don't know what I want to do with my life. And so I had to make the difficult decision to not go.

I had to make the difficult decision to basically do inaction.

And it is harder to not go. I think it is harder to not go.

Ryan: Yeah. And so, I didn't go. I continued to bartend. I moved from Hawaii to North Carolina. I moved from Hawaii as a bartender to get to go to North Carolina, to get away from bartending so that I could go to school to not be a bartender.

Then I decided that I didn't want to go to school. And then I ended up tending bar.

Hannah: Full circle.

Ryan: What the hell?! But I'm glad I did because then I would've went into debt. I would've went into debt that I would probably still be paying for right now.

Hannah: Looking back on that now, because I think that there's a lot to unpack here, actually, I think because there's a few reasons why people experience that discontent, especially at that age, the right after college tumultuous kind of, your early twenties where it is, there's a lot going on, but sometimes it's you want to move.

You need to move. You need to get new roommates. You need to like, you need to go try to meet somebody. You need to pick up a hobby or a sport. But cause I think a lot of people are looking for the community that they lose after college. And so they get very they need to figure out if that's maybe what.

Or move the lose purpose. I think a lot of people lose purpose after they leave college because their purpose was to be a student. But now their purpose is to work and that's not nearly as fulfilling, I think for a lot of people, because now they're just an employee, that was always the end game.

But I think a lot of people don't think it through until that point. And so there's a few things, which is one, if you're really having a problem with your job, and it's not that there's anything really wrong at your job, it might just be that you need to start your own side thing. It's okay. If your job doesn't fulfill you, your job is a way to make money so you can pay your bills.

That's what our job is. There are very few people who their job is their passion, and that is okay. Work. And if you're not doing your work, then it makes sense that you're not really passionate about it. A lot of people feel a burden to feel passionate about their job. You don't have to feel passionate about your job.

You have to feel passionate or grateful about what your job allows you to do, or, and that means if you want freedom of your time, you want to try to build a thing you want to spend time with your family. Doesn't matter. But that you need to sort out if that's the feeling of the discontent. And then the last thing is that, and I've heard this from a lot of people who are like, I'm going to go back and get a master's, but they're ashamed of the fact that they don't think they're making enough money, which everything about that makes me sick to my stomach.

It is okay to want to make the amount of money that you want to make. There's a lot of us that have not been told that it is okay. To want to make the amount of money that you want to make. If you want to make 70 K a year and you're making 40 right now, that is okay, there's something wrong with that.

You need to figure out how to make it happen. But being discontent with a job that pays you less than your goal salary is fine. You should be discontent because you're not where you want to be. And there's nothing wrong or problematic about that. I had somebody once who was, he was saying he wanted to go back and get a master's degree and he's like I don't want to make too much money.

10 minutes before, he'd been talking about how he couldn't afford to live. I was like, dude, your problem is the money. It is okay. If the problem is the money and that is a problem that can be solved.

Ryan: Yeah, I guess that all goes to say that the first thing is identifying why you're discontent, identifying why you feel like you need to go back to college.

Why you need to go and get that master's degree. Why you need to finish your degree? Why do you need to get the second degree? And that's a difficult conversation to have. You have to be brutally honest with yourself, write it down. That really helps. It's easiest. A lot of times, sometimes you can improve your situation in your current job.

You don't have to go, you don't even have to stop working at that company. You can. If it's the money, ask for a raise. If it's the people move departments, if it's time that if it's the job title, ask for a different job title and then move to a different company, doing the same thing.

If it's time ask for a four-day work week, all very simple that could possibly be done. If you just ask the questions of why you're discontent and why you want to go back to college.

So the second factor is going to be getting a new job and getting a new job. It sounds simple, right. But a lot of times people need to be given permission. It's it feels like people need to be given permission to pursue something different than what they went to school for. It seems like they're waiting. They're like what do you want to do? I want to be a sports anchor. Okay. What'd you go to school for economics?

All right. That's fine. Who cares? Go and go in and start getting coffee for. Sports anchors, go in, see if you can work in a newsroom or start a YouTube channel about sports, whatever, just start.

Hannah: A lot of people are waiting on permission though. They're waiting on the college to give them permission to pursue that.

Ryan: And then, so I think the most important part about getting getting a new job is making sure that you're finding a job where you're learning new skills. Does it matter what those skills are, but just where you're learning skills

Hannah: Different than you were before.

Ryan: And that you're mentally stimulated and that hopefully you feel more fulfilled.

It all stems back to asking you those questions, to asking yourself those questions about why you feel like you need to go back to college. It's a very expensive endeavor. Oftentimes we found to be unnecessary and sometimes a lot of people say I can't take a pay cut. I don't know anything about that field.

You don't always have to take a pay cut i n order to switch jobs.

Hannah: You also don't have to necessarily quit the current job that you have in order to switch jobs. Get a second job.

Ryan: Exactly. Work more. Difficult. I know.

Hannah: People don't like that.

Ryan: Difficult

Hannah: But it's true. It's if you want more money, if you want more skills, if you want a different job, but you aren't ready to leave the stability of the job, you're in, get another job.

People hate that. Cause it's the whole one job should be enough, dude. It's not enough if you're discussing. And you need to change your situation

Ryan: and you need to change your situation. You don't know how to do it, and you don't want to go into debt. You don't want to keep paying money. You don't want to pay money in order to fix the problem.

There's a way that you can fix the problem that is just going to require more time. And you're going to actually make more money doing so I think that's, I think that's definitely the second factor is getting a new job, re-tooling, making sure that you're just learning something new, make sure that you're stimulating yourself and making sure that you're taking care of the reason of why you thought that you needed to go to college in the first place.

Hannah: Okay. So there's two smaller points to this one that I'd like to make. One is if you're looking for another job and you're not currently in a sales job, that is a very useful field because it's applicable to almost everything. It can help you get more jobs. It can help you with networking.

It can help you. Understand how to present situations and present solutions to the company you're at. It can just help with a lot of aspects of your professional life and your personal one actually. But that's that's a good point. And the other point that I'd want to make that really has nothing to do with this, but it's into the why you're discontent and  just addressing the way people are feeling in that general feeling of Discontentment. They're not really sure what's going on. If you're going to get a second job, and this is specially too, if you are, if you're looking to be around a different kind of person.

If you want to switch, if you want to have some variety with the type of people that you work around, or there's a specific type of person that you want to work around, or to be honest with you, if you are looking for a significant other, it's a good idea to work in a different sort of environment than you work in now.

This is a weird thing to say, but it's just true. Like a good example is I have a lot of friends who are teachers, they're all women and they do complain quite a bit that there's no men in their field. And quite a few of them are not super happy with their jobs lower elementary school education.

And so I said, oh why don't you get a second job working in a law office? Or as a receptionist at a construction company, because you're going to be working around dudes, and it's a different environment. It's a different environment. And so it'll give you some variety, like some spice of life, so I think that's true, like for men and women and no matter what you're trying to achieve, but if you want to be around people who are into videography, then you need to go work at a videography company because those people are going to be able to help you learn more about it. You're going to meet people that are like-minded, you're gonna meet that are going to challenge you.

And I think that's just a universally good thing to say. And you can meet people who are going to help you along your journey. So I think the last thing is, if you are discontent with the money you're making or you're discontent because you just feel like you're not really your, job's not your passion which shocker, most people's jobs, aren't their passion and that's okay. And you want to feel some sort of ownership or like you're building something for yourself.

It's start a business. And I know that now, especially with all of the like hustle and like entrepreneurship and all the flash words and stuff, that's culturally just really seems to be everywhere right now.

There is something to building your own. And to teaching yourself things, to build your own thing. It really does not matter what it is. If you want to start a pet rock store and you care about that a lot, then you're going to teach yourself skills that help you sell pet rocks.

If you want to start a traveling musical theater group, you're still going to be building your own thing. You're going to be bringing people together. You're going to be doing work and you're going to be teaching yourself things that you care about because it's your thing, and you're building it. You don't have to learn things you don't want to learn.

You do have do learn things you do want to learn and you can follow your own instincts and your own passions, and you can create something out of nothing that's yours. And there's a lot of value to that. And just personal growth that I think also comes from it and also money. If you can make it successful and success is a relative term.

So success means. If you want to make 60 K a year and you're at a job that makes the college graduate average, which is 40 K a year after taxes. And you want to make 60 K and you can create some sort of side business that makes 20 K a year you're. Now you've kept your stability. You've created your own thing that gave you the outlet for creativity and to challenge yourself.

And now you're also at the salary level that you want to be at. And that is, that sounds like a win to me. I think that after that the desire to go get any degree, pretty much evaporates because it no longer has a function. Or because people feel less lost in their career professional goals.

Ryan: I think one of the things too, about starting a business, we've mentioned it before, but say, it's worth saying again, if you're thinking about, if anything, about going this route, you think that's going to fulfill you then that's I think that's going to move the needle about how you feel.

Definitely do it. The biggest tip that we always have is don't quit your job. Don't quit your job in order to do especially at the beginning pre-revenue while you're still, while you're still in the idea phase just don't do it.

Hannah: I get a cold sweat.

Ryan: It's not smart. The one of the things not. Is the easiest thing to do when you're thinking about doing this, if you are going to be doing this as a side thing at first, and it could possibly become a main thing, hopefully, maybe we'll see, is that one of the easiest things to do.

And we talked about this a little bit before, but you can start a services business, starting a services business. It's pretty simple. It's one of the simplest things that there is, it's not easy. Just simple. They're gonna come up with a service that you can do. You're going to go to somebody. They're gonna pay you to do it.

And then you're going to leave. It's that simple, just as simple as not easy, that's very difficult, but simple. And it's a way for you to immediately get some cash. And one of the things that's really not talked about enough, I feel is the mental boost that's going to give you,

Hannah: It's also hard and it can be very depressing and lonely at the same time.

Not to scare you away from it because realistically speaking, that's just true also.

Ryan: Absolutely but when you can make that sale, it just. Makes you feel alive, it makes you feel good. It makes you feel different, especially if you've never sold something of your own, you could be in sales, you can be in sales and you can sell whatever it is.

You can sell vacuums all day. And yeah. Is it fun to close sales? Absolutely. You can sell timeshares is it fun to close thousands of dollars of deals. Absolutely. You can sell jet engines. Is that awesome? Absolutely. There's something about selling something that you made or that you're doing that just gives you that pride.

And if that's one of the things that you wrote down is pride or like just feeling down. That definitely can be a mood adjuster. I know, cause I've done it. I know because I've, it's difficult. It's difficult, but it definitely helped feeling down. Don't know what to do.

Hannah: Try something, try it, try to build something, trying to make something,

Ryan: Make it happen.

Hannah: It sounds it sounds simple because it is it's as simple as me right now, taking a broom out of our house and just going to the neighbors and saying for 20 bucks, I'll sweep your entire driveway. That's the services. I just want people to understand that is how simple that is.

How simple the thing we're talking about is it's going around with a bottle of Windex and rag to people's house and saying, Hey, I'll clean the outside of your windows, 60 bucks. That's a services business. And there is pride in having the courage to ask the question and then having someone say yes to you, because eventually if you ask enough people, somebody will and man, is that cool?

It's cool.

Ryan: Yeah. And I think for this problem or for what these people are struggling with, which is, not knowing what to do instead of going back to school. A lot of what we find is that same thing with originally not going to school is they just need permission.

We've seen it time and time again when we tell somebody, Hey, you don't have to go back to school. I've never been told that before.

Hannah: It's just, no one's ever told me that before.

Ryan: Everybody always tells you to go back to school.

You're not obligated to do, you're not obligated to, if there's a really good reason to go back and you can make the logical argument of.

Hannah: Like you're going back to be a surgeon. Okay. Fair enough.

Ryan: Yeah. And then you can make the logical argument about maybe you're in such an esoteric field that you absolutely need a college degree or that you absolutely need a master's degree. You absolutely need to go back or you're in a field where going back to school is going to elevate you to the next level. For some reason, say in the current pay structure, in the current pay structure, that's exactly what I was thinking, what I was going for. Exactly. And that goes back to, and that goes to doing the math on it and just approaching it as a financial decision instead of approaching it as some.

What we see a lot, which is like an attitude adjustment, which is just grasping at straws. A lot of what we see all the time. And I know because I was that person, a lot of what we see is that people are just grasping at straws. People are just thinking, I don't know what to do. This is what I'm going to do.

I'm going to go back to school. I'm not fulfilled in my job. I'm going to go back to school.

I think in a lot of fields that the pay is a little bit on the lower end and the and getting a master's degree will give you a slight raise. I would urge people who are using that rationale to be very careful.

I think that a lot of times. If you actually did the math on it is not actually worth it. I think that's a status thing. I think that's a status. And I think that's a status symbol and I think you need to be very careful of by about caving into that, just because you think it'll make your coworkers look at you a little bit differently.

Who cares if you're going to come out the other end of it financially worse? That's huge. I think a lot of people end up going back because of that. They want to get looked at a certain way.

I agree with you. Just to kind of give you an example of that, or like of what they could possibly look like. This is just an example off the top of my head that I can think of right now.

So say, if you're a teacher in the public school system and in order to be a teacher in the public school system.  I'm not sure where you're located, but here in Hawaii, let's say you need to have a college degree. You need a college degree in order to be a teacher.

It doesn't matter what you call the degree and literally it doesn't matter what you call the degrees and you can have a college. You could have done a frickin create your own college degree and literally done your college degree in anything. You know what I mean? And I'm going to do a college degree on

Hannah: Wooden table historical studies

Ryan: Exactly on people that have had

Hannah: Fibers

Ryan:  two left feet. In history, famous people that have done had two left feet in history okay. And that's pretty specific. I don't understand how that's relevant at all to teaching the youth, but anyway, I digress. Thank you. So one of the, one of the things that we see a lot is like in, in that type of field.

Okay. In order to get paid more. You have to get a master's so you get a master's degree and then you get paid more. What I find from the teachers that I've talked to that have gotten master's degrees. I've asked them, how much did you pay for your master's degree? Okay. What are the monthly payment?

Okay. What, how much of an increase, how much of an, of a pay increase did you get? What was the pay increase on the backside of the benefits? Are you going to, when you retire, are you, does that increase the pension amount that you're getting? Okay. It does how much these are really basic.

Never have I ever gotten an answer? To all of those questions. Never

Hannah: Because they don't know.

Ryan: Majority of the people don't know because it's a status thing. I agree. I agree with you. That's just, I'm not picking on teachers or anything. Just use an example of

Hannah: No. That's a great field where that's standard practice.

Ryan: Just using that as an example, right?

It would make sense. It would make sense that you did do the math on it. It would make sense that you. Okay. My degree costs this much. This is how much my monthly payments are going to be. It's going to increase my annual pay by this much. Okay. That makes sense. Cashflow wise, I'm going to make it an extra $500.

It's going to it's only gonna cost me an extra $300. It's only going to cost me $300. Okay. That's an extra $200. That's an extra $200 a month for the next 20 years. It's only gonna cost me nights and weekends for two years to get my master's degree. All right. Maybe that math does work out for you and I'll.

I'm not saying that all teachers don't do it. I'm not picking up. I'm not picking on teachers.

Hannah: You're not picking on teachers, but teachers are the best example are one of the best examples of an industry where they are. They're pressured to go back and get a degree, but oftentimes it doesn't seem like they do the financial analysis.

The one that I remember the most, I actually did have one. I was much younger though, and I was much less I didn't have the opinion that I have now about this. And I didn't have the viewpoint that I have now about this, but it was a guy and he had paid for a master's degree at some fancy school.

And he had gone straight from his undergrad to his master's program to become a teacher. But when we had the conversation about how much she was, but I'm not even gonna say it was a lot. It was a lot of money. He did not have a scholarship and his parents didn't pay for it. He was paying for it. Or I think he had like a small amount of merit aid, but it was, it didn't even matter.

And he was like, oh, I'm going to go get my master's cause then I'm going to get paid more as a teacher. And he came out here because it was getting, he was getting paid slightly more and he. He was a math teacher, which makes the whole thing even worse. But basically. As somebody who is not educated about math and who was not anywhere near as educated about this as I am now, I looked at that.

I was like, dude, he's never gonna make that back. He's literally never going to make it back. I don't know how much the raises, it's not enough for the amount that this guy paid. It was upwards of $200,000.

Ryan: And that's just another point just real quickly. And it's a little I'm digressing, but a good example of that.

So like just sticking on the example that we're doing right now, which is the teachers, but at this, any field that.

Hannah: Also not, I didn't say he paid $200,000 for his master's, he paid 200 to over $200,000 for everything altogether. So that's what people don't think. I don't know.

Ryan: Just to stick on the example that we're talking about right now, which is teachers, we're just using that as an example.

One of the things that I feel like doesn't happen very often is doing cold, calculated math. What I mean by that is instead of going to the nearest school, instead of going to a name brand master's program, you instead, you shop around and you figure out what the cheapest master's program is.

Maybe. Why would you do that? You would do that because the cheaper you can get your master's degree. The more upside you're going to get on that pay raise. Cause that pay raise is set.

Hannah: And supposedly a pay raise is the point.

Ryan: Right? Exactly. The pay raise is set and since the pay raise is set, the only thing that you can adjust is your cost.

And so if you can bring your costs down as much as possible, then that then you make all of that.

Hannah: We're getting a little technical here, but this is actually a financial. Principle, which is you make money when you buy something that Ryan has frequently tells me. And just explain, can you explain that a little bit more?

Ryan: Yeah, sure. I just quickly, I guess it's it's just a common saying is you don't make money when you sell, you make money when you buy. So it just basically be conscious of the price of which you purchase goods, whether that's especially investible assets, that's what it's talking about. But. The lower you can get the price.

The more upside you're going to get eventually when you sell it.

Hannah: Especially when your upside is fixed in this case.

Ryan: Exactly. And your upside's fixed in this case, because you can go to your union or you can go to that public school that employs you and it'll tell you exactly how much you're going to get paid.

Okay. Perfect. The reason why you're getting this master's degree is so that you can get paid more. Okay. I know that this is gonna this, when I talk about this pisses, a lot of people. The reason why pisses a lot of people off is because it's, like I said, it's cold. It's calculated a lot of people.

A lot of people would be like I want to get a quality education, but you just told me that you want, you just told me that you want to go back to get your master's degree, to get more money, to make more money. Is it about getting a quality education or is it about making more money.

Hannah: Or as I perceive it, it's about status.

It's about saying that I have this, or even the flashy of I'm going back to get my whatever. It's a thing to tell people it's like driving. It's like keeping up with the Joneses. It's like driving a nice car. I think for a lot of people, it's a status symbol.

Ryan: And so , I think that people don't do that type of analysis and it's something that needs to happen a little bit more often start thinking about college as a financial decision start thinking about the upside of going start, thinking about the upside of going back.

Start thinking about the downside. Start thinking about how you can mitigate the downside risk. If you can get it cheaper, if you can get somebody to pay for it, if you can get better loans.

Hannah: Another group that really should should do that too: is nurses. Nurses are another group that, that happens to a lot where they go get a master's in nursing and they're not being untruthful when they say that you'll get a raise and you'll make more, what they're not addressing is the fact that you might be paying more than you're gonna get.

Yes, you might be making more in your salary, but when someone is telling you that they're not taking into account because it's your job to take it into account for yourself to protect yourself is what you're paying out and what you're going to be paying out, because yes, you might be making more, but you might not be covering the costs that you're about to incur on yourself.

Ryan: It's not only that too. It's also the opportunity cost of the time.

Hannah: And the money.

Ryan: It's the time it's opportunity cost. It's not only the money though. It's the opportunity cost of actually going to school of going back to get your master's. When you can literally be doing anything else you don't have to be starting a business or anything like that, but you can literally be, just be cruising on your car.

Hannah: You could be watching Netflix.

Ryan: Literally just be cruising on your couch. Spending time with your husband, spending time with your wife, spending time with your kids, spending time with your family, spending time with your friends, literally doing anything else, literally doing anything else in the world.

But no you're going to be studying to get your master's degree.

So I think this is a perfect place to wrap up. I think there's is a perfect place. I think we covered a lot here. We definitely went on a lot of tangents. Sorry. Thanks for hanging in. Thanks for hanging in there with us, if you made it this far.

Hannah: Yeah.

Ryan: Basically, this is something that we get all the time, what to do instead of going back to school, whether or not it's your first degree, whether or not your second degree, whether or not you've never gone to college before, whether or not you've dropped out, whatever, if you're not in school. And you're thinking about going back for it for some reason, biggest thing is figure out the why, figure out why you want to go back, figure out.

What in your life is causing you to feel that discontentment.

Hannah: And what's the minimum thing you can do to alleviate it and see if it helps.

Ryan: That's the second step. The first step is identifying it. Got to be honest with yourself. It's going to be brutal. It always is. Write it down, analyze it. Second, second step. As Hannah said, figuring out the minimum.

The minimum amount of things that you need to do in order to alleviate those things. Something as simple as asking to go down to a four day.

Hannah: Yeah. Like Ryan said, figure out if it figure out what it is, figure out why it's bothering you and then figure out what you can do about it, which is, do you want time?

Do you want money? Do you want passion? Do you want ownership over something and stewardship over something? Figure out what it is that you want to have. Do you want more freedom? Do you want to be able to travel? What's the goal? And then once you have that, and there's no wrong answer to that, either.

There, there is no wrong answer. It's different for everyone.

So if you can't, if you're, once you think about the why, then you think about the what and see if you can get yourself a different. See, if you can get a second job, see if you can get a job that you're just learning something that's interesting to you, or see if there's some way for you to change the job that you're at now currently also and learn something that's going to be valuable to you.

Sales is a really good one cause it's transferable to everything and it might help you find a better opportunity in the future. Another thing too, about getting a new job as is that you might be able to change either the people who are around you. Not necessarily that they're a problem, but maybe they are, but you can also just change the variety of people you're around.

You can try to get a job around people who are interested in what you're interested in. If you're looking to date or just be exposed to different sort of people, then you can get a job where the workplace is majority men have of the opposite gender, just to add a little spice of life and make mix up your coworkers.

And yeah, that's and then also changing your environments. If you have moved to a new city and get a different job, cause that's what you want to do. And the third thing is going to be if you're lacking purpose and passion in a job, that's not really surprising because a job is somebody else's work.

Do your own work. And by that, we mean start your own business or project. But a business is a good thing because it can help you meet salary goals and it might allow you to have an outlet for creativity and purpose and learning without you having to risk the stability of your current job.

Awesome. And you might be able to change your situation without risking your current job and stability, which is great.

Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. I can't say it enough. Don't quit your job .

Hannah: Please. For the love of Barbara Corcoran, don't quit your job.

Ryan: Don't quit your job. Start a side business, start a side hustle. I know it's overplayed.

I know people talk about it all the time. Hustle, culture, this hustle culture. That cause I really, what we're talking about, just start, just do something.

Hannah: We're talking about. Small changes, try stuff.

Ryan: Absolutely. Guys, thanks so much for hanging out with us today. I know that was a long one. We're very glad to have you here.

If you guys liked this episode, you guys want to hear more like this, please subscribe, please. Please leave a review. It helps people find our podcasts. It helps to get the word out about it. If you've got it. Yeah. If you guys have any questions, you guys can hit us up on our website degreefreenetwork.com.

There are emails up on there. You can go ahead and send us an email. If you guys are thinking about applying some of this stuff that we talked about in your own life, on, on that website degree for your network, we have a guide we've compiled. All these episodes are basically compiled all there, neatly in that guide for you, you can go ahead and read it, do the worksheet, figure it out, and then, apply it in your own life.

That being said, the resources are out there and available everywhere. Just take some time to take some time to look for it. Keep listening to our podcasts. Keep coming up with great questions. We get great questions all the time. Yeah, we might answer you. Absolutely. All right guys, until next time. Aloha!

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