Recently I’ve been asked about higher education and career goals. I hear people say that they feel like they need to go back to school to get a degree or another degree. And then there are some that think they need more to be a viable candidate, achieve a promotion or start a business. Let me make it clear, I love education and I think it is a wonderful thing to want to learn more either in a formal institution or on your own. The more you know, the more you grow. There is a correlation between your educational level and lifetime salary. It has been drilled in our heads that we need to go to school and get an education or our lives will stink. And that’s kinda true. I tell my nieces, nephews and cousins to go to school and get ready for college at a young age, because the alternative is really scary. I mean what else are you gonna tell them, don’t go to college, hang out in the streets?

If you study some of the world millionaires, most of them did not finish college, some never went. Buffet, Gates, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, LeBron James, Madonna, Prince, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Mary J Blige, all entertainers except the first two, so unless you can sing, dance, play ball or rap you need a plan. Going to college is not for everyone, it can be hard work and little reward. In these tough times, having more education helps but it will not make you a millionaire. It’s not the degree or the education; it’s what you do with it. Again, schools are great but know why you are going. I would advise you not to go if you are simply doing it for a job, or for money, because if that does not happen you will be PISSED!

Go to school with a purpose, when I went back, I researched the programs available to me. I was not sure exactly what I wanted but I knew what I did not want. After reading the different programs, I felt that Human Resources was the most interesting. Once I entered the program I fell in love with it. I learned things that I always wondered about, and it forced me to make sacrifices and think critically. After I finished and received my degree, I had a huge sense of accomplishment, but there are many people in HR without those credentials. I don’t get upset; I get inspired because if they can do it, I can do it. Do it for the knowledge, the self-fulfillment and the accomplishment. When you find something you have an interest in, you can find a way to make money at it. Think about it, whatever you like doing, someone is already doing it and making a boat load of money, and you can too. You have to find a way to connect the formal education or experience piece to the practical piece in order to make it pay off for you.