As I’ll be graduating from my engineering school this year, it got me thinking about the big time investment that studying is. It was 8 years ago that I decided to study for a Master of Science in Engineering in Information Technology with a master in Industrial Management, a 5 year program.
For someone who is 18 and about to finish high school, taking on another 5 years seems like a big decision and frankly, harder than taking on a job in retail/hotels/restaurants etc. But I think that choosing to study in a field like engineering (for example), is actually the easy way out. While the studies themselves are hard, it’s for a limited amount of time and comes with great rewards. This type of studies offer opportunities that makes the remaining time much easier.
It includes security in the form of unique and attractive knowledge. Most of which is crucial for future development, a little depending on the field. This in turn provides job security (not for one employer, but in the market as a whole). In Sweden, the average entry salary for an engineer surpasses the maximum salary of a retail sales associate without provision, based on the commercial agreement (handelsavtal) by hundreds of dollars. Thereafter it’s a steep climb both in the private and public sector. Something that directly affects things like life quality, pensions and opportunities. The education and knowledge also makes it easier to switch markets and careers without starting from scratch.
So I consider studying to be the easy way out. An investment of a few years for a lifetime of nice benefits and opportunities.