Ever since I decided to goto US for college study, my parents and I often got one question: “(You spend around 2 million RMB for college studies,) Is it worth it?”.
Different people define “worth” in different way.
My Dad firmly believes that it is worth it. In fact, it is he who “incited” me to consider go abroad for colleges (fun fact: when I finnaly decided to go abroad, he started to regret for an affecting reason: he will see me less frequently). He believes that it is benificial for me to see the world in a different way, receive education in a different way, and, have to say the truth, in a perhaps better college.
My parents say that, spending money for my colleges doesn’t mean to earn them back in the future. Education is an investment, the capital might be tuition, might be family background, or might be time and love. But the return might not necessary be the same (money, for example). My Mom loves to read book: such action won’t raise her salary, but that doesn’t mean spending time reading isn’t worth it. She simply wants to gain spiritual satisfaction and pleasure.
The same stands for those PhD students, especially those who majored in engineering: Spending another 5 years for PhD studies won’t necessarily secure a higher-salary job. Their classmates might already spend 5 years in company and raise all the way to pricinple engineer, and earn much more. But the return isn’t all about \(\)$, you can’t say they are stupid, in fact, they are the most admirable people in my opinion.
Yet many people, especially those who receive Bacholar degree in China and go to US for master degree, firmly believes that they need to earn the tuition back in 5 years, otherwise it is a unsuccessful investment. You can’t say they are wrong. In many people’s point of view, spiritual stuffs are windy, only the things you get in your hands are solid.
I don’t know my standing anymore. Previously, I believe in the former, but now, it’s like somewhere in the middle.