What is a formal education worth?

I have a formal education degree in History. What does this degree give me? A sense of satisfaction that I can commit to something and finish it. What is this degree worth to the working world? Nothing. I spent years of my life learning about dead civilizations and long forgotten battles all for it to be unappreciated by the working world. The harshest lesson I learned happened when I finished university and found out that in order to start working on my field, I would need to go back and get a masters or doctorate. If I didn’t want to do that, my only other choice was to go get a separate teaching degree in order to be allowed to teach in a school.

Our society has set up so many barriers to getting a job that it’s no wonder we have such a high volume of over educated and under employees people between the ages of 25 and 45. We were told that getting a degree would open up jobs for us but all it has done was close doors because we either A) don’t have the experience or B) don’t know the right people to get us in the door.

To address the former, how do you get experience if no one will hire you? The western answer is, you do it for free. How do you pay off your student debt if you are working for free? You can’t. So what are you left with? Getting a job not in your field so that you can pay your bills. What does this leave you with? No time to volunteer your hours to get the experience needed. At the end of the day, you end up wasting your degree and education because you lose it by not using it. As for latter, if you just happy to be lucky enough to know someone else in the field you hope to work in, then you get the boost ahead of the pack. Is this fair? Hell no but it’s the way it is and not much can change that.

This is where I am, I have this pretty piece of paper on my wall that says that I have earned a degree of knowledge in History. I used my ability to double check facts by using primary sources to find out if something someone says is true or not but as for my knowledge of the US civil war goes, not really useful. I mean, yeah, it gives me an idea as to why the US has so many elephants in the room that no one is talking about but other than that, it’s not really useful in a working environment. I only wish someone had told me before I started university that I would not be cut out for being researcher and let me just follow a different path.

To come back to the point of having an education in something but you cannot find work without having experience is directly relevant to my current career choice, teaching yoga. I am a relatively new teacher with less than a hundred hours of post education teaching experience. I have two hundred hours of training experience plus my three years of practice before my training as a teacher. I have talked to many other new teachers and we all the same problem. We have found that we have to find other ways to gain experience.

I have been lucky enough that I have friends that support me and want to help get me started by offering to pay for my services and help them to grow their yoga. It is because of their help that I now have 50 plus hours of teaching experience under my belt and I am forever thankful for their support. I am now getting the point where I want to start looking for opportunities to teach in yoga studios to further grow my skills as a teacher.

My biggest blockers are:

1. I have to have a full time job to pay my bills, which makes my availability less desirable.

2. My self doubt about my abilities as a teacher.

3. My fear of rejection and my fear of messing up when being put on the spot in an interview.

At the end of the day, I don’t want my failure with my bachelor’s degree to soil my development as a yoga teacher. I am aware that it will take up to ten years to gain a reputation as a teacher and I am willing to do the work for that. There is an end goal here and it’s a bright one.

I just want to thank everyone who has supported me along this journey, it means more than I can ever say.

Love, Clara.


8 thoughts on “What is a formal education worth?

  1. No matter how long as it take, time is not important. Life is important, to experience it fully.
    My favorite quote “I know what I know, I do not know what I do not know”……..
    The teacher training turbocharged my wisdom (what a great teachers we had!!) now I have to learn
    to allow this wisdom to come trough. Detach from old patterns, habbits what hold me like an Iron glove….

    As Sai Baba say: “Be a Spiritual Lion”

    Just Do It……Don’t Know What I Don’t Know….
    Life giving us the action, the action to see how we thinking. In my experience the more I think I am getting
    further from the truth.

    :)) Peace



  2. First of all thank you for the amazing article, now I don’t regret my decision.
    In India it takes 3 years to get a graduation degree and I was in my second year of arts/humanity with economics, political science and history as my subjects. I woke up everyday at 4am to go to college and find out whatever was taught in college was irrelevant without any practical application. So I decided to drop out even after scoring O grade.
    It was a tough decision. The information which we forced to mug up was useless. I realised that there is a different between information and knowledge and wisdom. But I am thankful for the past years as they inculcated many useful skills and values such as time management, getting up early, socialising, etc.
    Now I’m 19 and very happy yoga teacher 🙂


    1. Thank you for your comment and kind words. I am happy to hear that you have also found a calling in teaching yoga. It must be amazing to be learning it in India. I hope to go there someday.


      1. You are always welcome. Don’t worry about hotels and accommodation. I’m there 😉😊


  3. Ignore the mistakes, didn’t edit it. Wrote in excitement 😅😉


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