Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Love or Logic

December 21 Reverb Broads
If you returned (or went, if you've never been) to college to study anything you want, what would you major in, and why?
Matt at

Does one go back to school for logic or love? In a world where neither time nor money are constraints does one obtain additional education to advance their profession or their passion?

I obtained an MS in Project Management because I felt it would advance me professionally.  I did well and enjoyed it, but I certainly wouldn't say that I had a passion for it.  On an almost weekly basis I think  I should go back to school and get a degree in engineering (mechanical, I think) and/or statistics.  Statistics is just a natural connection to my love of spreadsheets.  As for the engineering I seem to have ended up in the medical device and automation fields.  Going to back to school for subject of those could make my recent jobs a career.

But I've done enough reading, especially Kohn's Punished by Rewards, to know that I should go back to school under an intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation.

I love books, but I don't think I could be a literature major.  The few literature classes I've taken make me realize how much I miss when I read books.  I think I would rather just read on my own time.

I was a credit short of a philosophy minor in undergrad.  I suppose I could go back and study that.

But really, at the end of the day, my love is sociology and gender.  I already have a BA in Sociology. Just today, Emily's husband posted this article about girls and Lego on his Facebook page.  I love studying women's roles, men's roles, intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, in-group and out-group relations, systems and bureaucracies.  How do religion, the economy, war and myriad other pressures create generational groups?  How are my Gen X'ers different than today's snowflakes, and yesterday's baby boomers? Did you know that marriages get worse and more violent as the economy gets worse, but the divorce rate drops? That's gender studies and sociology wrapped up into one pretty bow.

Yep, I'm pretty sure I could go back and take gender studies and sociology classes. And guess what, there are a lot of stats to be had there, too. 

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