Here’s a rare, but not unheard of conundrum that comes up occasionally; you are working as an intern and the boss is so impressed, s/he offers you a job right then and there – but you’re still several semesters away from completing your degree.
Let’s weigh some of the “pros and cons” of whether or not you should complete a degree program now, later, or never.
There are many reasons why you would want to bypass education.
First of all, although the college years are a great deal of fun, they are also stressful – and in the U.S., ruinously expensive. Most U.S. college students graduate with a crushing load of debt, and there is no chance of a “bail-out” from Congress for these people (although in some fields such as education, agricultural science, and medicine, the Federal government offers debt cancellation in whole or part in exchange for working for a time in certain regions with particular needs, such as inner city neighborhoods and Indian reservations).
Frankly, the “romance” of being a “starving student” wears off – fast.
Secondly, no one wants to miss an ideal job opportunity, especially with today’s unforgiving job market. The temptation is especially hard to ignore when the intern is positioned with a front-running company with exceptional promise for continued growth, therefore, presenting attractive career growth for the intern as well.
Finally, education is exhausting. When those last semesters arrive, students often show duress and are all too willing to shift their focus on new goals, projects, and yes, employment. Tempting!
There are many reasons why you would not want to bypass education.
First of all, despite the fact that management has taken a liking to you (and this is NO bad thing), nobody likes a quitter. It may seem to be in your short-term interest to jump ship at college and sign on to the company today, one of the things companies look for in a candidate is the ability to follow through. The fact that you quit college may not seem like a big deal today, but it will come back to bite you later on. Management may be disappointed today if you turn down a position, but it is more likely they’ll respect you for it later on (or at least in the morning).
Secondly, chances are you will need that diploma as a credential at some point. If you delay getting a degree today, it will only cost you more tomorrow – a lot more.
Finally, there is a great deal of satisfaction in having that sheepskin – and having it will go a long way toward you getting employment in the future.
Merge Both Worlds
Certainly, there are ways to make both work for you. For example, countless colleges have evening and weekend class schedules, and an increasing number have taken on impressive online curricula to cater to working students. Your decision will likely be made against certain variables; i.e. your financial situation, your motivation level, what drives you, the “sweetness” of the job offer, and so on.
What should you do?
Looking at some of the pros and cons on whether to accept a job offer or finish your degree, ultimately you are the only person who can make this decision.