Was studying worth it?

I have a Bachelor of Civil Engineering and a Master of Structural Engineering. I decided to work as a software engineer. So, was it worth studying for six years?

Unfortunately, I don’t have a definite answer to this question and here are my four reasons why:

  1. The master’s degree was extremely challenging for me. As a result I got used to studying many hours a week. I actually thought I was going to fail and have to quit before the first semester was over but I decided to push through it and ended up doing ok. Every semester after that was much better than the one before and I ended up doing really well. This noticeable improvement allowed me to gain confidence in my own abilities.

  2. I can hardly remember what I did in my bachelor’s degree. I remember having a rule that I would never study past 5pm and never on weekends. What did I do with all that free time!? I remember having a lot of fun during that time and I definitely was able to gain some life experience and meet people who will always be a part of my life.

  3. Studying not only taught me how to learn but it also taught me how not to learn. A lot of what I studied was too abstract. I couldn’t really apply what I was learning. Teaching myself software development has been much more effective because I can apply what I learn straight away, which never really happened as a structural engineer.

  4. A degree is an official proof that you can accomplish something and the results you achieve are somewhat objective. It gives you a sense of credibility, which is important when applying for a job.

As you can see, I can’t really decide if studying was worth it. It definitely wasn’t a waste of time but I still don’t feel it was a very effective use of my time. I will always wonder if I could have gained similar life experiences doing something else in a shorter period. It’s also interesting to speculate what would have been had I studied computer science instead…