Getting a degree versus getting an education

Too often, we focus conversations about learning plans around getting a degree. There is an implicit assumption in these conversations that getting a degree and getting an education go together.

But, that need not be the case.

You can get a degree without getting an education – there are plenty who do. And, conversely, thanks to books and the internet, you can get an education without getting a degree.

There are good reasons to get a degree. Moving geography, improving career prospects, learning from top Professors and a motivated peer group, taking a break, etc., could all, in combination, be good reasons. But, if the only reason to get a degree is – “I want to learn management” or “I want to learn machine learning” – I would reconsider.

We have more options to pursue learning in subjects we are interested in than ever before. We can buy books, subscribe to online courses, create a peer learning group around these materials, start a blog sharing insights or do all of these together.

We can choose to not get the business of getting a degree interfere with our desire to get an education.