Written by Carl
Due to working for a few years before embarking on this self-guided journey, I have a small cache of savings that I’m living off of while I’m pursuing this path. In addition, I wrote a book that sells well enough to generate a bit of income each month.
Choosing to pursue my own educational path rather than enrolling in a university is a more complicated topic.
I think there are some obvious benefits to doing a self-guided program: I can tailor my learnings to my own interests, I have a flexible lifestyle, which allows me to juggle the many projects that are part of this Self-Guided Masters in Education.
However, in my view, there are two strong arguments in favor of enrolling at a traditional university instead of doing what I’m doing:
The credential: It’s not a secret that one of the most valuable parts of getting any sort of higher-education is the branding or credentials that you receive. Being able to tell other people that you have a Masters in a field from a prestigious and selective institution is a shortcut to quickly establishing that you have some authority in the field, and a baseline level of commitment and interest.
The network: Another valuable asset that people who enroll in a traditional university is that you can get access to a strong alumni network. Who you know is oftentimes just as important as what you know, and I certainly believe that a traditional school may be better if you’re looking to build a network in the field quickly.
However, the question you ask is: are both of these worth the price tag? Are there other ways I can get both of the above advantages without going through a formal institution?
Personally, I believe that I can establish a network through my passion and commitment to the field. I believe that if I am honest, sincere and enthusiastic about my work, others will respond positively to me.
And while it’s true that I won’t receive a degree or credential when I complete my own program, I also believe my personal story and journey may be a stronger indication of my ability and passion than a piece of paper that indicates where I graduated from.