What can never be taken away from you

I remember those days in my senior year in college. One of my professors and dissertation tutor was very eager to remind me almost every single time we had our little tutoring appointments not to forget to invest further in education in my life and do a Masters degree abroad, preferably in the US or the UK.
A Masters degree in what? I naively asked, as I had absolutely no idea what I would like to do in my life after graduating. “It doesn’t matter, in anything” he replied. “Just keep applying”.
I took his advice. I applied in anything that looked interesting, enjoyable and within my idea of what my capabilities are. I ended up spending the next year of my life studying Literature in the UK with no particular idea or plan what to do after graduation.
Many years since I last saw my professor I recall his most compelling argument in favor of education: As I was sitting across the table he pointed towards my pink silly plastic girl handbag and said: “That might be taken away from you one day. Education cannot be removed from you.” 8 years onwards into the recession world and I wonder whether my professor has the same absolute ideas today about life investments.
For one thing, valid and remarkable as his argument might have been for different times, education and especially Masters degrees in humanities have lost their values in society together with real estate property and land. In fact, I have more faith that in the next 20 years the value of my apartment back in Athens will one day rebound to a post crisis selling price than that my Masters degree in humanities will gain some value into today’s professional jungle.
The truth is Master degrees look bad on your CV. They show you were not desperate enough and that you took your time before taking up the responsibilities of the adult world. HR cats simply hate that. They need you to be hungry, focused and ambitious and Masters Degrees prove just the opposite. More than one Masters Degree on your resume can send it directly into the trash bin, if your gender, name, nationality and age haven’t done that already.
I expect that fields like Science, Technology and Information follow different patterns. Certain certifications today can offer you more skills and professional value that 4 years in college do.
My hubby Skywalker expressed his desire to further his education and have a Masters degree one day. “Great!” I said “You will meet lots of people and have so much fun!”. And added “You should do it in the UK with the pubs and everything!” But if you really ask him about real investments he will say that gold is one of the things that do not lose their value. Don’t sell your gold, he says.
It turns out everything can be taken from you if it is one day devalued. Even your mind if you are hit by Alzheimer. So when it comes to furthering education investments, I’d say better invest in gold.

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