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>> Part 4: Get a real degree.. so you can get a well paying job. <<

I get what you are trying to say and mostly agree with it (unless you are independently wealthy and just want to study what you enjoy), but I take exception to your characterization of degrees that don't have a large, lucrative job market waiting for them as not "real degrees".

Now had you rephrased that to say "get a degree that leads to many lucrative job opportunities", I'd agree completely -- given what you are saying is the "goal" here. You won't often get to FI early majoring in philosophy. But that doesn't make a philosophy degree less than 'real'.

In fact, this mentality is what I think is part of what's wrong with higher education today" it's ONLY valued to the extent it can get you a better job, and no one cares about learning for its own sake any more. Now I'll agree that "learning for its own sake" is something fewer and fewer people can afford in this economy, given the changes in the job market and the increase in college costs, but my wife has a history degree, is a minister at a local church and currently in seminary as a candidate for future ordination. The job doesn't pay all that much but she is VERY happy doing what she is doing, and that is worth something too. The older I got, the more I realized that few people in life are more blessed than those who truly love their work. And most people who truly love their work aren't getting six figures a year.

In reality I think the best advice is a tradeoff between "study what will bring home the bacon" and "do what you love." You have to be practical... but at the same time no amount of money makes you happier if you really hate what you do and only did it for the money.

(I was a CS major and worked in the software and IT fields for nearly 26 years, by the way.)

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