Is a Bachelor's degree essential for a happy marriage?


#1

I am getting married next summer, but I am torn about going on to get a Bachelor’s degree. I will have my Associates Degree after this semester. My parents approve of the marriage, but they are pressuring me to postpone pregnancy for year after we get married and finish my Bachelor’s degree. Once we have children, unless an un-foreseen circumstance arises, I will be a stay at home mother. Do you think it is necessary to get a Bachelor’s? Or is it worth saving $25,000 dollars and settling with an Associates?


#2

Absolutely it is! Not for a happy marriage, but for a secure life for you and your children should anything ever happen to you husband. It will make you a more well rounded person over all, and open up wider opportunities for you. And there are no guarantees you will become pregnant either. If you never become a stay at home mom, you may wish to work, and then you will need that degree.

Consider the long term and your family’s security. Being employable is never a bad thing.

~Liza


#3

Here’s the deal. It’s never a bad idea to be prepared for the worst. Many women are widowed early in life-- through illness or accident. Things you never think will happen to you, do happen. A job layoff, a serious illness in the family racks up a debt, etc.

That said, in this day and age, a bachelor’s is a minimum requirement for many decent paying jobs. A degree in a well-rounded field such as business, or a skilled field such as nursing or teaching-- is a fall back position and can also be useful in your home life if you do stay at home. It can be used for volunteering, running your household, and educating your children.

Is it a necessity? No. But, I think it’s prudent. Can you work on your degree part-time, over a period of years, while having a family? Yes. But, it’s hard.

So, ultimately it’s your decision but I don’t think your parents are far off the mark.


#4

It will also be a good way to prepare for being the primary caregiver and teacher of your future children.

Like others have said, God’s plans for you may not be what you currently envision. Being as prepared for life as you can be - education-wise, spiritually, economically - is a good idea and shows maturity and wisdom.

What does your fiance think?


#5

a colege degree isn’t valuable for all the esoteric hogwash people talk about. (not those in this forum, i mean counselors and adults in general)

it’s an award given by a college or university that shows you, the graduate, have mastered sitting, being quiet and doing what you are told to, and submitting to authority in a proper manner.

THAT is what makes it so valuable to the business world.

all businesses want people who will listen, do what they are told and obey authority, that is what a degree proves to them.
No company or business wants a rebel, no one wants a loose cannon that thinks outside the box. that scares most business people more than they’ll ever admit. they’ll say ad nauseum they want 'lateral thinkers who think outside the box"… pure bunk. they want competent, intelligent people who, most importantly, can take direction well. College is no measure of intelligence or character, but it does show you know how to do what you’re told…


a degree will not get you a job. YOU will get you a job. if you’re close, i’d finish. not wanting to isn’t a good reason.

but don’t think that with a degree you guarantee success… i know plenty of communications and english majors who do nothing related to their degree.


do what you love, do it well and exclusively, persue what you love like a pitbull clamping down on a 4 pound sirloin in it’s jaw, stay single minded of purpose and i promise…the money will follow.


#6

Seems I am going to be the dissenting vote here. You have your associates - that is good. You want to be a stay at home mom, that is good.

The prudent thing to do is make sure your soon to be husband has a very good life insurance policy so should you have to you can use the money from it to continue to live and pay for your bachelors degree and then get that job to support you and any children you have. In the meantime use that associated degree to get a job to start building a savings. Don’t spend that money you make if you can help it, learn to live on one income so if the most horrible happens you are ready for it yourself.

I don’t have a bachelors degree (I have enough college to be considered to having an associates though and could easily take the test here in NM to become an Educational Assistant if I had to) we also have good insurance on my husband. My children are grown now and I am still young.

Brenda V.


#7

No, I don’t have one and am very happy in my marriage. I have my husband, we would have a bunch of kids if we could (infertility issues.) I am happy and fulfilled in my career as a wife and future mother. I need nothing else to be satisfied.

It might prove beneficial to have a degree if something ever happened to your husband. I have two years of college also, and I know the job market usually requires four. But this is certainly something you can complete during your marriage. And you need not postpone children for it.

Even if you conceive on your wedding night, you can still complete another semester or two. Most likely you won’t conceive for at least a few months, so you could practically be done by the time baby comes. You can keep taking one or two classes (online, correspondence, or even night classes) until you finish. It might take an extra few years, but I think you will be fine.

I would go through with the wedding and be open to kids from the beginning. :thumbsup:


#8

No, I don’t have one and am very happy in my marriage. I have my husband, we would have a bunch of kids if we could (infertility issues.) I am happy and fulfilled in my career as a wife and future mother. I need nothing else to be satisfied.

It might prove beneficial to have a degree if something ever happened to your husband. I have two years of college also, and I know the job market usually requires four. But this is certainly something you can complete during your marriage. And you need not postpone children for it.

Even if you conceive on your wedding night, you can still complete another semester or two. Most likely you won’t conceive for at least a few months, so you could practically be done by the time baby comes. You can keep taking one or two classes (online, correspondence, or even night classes) until you finish. It might take an extra few years, but I think you will be fine.

I would go through with the wedding and be open to kids from the beginning. :thumbsup:


#9

This is why I earned my Bachelor’s degree. It certainly isn’t necessary for a happy marriage (although my field of study creates great conversations between my DH and me). I wanted to have one “just in case” something happened to my DH while we were still young. You never know.

And yeah, I’m a stay-at-home Mom (which was always the plan) with a Bachelor’s degree. If you want, major in something family-related, like Family Sociology or Child Development. :smiley: In all of the job interviews I’ve done, they don’t care what my degree is in, just that I have one.


#10

I know that most jobs do require four years of education, however, I have been in the working world for quite a time now, so I at least do have some job experience. We are planning on having me take a few courses at a time to finish my degree because that does see more prudent. People are telling me though that it is impossible to raise a family on a single income and that a Bachelor’s degree is absolutely essential!


#11

Neither of these are true.

A bachelor’s isn’t essential for every situation, but it sure helps. It is more difficult to go to school as a wife and parent-- but I have several friends who have done it successfully… and some that are still in the midst of the 20 year plan to get their degree.

It is not impossible to raise a family/maintain a household on one income. It requires sacrifice, but it’s not impossible, I have a ton of friends who are in one income families.


#12

Raising hand We are a single income family, and my DH is not a CEO, doctor, lawyer, or any other 6-figure earning individual. :smiley: It’s definitely possible, when you make the right choices (especially before even getting married or having children), and of course, with God’s grace.

I didn’t have any school debt (all scholarship) coming into the marriage, and we paid for our own wedding, making sure we would only buy what we could afford. We are very blessed to own a home and our family is growing every day.

We don’t enjoy a lot of luxuries (new cars, annual vacations, eating out), and we save a ton of money by doing things like breastfeeding instead of bottlefeeding, cloth diapering instead of using disposables, you get the picture. :wink:

It’s not easy, though. And some people, God bless them, no matter what they try, can’t seem to get ahead enough to make it all work. But it is definitely possible!


#13

Seems like acaemic life is not your top priority. If your associate’s degree is in something practical, like echocardiography or dental hygiene, you could always postpone the BA until after the kids are in school. SAHM is a BIG job and vocation. Even if you home school, if you are a bright, focused person, you don’t need the BA.

We overestimate the value of college today. When I was a graduate student, nearly done with my course requirements for a PhD in family counseling, I tested the job market and got questions like: “How fast can you type?”

Use your good judgment. That $25K could make half a down payment on a house.


#14

I found a lot of my peers on returning to work either re-training as their degree was out of date-think computers or childcare with its changing criteria, or decided to do something else completely which didn’t require a degree.
Degrees do not guarantee you a job. My parents both had first class degrees and my dad has been unemployed since I was small, while my mum has taken posts which fitted around family life, and did not need a degree.


#15

This issue for me is a catch 22. If I had no BA, then we wouldn’t be in debt and I could be a SAHM. Thanks to my BA, I have to work. As a college grad, I applied to hundreds of jobs in my field, all required at least a BA ( I have a degree in Communications with a concentration in Radio/TV) The ones that didn’t say you had to have a BA then you had to have at least 5-10 years of experience (not easy for a recent college grad)

I will say, that I proably have one of the cheapest and flexiable jobs there is. I can wear pj’s to work, pack my own lunch and live 10 minutes away. On top of that I get 3 weeks paid vacation and can take time off needed for personal things that don’t count against my vacation time.

We live very simply as well, but if I were to be a SAHM then my husband would have to get another job and my child would never see him. This is not what a happy marriage would look like.


#16

I vote for you to earn that BA before your kids arrive.

When I married my dh, I had an associates degree. We planned on me staying home to raise our future children. Years later, here I am attending college full-time while raising our 3 yr old and tending to household duties. It’s ROUGH and I end up feeling inadequate most days because I cannot ‘do it all’ to my satsifaction. But dh’s job can’t be trusted anymore to sustain us (not that we live a fancy lifestyle of any sort). He is in college part-time in addition to working. We rarely get time together as a family and when we do have time, we’re usually too exhausted.

Get that BA degree PRONTO! :thumbsup:

ETA: Think of all the daycare money you’ll save if you get that BA prior to having kids. We spend $100 a week for daycare. And this is on an income of under $50,000/yr (gross) in a moderately priced neighborhood (homes average $150,000) while paying for college (and taking out loans).


#17

That depends entirely upon the chosen field of study. In some fields, you can have all the desire, heart, knowledge, and skill you could possibly have but without those little letters next to your name, the door is slammed shut. This is especially the case when your dealing with practically any type of scientific or professional career. When I was 25 yrs old I had 50 and 60 year old employees who knew a great deal and were the hardest workers ever but I had a masters and they had a bachelors or no degree. Sure desire and dedication go a long way but there are thousands of jobs out there where all the desire in the world won’t even get your resume accepted even for consideration without a couple of little letters next to your name. It’s a shame to limit yourself if you have the opportunity to advance your education…


#18

What is an associates degree? Like a two year diploma or something?

I often wonder if there is any point to my aspirations of moving up in my job ( a very good one at that ) if I am also going to be having several children in the coming years. I still don’t know if I will be a stay at home mom or if I will put my kids in daycare and work between pregnancies. My husband wants to know my intentions ahead of time! How do I know? (btw he isn’t Catholic, he is rather quite secular ).

But imho, it is really important to get as much education as possible. You might be homeschooling your children and giving your children a teacher with a BA is wonderful. :wink:


#19

To answer your question - Absolutely Not. Many H.S. sweethearts are happily married for many years sans degrees. Love and understanding are essential.

The better question is: “For the well being of my family in the future, should I continue my education and get a BA?”

Answer: Absolutely - Yes.

Always hedge your bets if possible. A lot of jobs in the future will require 4 year degrees. If you should ever need one (emergencies, etc.), or go back to the work force when the kid(s) are grown - a 4 year degree will probably be required. Another option would be to finish at night while a SAHM and hubby watches the baby. That’s rough but doable.

I agree with the folks - go now while you can because it is always harder to go back later. And those “unforseen” circumstances you mention - they will come - life happens - be prepared. Good luck and God Bless.


#20

If you do go on to a 4-year degree, do it as cheaply as possible. Debt is a four-letter word. Money struggles are VERY hard on a marriage and, in fact, constitute the number one stress factor and marriage wrecker.


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