Monday, December 26, 2005

Women Who Wish to be Mothers Must Plan Accordingly

Finally a common sense assessment of the actual costs versus perceived benefits of various college degrees from census data. Which I might add, at this point, is the only data I trust. Sadly today much data is put out by either so-called advocacy groups, or even these internationally based non-governmental organizations, which stand to profit from the statistics they release. Frequently they appear to ‘juice’ up the problem they are organized to address, thus getting a larger amount of the budget pie then the real numbers would have entitled them too. Using this approach no problem can ever be solved nor any public policy ever created to effectively address it, as this would mean some group would not be able to get the same share or even a bigger share of public funding once this happened.

Anyway this topic is particularly important to women in their role as mothers for a number of reasons.

Firstly, of course, is the timeline element of investing years in an education when this investment is structured to take place during the same precious years that are also the most fertile of a women’s reproductive life. Women’s fertility timeline is far shortly then men. Pretty much we know this now after Sylvia Ann Hewitt’s book “Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children” came out. Prior to this getting realistic information from anyone regarding our reproductive timeline was like pulling teeth and women were frequently assured that we really didn’t need to start worrying about declining fertility until our mid to late 30s. Actually the real time to begin worrying is really almost a decade earlier. As women’s actually fertility peaks between 27 and 28 years old and then begins the slow decline that will continue until menopause begins sometime in the mid 40s to early 50s.

Much propaganda was generated using these facts. Painting them to mean women didn’t need to begin worrying about declining fertility until their mid-to late 30s a few years before menopause actually begins, but this was not really true. Even if a woman is not actually in the midst of menopause yet but just a few years away, doesn’t mean she can still easily get pregnant. That’s probably the main reason we see this sudden interest in ‘donor eggs’ from young women. Interestingly enough many of the older women seeking these ‘donor eggs’ want college age women to donate. Why? Because this is the age when nature intended women to have children and thus their bodies as well as their ‘donor eggs’ are at peak levels. Of course, these are also the least likely women to wish to donate eggs. As with their whole life stretching out ahead of them, with all the endless possibilities, why should these young women risk the painful and arduous procedures that go hand in hand with donating her eggs to a total stranger? Not to mention the risk that she might injure herself in the process and not be able to have her own children later.

Of course, this has meant that women who waited too long to have children as they listened to feminist’s propaganda and pursued a career instead, now are offering anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 to young college girls to donate eggs to them. This sort of money by the way is far too much of an inducement to a poorer student to be ethical, thus even this should be regulated, but that’s a topic for another day.

Anyway, women investing this much time during our most fertile years in an education and career might not pay off, even financially, to the extent originally thought. As we can see in this sentence taken from the article below which indicates that “the Census Bureau's figures show that someone with a liberal arts master's degree earned just $5 a month more, on average, than someone with a bachelor's in the same field ($3,460 compared to $3,455). ”

Now clearly in the fields women predominate in such as social work, teaching, early childhood education (working in a daycare center), etc., which require a master’s degree for the most part, you ONLY make $5.00 more monthly then someone with a bachelor’s degree in the same field. Not to mention that even with a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts, you still might not be making enough to justify the $20,000 to $30,000 annually you are expending for the four to six years it takes to get the required degrees for work in one of those fields.

The other thing the article showed me was that the two fields where a degree still made the most difference in earnings (besides law and medicine) were in computer-related fields and engineering, which women generally don’t major in anyway. Regarding law and medicine, yes, they still make enough income to justify the cost of the educational investment IF a woman actually goes on to become a PRACTICING lawyer or a doctor. It doesn’t however if you decide to quit working after you have your children to stay home with them. Then yes, you have wasted the equivalent of over $100,000 to $150,000 dollars of our society’s educational investment in you. Not to mention taking up a scarce slot that could have been used for someone who was actually going to graduate and become a practicing doctor. I have to say I personally don’t consider it a loss to have one less practicing attorney wandering around out there, however, so staying home with a law degree could actually be considered a public benefit.

One mystery was cleared up for me with this article; however, which is why fewer men then women go on to get degrees today. They figured out, before we did, that in many cases it just isn’t worth it (with the exception of a few fields) when you look at the dollars invested in education versus the actual return in additional income upon graduation.

Anyway to wrap up, time is just as important to women (if they intend to become mothers) as future income. One can always go back to school in their late 30s – early 40s (when your kids are teenagers) but it is not so easy to have children then. Additionally women might even want to investigate the possibility of starting their own small business versus investing anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000 in a college education at that point.

However as I have said earlier, proper planning must take place in women’s lives in order to achieve these goals. We, unfortunately to not have the same time to fool around, experiment, try on different hats, etc., before we settle down as men do. Not if we wish to avoid being childless anyway like Maureen Dowd, Cathy Young, Wendy McElroy, Condi Rice, Harriet Miers, Kay Bailey Hutchingson, and thousands more women just like them…

Will Your Degree Pay for Itself?
by Liz Pulliam Weston

With college tuitions heading toward the stratosphere this year, you might well be wondering whether a degree is still a good investment, especially if you're facing the prospect of going into debt to pay the tab.

And if, as we all know, some bachelor's and master's degrees are much more lucrative than others, which are the best investments? To find out, I sat down with my handy-dandy financial calculator to play with some numbers.

It would be an impressive understatement, by the way, to call these figures a rough estimate. I had to make too many assumptions and leave out too many factors for these numbers to be anything other than a parlor game for those who might be interested.

But what they told me supported both common sense and what I've observed in the employment marketplace. For example:

o Associate's degrees are a slam dunk. These two-year degrees seem to result in a massive payback, compared to their relatively low cost, for a high school graduate.

o Ditto, usually, a bachelor's degree. Any bachelor's degree you get at a public university is likely to pay off handsomely, as well. If you're attending a private college, though, you might want to steer clear of education degrees.

o Some degrees are a step back. Thinking of a master's degree in a liberal arts or social sciences field? Let's hope you're in it for the love of learning, because on average there doesn't seem to be any financial payoff. ·

o Professional degrees rule. There's a reason why people borrow tons of money to attend law and medical schools. The return for a professional degree is huge.

Last point, the return for a professional degree is huge IF YOU GO ON TO PRACTICE.

That’s the key.

Anyway hope I gave all mothers out there and future mothers some ideas to ponder.

Also everyone have a Happy New Year, enjoy yourselves and stay safe.

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