I am a strong supporter of the Human Capital Theory, which is explained by Professor Huelsmann as increased education leading to increased productivity which leads to increased earnings (for the individual and the company or whoever funded the individual). I also agree with the idea that inherent talent and/or out of school socialization adds spice and interpretation to the investment in training (sort of individualizes it).
As an adult, I have grown very fond of the idea of WIIFM – what’s in it for me? So what’s in it for me (and my husband) to sink $250,000 into our daughter’s education? We suffer under NO delusion that she will “pay us back” in the future. Not that I think she’d kick us to the curb, but we’ve carefully planned for our own financial well-being in the future, so there shouldn’t be a need for her to do so. Do I think all three of these degrees were necessary? From a pragmatic position, no. You only need about 70 college credits to go to Pharmacy School, so she didn’t even really need to complete the Baccalaureate degree, let along get an MPH degree.
So was it “worth it” to get behind the Human Capital Theory and invest this money in our daughter? Aside from sparing her the financial burden if we had said no, I still think it was a worthwhile investment. Her education has magnificently prepared her for what I know will be an amazing career, which shows signs of providing her with great personal fulfillment. WIIFM? My daughter’s happiness. But I still wouldn’t turn down an awesome birthday present or three!