What does higher education do for women?

Back in the day, women were refused higher education. Ivy Leagues and other premium institutions barred them from admission. Higher education was only reserved for one gender. Single-sex education was rooted in the idea that women didn’t need a degree to pursue socially acceptable roles like homemaker, mother, member of royalty and domestic servant.

When the situation improved in the 19th century it came with a ‘conditions apply’ tag to it. Right until the 60s there were issues with co education in universities. In 1967, Yale’s president Kingman Brewster Jr. said, “Our concern is not so much what Yale can do for women but what can women do for Yale.” The remark characterized women as a perk for male students instead of scholars who could benefit from an Ivy League education.

In 2022, women cannot be denied admission anywhere as long as they have the necessary qualifications that a university demands. Getting a post-graduate degree is no more inaccessible or looked down upon. But why does it matter and is it even necessary is the question?

Here’s where women stand to benefit by continuing their education into Masters and PhDs :

  • You are not the same woman you were in your Bachelor’s degree. You have matured over the years and have a better understanding of what you want to do next
  • Helps you work on your leadership skills
  • Makes you more decisive
  • Boosts your communication skills to the next level
  • Your career might just need that extra push
  • Many companies require you to have a Masters degree even if you think you don’t need it
  • Achieve your financial goals earlier than planned which is of utmost importance in a woman’s life
  • Escape from female objectification as you are highly qualified

Why is all of this relevant only to women when this could be for everyone? It’s because we are different.

There is less encouragement for us to study beyond a point due to family responsibilities. It’s easier to get our families to pay for our brother’s degrees. There is always some reluctance when we want to move across the world to pursue an education of our choice.

”Is it safe? Is it really necessary? Isn’t this program too long?” For older women it could be “At this age, you will lose out on some precious years with family’ or “You should have done this when you were younger” is what we commonly hear when we make decisions connected to future education.

Am I suggesting that all women should take out huge student loans to finance these degrees and graduate with a mountain of debt?

Absolutely not. It’s rather an insight into reevaluating your life to see if you do stand to benefit from pursuing higher education from a career standpoint or it’s just simply something on your checklist that you have had for years?

It’s time to assess what is stopping you and how to work around it.

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