Are Ivy League women who stay at home wasting their degrees?

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  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 11:39 p.m.

    I agree that a woman who wants to stay home with her children should skip the "elite" schools. Why waste all of that time and money listening the the psycho-babble of professors who think like Ms. Goff. While I have met many smart people who came out of IVY league schools, I highly doubt that they are smart because of the university they went to. (With some schools they are smart in spite of the schools they attended). I meet just as many smart graduates of local universities - they are just in a lot less debt.

    Having an educated mother is a blessing for children. My mother had a degree and worked in health care before having me. Not only did she help with homework, she opened new horizons.

    My wife (who holds a masters degree) has helped our children succeed. So far each of our children have been candidates for the "elite" colleges. Fortunately, each has taken the full tuition scholarship at a local university, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    Highly educated stay at home moms are wonderful. Ivy league grads? I guess if you can't get into a local university, you have to go somewhere.

    Aug. 28, 2013 3:06 p.m.

    What a joke. The premise that any degree is wasted is totally flawed. It only rings true if you take the position that a college degree's sole purpose is for "individual capitalism" rather than a community benefit. I have no empirical data, but hypothesize that women who focus on education, formal or informal, add great value to the socio-economics of their family, their community, state and nation. This is true as when a parent stays home to raise and I mean raise and educate their kids, we all benefit.

    For those women who obtained their degree and put careers on hold, good for you. I applaud your decision to put family first, and by so doing enrich your community and mine. For those who did not finish their degree but are self educated, thank you for you sacrifice and may the sacrifice enrich your life.

    We talk about individual freedom, but articles that there is some sort of moral obligation to put education to work in the capitalistic sense; they missed the classes describing the difference between trade school and education. As Mark Twain once wrote, "I never let my schooling get in the way of my education."

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    Education is not about the degree or the Job but rather the learning and the commitment to do something hard. It is about accomplishment. My thoughts are that if someone gets an education they have absolutely no obligation to use it in that field. It they want to stay home, coach little league, raise kids... all the better for our society.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Aug. 23, 2013 6:44 a.m.

    These women have no obligation to do anything other than what they think is best for themselves and their families. They are not obligated to fill any expectations of anyone else. Period!

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:27 p.m.

    It is amazing how our society devalues the raising and nurturing of the next generation. I have spent my career in the classroom, and I see the results every day of parents who are not committed to raising their kids. It is tragic. People, if you are going to have kids, raise them. There are those situations where both parents must work to feed the family, but more often then not, I think "wants" take the place of "needs."

  • Dr. Thom Long Beach, CA
    Aug. 22, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    I have worked with, known and had Ivy League graduates in my family and for the most part it's not what it's cracked up to be. It's not all about the school but what the student takes with them. Education is not the end of the issue but is the foundation for lifelong learning. Who cares about the gender or where someone went to school, it's what they do with the education and how it benefits society, family, community and themselves.

    And I have five college degrees; AA, BA, MBA, PHD in organizational management and a second PhD in leadership.

  • SimpleLife4Me San Luis Obispo, CA
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:50 p.m.

    "What is not admirable is for her to take a slot at Yale Law School that could have gone to a young woman whose dream is to be in the Senate by age 40 and in the White House by age 50.”

    Bogus. Any woman with the brains and ambitions to have dreams with that kind of scope would have enough brains to apply to more than one law school, AND more importantly would probably have a good enough resume to get in even with the "SAHM riff-raff" in her way. Saying that we need to exclude people from a program because of their ambitions in order to admit people who wouldn't get in otherwise would be detrimental for our society. Not that that's ever stopped us before.

    I spent a lot of time in my pre-career life in the childcare arena. No degree required to work in 90% of those places. So why would a woman with a PhD want someone with a high school degree to raise her kids?

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 7:12 p.m.


    Your argument is as questionable as the premise of the question posed in the article. Education is not about learning facts and figures, and keeping those facts current, it is about learning how think critically, to develop a love for learning, to learn to communicate effectively, to obtain a general education that forms a firm foundation for future decision making in context of the broader human and environmental mores, and to become broadly aware of the world around you so that one does not unduly trip over ignorance when entering the workforce, homemaking, or whatever worthy endeavor is to be pursued.

    Sadly, too many fail to understand what a real education is, and focus on grades, rote memorization, and mechanical exercises or skill-sets, then wonder how their education is failing to adequately help them provide for themselves. Unfortunately, these attitudes have now infected the ranks of parents, teachers, and students alike, and the norm is now less than a mediocre elementary and secondary education.

    A true education will outlast memory, market changes and political winds, and provide a foundation for lifelong learning and success.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    Aug. 22, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    My wife and I have many children. We have adopted many more children and we have now and have had many foster children in the past 25 years. When our first monster was born almost 33 years ago my wife stayed home as this was our choice. Often people (who do not know us) will ask my wife if she ever wanted to get an education. She will answer by saying that she thought about getting her Doctorate Degree but felt her Masters (from a very good Big 12 University) was sufficient for her needs at this point in her life. The stereotype of large families and education is ridiculous. If we have lots of kids then we must be hillbillies, walk with bare feet and have shoddy clothes or something. I guess normal and or educated people don't stay home or have large families.

    Education is always good. My oldest 3 have Master Degrees. Their spouses have degrees as well. Gosh and we encourage and push them to have them. The married ones (gals) stay home and do a bang up job with their kids.

    To me an Ivy League school is a Shania Twain. "That don't impressame much!"

  • John20000 Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    The assumption that degrees only have exchange value (you exchange it for a job) ignores the other benefits of getting a degree such as character building, communication skills, self-discovery, creativity, breaking down of prejudices, social-discovery, exploration of truth, beauty, culture, music, and human beings and the honing of logic and debate skills among other benefits.

    The article makes it sound like the stay-at-home educated mom is like a sports car that never leaves the garage. I don't buy it.

    An educated mother is the best possible medicine for our societal problems.

  • Noodlekaboodle Poplar Grove, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:47 p.m.

    It all depends on how much they remember about the degree they received, and how long ago they received it and what it's in. Some degrees (like accounting or law) transfer fairly seamlessly years after the degree was received. However, if you got a degree in computer programming in 1995 it's sort of useless if the recipient didn't continually update their skill set, as most of the current code used either wasn't widely use or not even invented. If your getting a degree as a back up in case of death or divorce you definitely should make sure it's not in a rapidly evolving field where 10 or 15 years out of the workforce puts you back at square one.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 4:10 p.m.

    "Are Ivy League women who stay at home wasting their degrees?" No, education is its own reward.

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 22, 2013 2:39 p.m.

    I have been in a professional environment for 35 years, and I haven't seen a correllation between Elite University degrees and problem-solving skills. What those with Elite degrees have in common is "Very High Self-Esteem."

    This works well with helping them land the high-level corporate jobs, but it doesn't make them competent in these roles. Eventually, these degreed wonders work in the workplace long enough to truly gain the skills required in the real world.

    That said, I believe that it doesn't matter whether the Elite degree holder who chooses not to use their skills immediately is a man or a woman. "Very High Self-Esteem" is useful in the home, too.

  • BYU Track Star Los Angeles, CA
    Aug. 22, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    For starters, with half of marriages ending in the divorce and the other half ending in Death eventually, having that degree from an elite university can come in handy to keep a family solvent should circumstances require you to set up,as noted above. Life isn't fair. One makes plans for one's future, but life gets in the way of one's plans. None of us live cookie-cutter lives. We all try our best, mostly. So author, please try beating up on your readers, better and more subtly, your hidden agenda will be better served that way.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Aug. 22, 2013 2:09 p.m.

    Goff shows the true colors of modern feminism. It is no longer about choice and opportunity for women. It has morphed into a twisted worldview that ties a woman's value to the amount of success she has in a corporate career. Goff should learn to respect the choices of women who have every opportunity to make a lot of money but choose instead to devote themselves to their children while they're young.

  • Wookie Omaha, NE
    Aug. 22, 2013 2:06 p.m.

    So who decides that leaving home means that these brilliant and capable women are not using their talents and education?


  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    Goff's arguments are absurd. There is nothing more important that raising the next generation. A Princeton degree awarded to a future mother will impact countless generations to follow. Many from these future generations will no doubt go on to influence corporate, civic and philanthropic interests, and that education will be magnified many times over.

    What Goff does reveal is the liberal bias against the fundamental value of the family. Actually, far worse than the overspending which both key political parties have participated in, is the incessant march of anti-family policies constantly being pushed by the left. It is a cancer that will do far more harm in the long run than our national debt, which is in and of itself, a tragedy.

  • Fubecao Bellevue, WA
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:30 p.m.

    I graduated from Harvard Law School, but I now work with attorneys who went to all sorts of "non-elite" law schools. So clearly, the "elite" degree I have isn't required for my job any more than it's required to stay home and raise a family. So I guess my degree is wasted too, and should have gone to someone who NEEDED a Harvard Law Degree, like... like... oh nevermind.

  • mecr Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    How many times I had seen mothers who are not able to help her kids at school? Are these ladies less mothers than the educated ones? certainly NO! but a degree does help! knowledge is never wasted. Some way or another, you do apply what you learned at school. My grandmother didn't finish high school, same as her siblings. But she did recognize the importance of education so she pushed my mother thru school. My mom did the same thing with her children. And you can tell the difference between my mother's cousins and herself.

    More importantly, this guy is certainly still in the 19th century. The same way gays can do with their bodies what they want, the same women have the right to do with their education what they please. And I always though of education for women like your insurance policy. You never know when you need it but better be prepared!

  • vangroovin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    I think that any person who is educated can share their education with others regardless of what situation it is in. The stay-at-home mother who earns a masters degree from Harvard can provide a wealth of information to her children, help them with homework, teach them high-level skills, learning to tackle difficult problems, communication skills (reading, writing, speaking), showing them about personal finances, etc. With schools being overcrowded and class sizes over-sized, this should be looked at more positively - more one-on-one time. The only time any education (formal or informal) is wasted is when the learning is not shared or developed further, whether through a highly structured organization that pays you to share or through informal interactions with others or some other way. If you get a degree in English and go work in Graphic Design, there are skills that carry over, that are used to help be a better graphic designer.

  • county mom Monroe, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    What is a wasted degree?
    Knowledge is eternal, it stays with our souls forever.
    We should always be learning.

    They must be talking about the making of money. Like that is the most important thing a woman can ever do?

    "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world."

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:49 a.m.

    My daughter earned a masters in engineering and was the top student in her class. Her and her husband were able to both earn master degrees without any student debt. Now she is using her engineering degree as a stay at home mom to raise my amazing grandchildren. Not sure what could be more important than that.

    I'm a big fan of higher education but not if high levels of debt are incurred in the process.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    I tend to agree with the premise that getting a degree and spending the rest of your life as a homemaker is a bizarre choice, especially if you've graduated from an "elite" university, if for no other reason than you took the spot of someone who might have intended on pursuing a long-term career. It's hard for me to accept the argument that "I'm a better mom because of my Accounting degree!" despite never actually doing, you know, accounting. Quicken or TurboTax doesn't count.

    That said, my wife earne a biology degree in 1997 and was a stay-at-home mom for 15 years . . until my career went KABOOM and she needed to find a job. This is her first year as a full-time science teacher at a local high school. It's probably for the long term. Given these facts, I can't say her degree was wasted . . its value was just deferred.

  • Johnny Triumph American Fork, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    Why is the question only concerning Ivy League graduates and not all female college graduates. Viewing only Ivy League schools in this question demeans all who graduate from any college, male or female.

    And why in the world would someone consider any degree a waste of time if it's not used? I have a degree in one field yet a career in a completely different field, does that mean I wasted my time/money? I still learned valuable lessons by earning a degree. To say that stay at home parents are any different is shortsighted.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Aug. 22, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    Rummer has it that my wife should of been the Sterling Sculler. She is very intelligent. Me I was a goof off. How or why she said ya when I married me is a mystery.She is the very best thing that ever happened in my life. 34 years latter she still learning things. and teaching me information I never would of learned on my own. She is amazing. She always was home, teaching our kids keeping house. She made our money stretch. I knew how much we needed and I would work the overtime. We raised really smart and good kids whom we are proud of.
    In today's environment I don't think I could do what we did.