It is no surprise to me that people are deeply confused about where they should put their time and attention to ensure a better future.

Bill Gates suggests that your job will soon be replaced by robots. So, then, why bother getting that degree? It may very well be gone, and then what will you do with your hard-earned “skill?”

Barak Obama seems to think that art history is pointless, and students need to focus on getting “skills” instead. I wonder what Obama would say to Gates. Acquire the skill of accounting, or get the degree in art history since the robots will soon be doing that job.

In my interview with Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of UMBC, yesterday, he spoke to the importance learning to think, and owning your education.

So, where should you put your time, energy, and dollars as it pertains to your education? How do you know that you’re focused on getting the right degree?

Here are some questions to consider:

  • Do I authentically enjoy learning what’s needed to graduate with this degree?
  • Am I excited to graduate and get started?
  • Can I see myself expanding my knowledge in this profession?
  • Do I find myself wanting to do this work, even if no one is looking?
  • Do I see the possibilities for my future with what I’m learning?

Money follows value. The more you learn, the more valuable you become. The more valuable your skills, the more money you’ll make. The more you love your work, the happier you’ll be.

So, I say, if you love art history – if it makes you want to think, learn, and develop yourself, go after it. If art history doesn’t interest you in the least, but marketing does, go learn about marketing.

Pick a direction that captures your imagination, curiosity, and leaves you wanting to learn and grow. There are plenty of awesome careers out there – pick based on alignment of interests, not fear of extinction.