Editor's note: Barry Courter has a 25-year-old son who is a college graduate and a 20-year-old daughter who is a sophomore in college.
Q: Dad, I might have the opportunity to take a good job, but school is a major conflict. Should I quit and take the job?
A: For most people, my answer probably would be a resounding no, but giving the right answer would require being able to look deep into the future. Not everyone needs a college degree to succeed, and many more end up in a career that has nothing to do with their degree. Others have perhaps missed out on good opportunities because they stayed in school. But, and it is a gigantic but, having a degree is rarely a bad thing and it is hard to go back and finish once real life sets in. You need to look long and hard at the long-term impact.
— Barry Courter
Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...