Am I Satisfied with my Berkeley Degree? From a UC Berkeley Alumni

The answer to this question is what every incoming student wants to know. Is a Berkeley Degree worth the investment? And that’s a valid question. As a UC Berkeley alumni, I want to provide my perspective on this. Hopefully, by the end of this blog, you will be able to gain additional insight to your education here at Berkeley. This will also be the last blog that I will write for Bear Talk. If you’d like to read my previous blogs, then please check out my profile here.

First, I want to start off by saying that everyone’s experiences will be different depending on the track and major you go with during your undergrad. A computer science major will be provided with different learning tools compared to a STEM major. And a humanities major will focus on activities that are completely different from a music major. Your experience at UC Berkeley depends on the major you decide to go with as well as the activities that you partake in.

Let’s do an analysis of a Berkeley degree from an investment standpoint. UC Berkeley is THE BEST Public University in the World. The school has established itself as a powerhouse ever since 1868. Adding the name “UC Berkeley” to your educational experience is bound to turn heads towards your way. However, it comes at a price. In 2019-2020, the estimated student budget for an in-state student is approximately $40,000 while an out of state student is around $70,000. If you multiply these stats by a total of 4 years, then you will get $160,000 and $280,000 respectively. 

I want to encourage you to think of a degree as more than just a diploma that is handed to you. And it is. The diploma is a symbol of your cumulative experience at Berkeley. It not only includes your mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional growth as a person, but it also encompasses your learning experience (ex. of how to cook/feed yourself, find transportation, and deal with situational factors) from living independently. I can assure you that if you are looking for a challenge to help you become the best version of yourself, then Berkeley is the IDEAL place to do it. There’s no place better than this school. It’s the ultimate training ground in my opinion. From my experience, being a Pre-Medical Army ROTC student pushed me to my limits. ROTC helped build my physique through morning trainings while my journey to medical school helped improve myself mentally. 

Graduation photo in front of Doe Memorial Library
Worth it! Applying to medical school and became an Army Engineer Officer through my 4 years at Berkeley

Because Berkeley was decently expensive for an out of state student, I tried to maximize the amount of programs and organizations that I was involved in on campus. I participated in literally everything you can imagine in my four years at Berkeley: I ran 3 student organizations; taught a Berkeley DeCal; danced in AFX; joined the military; joined and left a social and professional frat; became a lifeguard and campus ambassador; and tried consulting for a while. And let tell you, it was a blast going through these different experiences. Do I think this Berkeley degree was worth it? 100% yes. Your experience in Berkeley and any college is solely determined by YOU. The VALUE of a DEGREE is determined by YOU. So am I satisfied with my Berkeley Degree? Ask yourself… what are the things I want to do to make my degree WORTH IT?

If you enjoyed this blog post, then please check out my 1st post here as I give you a glimpse of my Cal YouTuber life. If you want to know how I became a YouTuber or how you can become a YouTuber, then this is the blog for you. Please connect with me if you have any questions or additional resources that you would like!

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Author: Vincent Ooi

HEY EVERYONE! I'm Vince, pleased to meet you. As an upcoming senior at UC Berkeley, I have plenty of tips as well as "extraordinary" stories to share with you....EXCLUSIVELY to those that read my posts. I will include life hacks that can help you excel in your years as a student at UC Berkeley or anywhere in the world. The experiences that I'm about to share with you will change your perspective on life as well as your days as a Golden Bear.