As the traditional models and expectations for college undergo disruption, students increasingly wonder: Where can I get the best education for me? Should I even go to school? Is it worth the time and money?  What are my options?

Degree or not Degree (DOND) presents stories which help answer those questions. We celebrate the teachers, programs and schools which deliver the greatest rewards in exchange for students’ investment of time and money.

Those rewards have many forms. We don’t believe that college degrees can only be justified by immediate, practical payoffs. We promote learning for the sake of learning and know that all education improves people immeasurably. But to each student we ask: Do you know what you’re signing up for?

Whether a student is interested in a lofty quest to fulfill a “life of the mind,” a practical pursuit of a well-paying job, or something in between, we want that student to be fully informed of the associated costs, benefits, and expectations.

DOND also monitors trends and opportunities for those who choose the “no degree” route. Historically, that choice has doomed most people to a lifetime of lower earnings. Like everything else related to higher education, however, it’s more complicated these days.

We welcome interaction with students, faculty, staff, and employers, and we encourage a lively, respectful dialogue among anyone interested in these life-changing topics.




Dean Golden is a committed academic who achieved his most recent degrees at Heidelbark University and the Sorbone. As editor of the Degree desk, his features focus on the best and most exciting opportunities at colleges and universities.




Sharpy runs our Not Degree desk and focuses on non-traditional alternatives to four-year college programs. He has completed credits towards an Associate’s Degree in Obedience and leads a successful career in security management.



Hoover Harris began his post-graduate career as a lecturer at a large university and later pivoted into management work in the software industry. He holds a PhD in English Literature. At DOND, he is responsible for editorial oversight and afternoon walks.



Podcast bumper music courtesy of Dee Yan-Key