Working hard at school and going on to further education or college has long been encouraged by parents and teachers for generations, as most people believe education is the key to success.
Civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” His words still ring true today. Even at a high school level, students are encouraged to analyze texts, numbers and trends to allow them to see society in a new light. This broadens the mind and helps us to see the world afresh. But there are many other fantastic reasons that education is good for us — and many ways in which it can be the key to professional success.
1. It helps you gain personal control of your life
You might not have been born into the life you want to live forever. And that’s where education can help. By getting an education, you give yourself the chance to change your life for the better. You might graduate and become a manager instead of an entry-level employee. You might become a CEO or shareholder and take home profits at the end of the month instead of just a salary. Over time, your whole world can open up and new, exciting personal and career opportunities can develop.
2. It helps to make the world a better place
As you gain your education, you’ll be gaining a deeper understanding of what’s right, wrong, fair and unfair. As you develop your reasoning and critical thinking skills, you’ll be able to apply these skills to situations in your life. You’ll be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a citizen. You’ll make more balanced personal judgments and over time, you’ll apply these to society and help to make the world a better place.
3. If gives you the skills required for employment
As you progress through a college degree, you’ll learn how to manage your time; how to juggle several tasks at the same time and how to interact with all kinds of people, from fellow students to professors and industry professionals. These skills are vital for the future. When you go into the workplace — or back into the workplace if you’re a mature student — you’ll take a more carefully honed set of interpersonal and organizational skills with you. All of which will help you shine at work and cope with the challenges that the professional world throws at you.
4. It gives you increased earning power
A recent study from Georgetown University found that, on average, college graduates earn $1 million more in earnings over their lifetime. Another study by the Pew Research Center found that the median yearly income gap between high school and college graduates is around $17,500. Of course, if you’re paying back student loans not all of this will be profit. There are also many scholarships available to cover the minimal assessment fees.
5. Education allows you to turn your dreams into a reality
When Mark Zuckerberg was at college, he dreamed of a more connected society and invented Facebook. The rest is history. But even if you don’t invent a website that will change the world, college can connect you with the chance to live your dreams.
If a higher salary is on your wishlist, you’re in luck. According to the American Institute For Economic Research, college grads aged 25-32 earn $17,000 more each year than those who didn’t go to college, and 72% of millennials of the same age say their degree has already paid off. And if you’re over 32? Don’t worry! There’s no upper limit on your earning power. Get the degree under your belt, and whatever age you are, you may find your dreams become one step closer to reality.
6. It gives you confidence and staying power
A degree is considered proof of your intelligence by many. Even at the high school level, getting a certificate in a certain subject is a way of proving to the outside world that you have an in-depth knowledge of that subject and that you can stick out challenging scenarios to the end. You can get through the tough times, the deadlines, the nights spent in front of the computer, frantically writing your paper. You did it and this will help you to believe in yourself and others (employers) to believe in you. You’ll also be one step ahead in the knowledge stakes — having dedicated time to studying the latest books, papers and learnings on a subject, you will have an in-depth understanding of your subject matter, compared to those who only have general knowledge.
7. Education sharpens your financial intelligence
Let’s be honest — a big part of getting your degree is managing your finances so you can have enough cash in the short-term to afford to finish the course. Even simple things like working out how to make $100 a week from a part-time job, or reading up on interest rates on loans for tuition fees, can help you develop budgeting skills and economic understanding that will set you in good stead for life.
8. Education helps you channel your energy
Whether you’re learning woodwork or business economics, singing or coding, the chance to follow a curriculum from start to finish gives you the chance to channel your energy out of your body and brain and into something else in a targeted way. Learning a new skill or subject can help you feel more energetic, purposeful and positive about life in general.
Education is a mind-expanding gift that can broaden your horizons and enrich your life. But there are other pertinent reasons for getting an education too. It can really help you break into new industries, be taken seriously and boost your overall confidence. Long days in the library or studying at home on your laptop can be tough, but you will learn a lot of life-enhancing, transferable skills in between the assignments, that will be with you forever.