“But ma, I don’t want to go to school!” These are words that are heard all too often around the globe. Why sit in a classroom learning things when you could be out frolicking around in the outdoors? Knowledge is power, and power is unfortunately something that is hard to come by these days. Grade school education is exceptionally important for proper human development, but what about post-secondary education? Is a college degree really necessary, and if so, is it worth the immense amount of debt that so many of us are in? Education importance is a subject that is up for debate, but it can be hard to deny the importance of knowledge in everyday life.
Beyond the Grades
Education is about far more than the marks you receive. It’s about understanding right from wrong and having the knowledge you need to stay afloat in today’s society. It helps to develop your perspective on the world around you and pushes you to think both creatively and conceptually about many different subjects. Without education, sensory information would simply be lost. Education allows us to process the information we receive on a daily basis and make conclusions and inferences based on what we already know.
It is a reality that many employers are looking for employees who have some sort of post-secondary education. This education shows that they had a particular interest in a field that they wanted to progress in, and proves that they took additional classes that will allow them to achieve and progress in their desired field. Since most college students are focused on a particular career pathway, it gives a much more in-depth look into a subject that may not have been covered in earlier years of schooling. If you’re applying for a job as a social worker yet don’t have a degree in the field, do you think you’d get the job over someone who has their Masters degree in social work?
Education helps people grow as individuals. It opens your mind to many things that you haven’t been exposed to before, and classrooms allow for healthy discussion on difficult subjects. Education helps build social skills, problem solving skills, decision making skills and creative thinking skills. It introduces you to different cultures, religions and thought processes that you may never be exposed to otherwise. Education also provides a stepping stone to the real world, offering many different courses on proper financial techniques, life planning and personal development.
How could you ever build proper time management skills without a 10 page paper and a final exam looming over your head? Although I’ll admit that I definitely procrastinated on a couple (or a lot) of my college assignments, learning how to work well under pressure was an equally valuable piece of knowledge. In most jobs, you won’t be given an entire month to finish an assignment. Someone will drop a stack of papers off on your desk and expect you to be finished by the end of the work day. If you’ve never experienced that sort of time crunch, it can be difficult to get your gears working fast enough to complete your assignment.
Progression of Society
Have you been reading the headlines lately? I spend a decent amount of time reading about strange technological and scientific advancements, and most of it never fails to blow my mind. Am I the only one who’s a little afraid of Google Glass? Or blown away by the sudden burst of 3D printing machines that are popping up and creating everything from human organs to edible food? Printing organs!! It’s almost too much for me to handle. But I digress – the point is that none of this would be possible if it weren’t for furthering education. Harnessing people’s talents and putting them to good use is what allows us to develop new treatments for deadly diseases, develop green technology and travel to outer space. In a world without education, we would not be nearly as advanced as we are.
Is Education for Everyone?
I’ll be honest. Some people just aren’t cut out for post-secondary education. That isn’t to say that these people aren’t smart enough or driven enough, they simply have other paths in life to take. This is perfectly okay. If you’d rather be an artist, or a musician, or a carpenter, you can learn many different time management techniques and character building skills without ever needing to set foot in a classroom after high school. If you’re a creative or you prefer to go into a specific trade, chances are you don’t need to waste your time sitting in lecture after lecture absorbing information that does not interest you. And with the $50k/year price tag that is on so many colleges these days, I don’t blame you!
The Bottom Line
What do you want to do in life? Where do you see yourself in five years professionally? What about ten? While some people may want to be the CEO of a successful company, others may be perfectly happy spending their days hard at work on a farm. These two life paths require two very different educations – the former requires a lot of post-secondary schooling while the latter simply requires knowledge from the college of life. Neither of these life paths are better or worse than the other, it all comes down to personal preference. Doctors, scientists, farmers, artists, writers and full-time nomads all work together to make this world a beautiful, diverse place.
If you’re interested in gaining a college education but don’t have the funds to do so, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of opportunities to gain financial aid at the college of your choice. Udemy’s course on how to afford a college education is a quick and easy way to understand all of your options! If the stars don’t align to let you attend college when you want to, you have the rest of your life ahead of you to continue your education.