Cumulative tests, overlapping projects, and overwhelming schedules are what typically define the educational experience in America. It can be impossible to juggle a full course load, job, and social life, all while somehow managing to eat healthy, exercise, and sleep eight hours a night.
In a job market as competitive as the current one and with the threat of debt looming overhead just after graduation, continuing your education may not always feel worth it. You may even find yourself asking, why is education even important anyway?
Despite the frustration and stress, education is important for a myriad of reasons. It benefits the individual as well as society as a whole. Also, it is an unfortunate truth that not everyone has the benefit of experiencing it. Despite the strain it can add to your life, education is an overwhelmingly positive experience.
However, we know that it can be incredibly difficult to maintain that positive perspective on education. Especially on the days you have two exams, three papers, and four projects due all at the same time. So to help you stay positive, we have compiled a list of 10 reasons why education is important. You can thank us later once all of your homework is done.
1. Expanded career opportunities
2. Financial and personal independence
3. Life experience
5. Cultural, economic, and social growth for all
6. Happiness and stability
7. Development of leadership skills and confidence
8. Positive effects on health
10. Gender equality
These are only 10 reasons why education is important, but the truth is that education is crucial to the development of our world for a variety of reasons. To list them all would take days, if not months.
Education is how we are able to improve ourselves and the world around us through personal development, and technological, medical, and scientific advances. It improves the economy and creates additional job opportunities and allows us to grow both individually and as a society. Its benefits far outweigh any stresses or agitations that may come with it.
Financial and Economic Benefits
Simply put, education is the destroyer of poverty. It goes without saying that individuals who furthered their education are more competitive job applicants. This is because education improves our professional skills, cognitive reasoning, and decision-making skills. Because of this, studies also show that for each additional year of schooling an individual attends, their yearly earnings can increase by up to 10%.
An increase in higher-paying jobs not only benefits you as an individual but also has a trickle-down effect that in turn benefits the overall economy. This is because more educated individuals earn a higher salary and therefore there is more disposable income entering the economy at any given time. This strengthens small and local businesses and larger franchises alike.
Local economies will begin to grow and nurture the larger economy as a whole. This cycle will then repeat itself, creating a healthy, thriving, and a more equal global economy that we can all benefit from.
Education affords us the luxury of being financially independent and stable. This means that we can afford our mortgage payments, utilities, and grocery bills. We can attend doctors’ appointments and dentists’ appointments, maintaining our health and wellbeing and that of those important to us.
Mothers can care for their children, adults for their elderly and ailing parents, and communities for those in need. This overall feeling of stability and inclusion encourages happiness and a sense of confidence in our personal lives that then resonates out into the wider community.
Education also encourages more education. The more individuals we have who are educated, the easier and more practical it is to make education a more widely obtainable reality. This idea also lends itself to gender equality. Education empowers women, from little girls to adults, to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential.
Studies show that women with a higher education may make up to 20% more a year. This increase not only encourages more women to seek higher education, but it also serves to boost the overall economy as well. This means that the wage gap will continue to shrink and the employment rate to diminish, further benefiting the world economy.
Education as a whole negates inequality. It is blind to race, gender, ethnicity, and religion. Higher levels of education have been shown to have a direct correlation to smaller margins of social and economic inequality.
Personal, Social, and Cultural Benefits
Now that we have covered the wide-reaching financial and career benefits, you may find yourself asking, what about the other 10 reasons why education is important? Education affords us the opportunity to broaden our horizons, to meet people and perspectives we may not otherwise have encountered. It allows us to experiment and experience, to discover who we truly are and what we love.
Education makes us more aware of the world around us, and the people in it. When we are more aware, we are able to have more thoughtful and honest conversations, and exist as well-rounded individuals who contribute more to society.
We can be better leaders and role models because of education. It exposes us to and makes us more receptive to a wider variety of people, boosting our interpersonal skills and making us more receptive to differing perspectives, opinions, and experiences. All of this serves to boost our confidence, making us happier and further encourages us to pursue our goals and dreams.
These contributions can include anything from scientific breakthroughs, technological innovations, and medical marvels that have allowed us to cure diseases that once ravaged the country. We are able to grow and improve as a whole because of education and the advancements it allows us to make.
Education teaches us to think outside of the box, to question what is and what could be. It encourages us to push the boundaries and ask more of not just ourselves but of what we know and expect from the world. We learn to demand more because we have learned that we are capable of more. Education breeds innovation.
Research also shows that education can make us healthier. This is because we are more aware of the food we put into our bodies and the importance of regular exercise. In addition, mortality rates have been shown to drop exponentially when the proper education is in place regarding general healthy, STIs such as HIV/AIDs, and prenatal care.
Education has also been tied to cleaner waters and more sanitary living environments. These factors are in turn tied directly to a decrease in illness, allowing more children to consistently attend school as they do not need to stay home to care for sick family members and do not fall ill as frequently themselves. This is especially true for developing nations.
Education: a Never-Ending Process
Perhaps the best (or at least most heartwarming) benefit of all is the sense of overall peace and happiness that exists when education is made widely available to all. Corruption cannot grow, and deception cannot take hold when a society is well educated.
We are able to hold our leaders and governments more accountable when we are educated, and demand sustainable solutions. Simply put, our leaders are wiser, our governments more transparent, our justice system more informed, and our people more equal because of education.