Tuesday, October 20, 2015, PM | Leave Comment
Education, like travel, is one of the few investments you make in life that actually makes you richer. Yet at a time when education costs are increasing along with the costs of living, you might find yourself wondering whether furthering your education is worth the expense.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not you should further your education, here are 10 solid reasons to, be it beyond high school or college—and it isn’t just about money.
Make more money
Of course, more education typically means a higher-paying job. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), since the mid-1980s, workers with a bachelor’s degree have earned on average about 66% more than those with only high school degrees.
When you consider how much more money this can get you over the course of a lifetime—over $1 million when comparing a $30,000 salary with a $50,000 salary over the course of 35 years—the cost of more education suddenly seems much more manageable.
Get the job you want
It isn’t just about money, however; it’s also about job satisfaction, which contributes to overall happiness.
When you further your education, you are essentially giving yourself “job capital” that you will be able to use later to “purchase” the job you want.
Use education to learn more about a field that interests you and to better qualify you for that job that you’ve had your eye on.
Your education will also grant you a broader network of connections in the form of professors, fellow alumni, and other students.
And if you end up deciding you want to change fields in the future, you’ll have your education and network to back you up and grant you more flexibility.
Develop strong work habits and skills
Don’t underestimate the good habits and skills that you’ll develop as you satisfy your intellectual curiosity.
Getting an education helps you develop habits and skills such as time management, self-discipline, leadership, collaboration, and punctuality—all of which are highly prized in the professional realm.
These are all skills that will greatly enrich your everyday life, as well, so it isn’t just about your career.
Meet new people
Going to school gives you the opportunity to spend more time with those who share your interests and values, and you’ll have experiences with these people that truly can’t be matched anywhere else.
Some of the most lasting friendships in life are formed during college years. In addition to the friends you’ll make in school, you’ll also meet a wide range of people from all walks of life, and likely from many regions around the world.
College truly is one of the few places that you can become acquainted with such a diverse group in such a confined area, making it a wonderful place to become more cultured.
With school often comes more opportunities to travel the world, be it with a study abroad program, an internship, a volunteer group, or a class trip.
Enjoy more stimulating conversation
There’s no doubt about it—getting an education requires you to think more deeply and communicate more effectively than you’ve ever had to before.
It also requires you to grasp new concepts and think in ways that you never previously considered.
As you pursue an education, you’ll become better prepared to share the knowledge that you possess with others, and better prepared to grasp the new concepts that others are sharing with you.
All of this comes together to enrich the way that you will converse with others for years to come.
Of course, furthering your education will to increase your personal confidence levels as well—something that will truly improve your quality of life on a daily basis.
Education can also help you discover more about who you are fundamentally, helping you get to the root of what your interests are and what drives you.
Stay away from addiction
Did you know that intellectual pursuits can actually help prevent you from developing a dependence on, or addiction to, drugs or alcohol?
Aside from keeping you engaged in wholesome activities rather than in bad habits, intellectual pursuits have been shown to rewire the brain’s reward system to make an individual more resilient against drug dependence.
Check out this article for more on the science behind education and addiction prevention.
Prepare for adulthood
College and grad school both offer a unique environment in which young adults can prepare for adulthood—from managing their own finances, to adapting to new living situations, to learning to work with those they don’t agree with.
For this reason, many refer to the college years as “a good time to make mistakes in a controlled environment.”
Enjoy student discounts
Okay, so it’s definitely not a reason to go to college or grad school in and of itself, but it’s worth the reminder that several businesses, retailers, restaurants, gyms, and more support students by offering generous student discounts.
So as you spend more on tuition, you can still enjoy a nice financial break on clothing, electronics, entertainment, and more.
This article is written by Maurine Anderson.