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The Value of Education

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Since I was in college for my Bachelor of Arts, I have heard people refer to “perpetual students” in a negative manner, as if they were “hiding” from the “real world.” No doubt, some of them were. It was the early nineties, and much like now, there were many people out of work and wondering what their next move would be. Don’t be too concerned with what people say or think. Unlike the stock market or real estate, education is always a good investment. There are many benefits to pursuing a college education, and not all of them are financial. But because that is what many people are primarily concerned with – especially in today’s market – that is what we will begin with.

Monetary Value: There is a monetary value attached to holding a degree of higher learning that is undeniable. The U.S. Census reports that adults with advanced degrees earn four times more than their non-degree-holding counterparts. Furthermore, over the course of a person’s lifetime, holding a degree is worth more than a million dollars. That’s real money …for real savings and real fun. It is money that can change the quality of one’s life substantially.

Personal Value: Studies show that longer life spans are associated with length and quality of education. The extra money that one earns, as well as the global sensibility that can be obtained through a higher education often lead to one’s sense of community and civic responsibility, involvement in the arts, as well as in leisure activities.

Inherent Value: There is an inherent value in pursuing an education that many cultures have recognized for years. Cultures that were ravaged by the Holocaust have long since valued education, as it is one of the only things that cannot be stripped away in times of tragedy. One’s education may be a great comfort in time of horror. It can also provide a sense of self-worth and fulfillment.

It is fitting that my first post is on the overall value of education. I have been benefiting from my quality education for many years, and I still do. I am one of those “perpetual students” that people speak of, and I am proud of it. I now teach others on both secondary and collegiate levels, and my prayer for them is that they embrace education the way that I have.

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