Do we need education to be successful? This is a question often asked in group discussions, forums, or plain conversations among people. It is my personal stand that we do need education to achieve our goals and eventually become successful.
Here are 3 reasons why I think so.
Education Provides the Foundation
A long time ago, one successful man gave my father an unsolicited advise. He said, “Do everything to send your children to good schools especially during the formative years because that will give them the foundation they would need to succeed.” His explanation was that excellent communication skills developed early on is a distinct advantage in the competitive employment and business world. I have observed that it is a fact that children who had excellent communication skills are more confident and usually more aggressive in utilizing opportunities. My father who was the epitome of “Batang Quiapo”, loosely translated to streetwise child, did everything he could to send us all to private schools. The decision was not borne out of some snobbish attitude towards public schools. It was quite unfortunate that public schools had lost its glory by our time in terms of providing quality education, with very few exceptions. It is to be noted as well that it was fairly difficult to be admitted to these exceptions.
Education Provides the Artillery
Life is like a constant battle wherein we would need the artillery to fight and win. In almost all aspects of living, we are called upon to prove our capabilities, abilities, knowledge, and skills. Education provides the things we need to come out competitive.
Education is Forever Ours
My father always said to me that what I obtain from my education is forever mine and that no one can take it away from me. Some people can steal your bright ideas but they cannot prevent you from producing a brighter one. Circumstances can drive us to the lowest depths of economic standing but we still have our education to use for our recovery.
So what kind of education are we talking about here?
This is the kind of education we get from schools and other learning institutions. The need to know the basics of reading, writing, thinking, and speaking cannot be overemphasized. Whether we like or not, we need to advance on these areas as we grow older to ensure that we remain competitive.
This is the kind of education we get from experience or from actually doing a particular skill to gain expertise. There are some jobs where the weight of experience is more than the weight given to academic degrees. Still, a certain degree of academic learning would usually be required by companies such as being at least a high school graduate.
So what kind of education do we need to attain success?
The Traditional Formula
The age-old formula was to finish college, find work, and then live comfortably ever after. Unfortunately that is easier said than done. Today, it is not only enough that you finish formal schooling but you need to stand out from the rest. What will make one stand out is highly debatable. It can be the school from which you graduated. It can be the academic honors you received. It can be one exceptional ability. Sometimes, it can even be your looks, specifically in certain industries. Still, academic foundation is a constant advantage.
Truly there are always exceptions to the general rule. We can name several successful people who prevailed against all odds. Some may not have even finished college or be just one of the so many average graduates and yet they are considered successful in the standards of society. The lucky ones automatically take over a family business empire with some making the most out of it by studying and working hard as well. Others discover exceptional talents for a very in-demand job. Still, many others quietly persevere to gain more knowledge and skills through studying.
There is something that always gets through my skin no matter what and that is seeing young people taking for granted the privileges they enjoy in education. Not every one gets the chance to study in a good school or even go to school period. Access to education is something that must be appreciated.
So do we need education to be successful? Yes, I strongly believe so. And so you may ask, am I successful? I would probably say yes, successful in the context of using what I learned to live life and to earn a living. People though define success in different ways.
My father was right when he said to me “I will leave you nothing but your education” because material things vanished quickly when he became terminally ill. The education which my parents worked hard for stayed with me. It is like a chest where I draw strength from every now and then. Given the chance, I would probably enroll in a second course, take a master’s degree, learn a foreign language or even learn a new manual skill or hobby. Age is never a deterrent to education but the lack of willingness usually is. Education is my constant hunger, what’s yours?