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Education an integral factor in the prosperity and success

Author: Keon Duke
by Keon Duke
Posted: Mar 06, 2020

According to conventional wisdom, education is an integral factor in the prosperity and success of an individual. Some sociologists have doubts and claim that success and prosperity are fostered by family. They say nowadays education has substantial shortcomings and raises controversy. Critics emphasize high costs, an increasing level of dropouts, the marginal efficiency of student resources, insufficient financial aid policies, and perverse perception and understanding of education which now bear entertaining character. They also assert that talents and aptitudes are not equally distributed and some people are naturally not able to pursue an education at all. Nevertheless, education indeed contributes not only to the welfare of an individual but also to that of the whole communities and nations, offset its costs a few times, and facilitate social mobility.

Both private and public education costs more and more every year. One can say that attending college is a commitment of money and time. In fact, it is a major investment in your future, the future of your family, community, and eventually of your country. Moreover, some students pay less for their education because of grants and scholarships based on academic performance, financial need, or even both, substantially reducing overall costs. Besides, people with high school diplomas face the risk of unemployment four times more than college graduates. Compare 11 percent unemployment rate of prime-aged workers without credentials to 7.4 percent of prime-age men and 5.2 percent of women, who finished high school to 2.8 percent of women with college diplomas and finally 2.8 percent of prime-age college graduates to less than 2 percent of prime-age workers with advanced degrees (Hout 5).

Economic incomes grow almost correspondingly with advancing educational levels. Hout says that it is quite difficult to analyze a family as a unit because of educational differences and therefore inaccurate financial outcomes: Families of prime-aged have about 10 percent bigger income than those of prime-aged women. When reaching higher educational levels, the family income rises by about 21 percent. College graduated men’s families revenue was about $91,800 while that of high school graduates was $50,100; the revenue of college graduated of women’s families were $86,700 comparing to $45,200 high school graduates (10).

Occupational standings of men and women who graduated from college are much higher than those who finished high school. That of men who graduated from college is boosted from a base of 45 points to 69 points and women’s from a base of 34 points to 59 points. The occupational standing of people who gained more advanced education is higher than that of college graduates (Hout 5). Although men and women have almost equal hourly wages, the latter work more hours during the year and in result have higher annual income. Other profits of higher education which can boost lifetime earnings are such shorter periods of unemployment, a stronger possibility to find a desirable job, which is also secure and stable, does not require physical but mental activity. Moreover, it is possible for developing and dedicated professionals to climb the career ladder. They usually receive benefit packages such as health insurance, retirement matching, childcare, and paid holidays among others.

Lifetime incomes of different age categories of people with advanced degrees are extrapolated from their annual income. The risk of inflation it is hard to predict the lifetime incomes of average people in the future because of technological and industrial developments. Incomes of today’s older men or women may slightly differ from that of their peers some years back, but if graduates with advanced degrees usually earn more, then the yield on advanced degrees offsets investments on further education because employers must also pay more.

Sorokin says that our society is built according to the principle of vertical circulation and institutions like the family, school, army, church, and occupational organizations. They are mechanisms that prevent people from climbing to the upper strata without certain characteristics and distributes individuals according to their social position and performance of peculiar social function (19). The main purpose of such mechanisms is to ensure that society does not suffer or disintegrate because of wrongly placed individuals. Families and schools are responsible for testing the general qualities of individuals such as health, intelligence, and perseverance. Each upper strata of society require certain characteristics such as schools, colleges, and universities to model people who lack performance abilities which do not allow them to climb the vertical circulation. In recent years, the function of educational institutions has been limited to ‘enlightenment’ and ‘educational’ but now we can talk about testing, selective, and distributive functions that facilitate social mobility (Sorokin, 20). Sociologists noticed that social mobility is higher and inherent in developed countries. Education should contribute to the upward social mobility of any society.

On one side, expensive education in the United States challenges social mobility because intelligent and talented people may not have enough money to finance it, leading to the erosion of confidence and the ability to pursue college or university education. Those who are smart enough to reduce their expenses with the help of financial aid. On another hand, expensive education does not give a chance to people without aptitudes to enroll and creates a high demand for college graduates in the labor market. Employers are ready to pay more for aspiring employees who are ready to compete for better job positions. Sociologists noticed that the growth of college graduates in the labor market has a good effect on the wages of high-school graduates. The reciprocal connection moves up the economy of a country and contributes to social mobility. The American educational system creates favorable conditions for the intellectual growth of the undergraduates and acclaims their progress and achievements. According to Hout, collective work is key to the economic growth of a country. Productive workers can stimulate others to work better by setting themselves as examples (23). Besides, less productive workers are likely to work better while working together with their better-performing peers. By increasing the number of reliable and educated workers, more contributions to the prosperity of a country and social mobility will be boosted.

Many sociologists, professors, and students are highly concerned because of reciprocal educational and student decline. Arum and Roksa accuse colleges and universities of giving students ‘beer and circus’ by supporting them with non-academic and extracurricular activities such as clubs, fraternities, and socializing which require extra time and energy that may be spent on education. Critics observe modest levels of individual investment and cognitive efforts. Compared to previous generations, today’s college students prepare less and they are not efficiently ready for the classes because of the lost academic enthusiasm. It is interesting that these negative factors have little influence on their average grade points.

The responsibility lays in students who invest a minimal amount of time and energy to pursue academic results and professors who treat them with leniency. Students prefer to read less, write less, and still have decent graduate marks. There is a tendency to enroll classes and programs with minimum the amount of work where both instructors and students tend to act according to the misleading principle, ‘I will leave you alone if you leave me alone.’ The main goal of teachers is capturing the attention of the audience, entertaining, and satisfying it. Tasks that require cognitive efforts and great individual investments are overlooked and pushed to the background. Employers complain that some graduates do not perform tasks competently, are poorly trained and lack basic knowledge and skills in certain spheres. They lack the professional experience to compete efficiently in the labor market. Professorial priorities are inclined towards personal gains and the advancement of personal projects, researches, and paying little attention to the general academic aims and institutional demands. For the last decade, the main indicator of tenure assessment changed from published works to classroom observations, academic advice, and student recommendations. American politics creates beneficial conditions that distract the public from discussing major uncomfortable questions that undermine their reputation by emphasizing the importance of sports activities. Faculties extend study periods, the flow of tuition money never runs dry, students are happy and satisfied. All these statements challenge the idea of education. Nevertheless, it does not change the fact that higher education is a source of success and prosperity of an individual and nation. Researches show that the most educated person gains more while affecting the prosperity of less-educated people. Addressing acute and the core problem of efficacious education now will provide a chance to compensate for our losses and continue to build a prosperous country.

Education is a large investment for the future which has overwhelming advantages. It requires big financial expenses but also offsets all costs in lifetime incomes, social and family nods, better health, and participation in civil and political life. It also helps people improve their social standing. The progress of more educated people can facilitate that of the less educated. More educated people contribute to a more stable economic situation and promote the development of nations. Nowadays, the educational system has lots of shortcomings and needs dynamic reforms and devotion. Students and professors should face the problem and address the issue as soon as possible to gain world recognition.

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About the Author

Keon is a freelance writer, blogger, photographer, and traveler who tries to make this world a little bit better every day.

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Author: Keon Duke

Keon Duke

Member since: Mar 03, 2020
Published articles: 3

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