Is Education Really That Important? (Part 2)

1272855_pile_of_books_2After my first post this morning, I realized that I actually met a few high school dropouts yesterday. One was mentioned in the previous post. On the flip side were two other young ladies I had lunch with.

These women were 22 and 29 years old. One finished 11th grade and the other was kicked out of school after assaulting a teacher and principal in 8th grade. Both of them met while living in a rehabilitation type home run by people from a local church. Admittedly, they grew up in the inner city, while the other young lady grew up in a South Texas Border Town. Environment was different from that standpoint. But demographically, they would all be listed the same with the government. Hispanic females who dropped out of school. Victims of the system, some would say.

What is the difference between these dropouts
The primary difference that I noted was one of ambition. The first girl very clearly wants to be successful. She has a dream of being a gospel singer worth $3.6 million within five years. She wants to open a dance academy. She wants to work her way up in the company that she is currently working on, or else move on and find another venue to use her skilset. She has determination. I asked the 22 year-old to tell me three things she would like to accomplish with her life and her answer was: I’ll get back to you on that. She finally decided that she’d like to buy something nice for her children, maybe a house.

We see that another difference is setting specific goals. The younger one has very specific goals. She knows exactly what she wants. If she doesn’t reach her specific goals and ends up becoming a gospel singer worth $3.4 million, she’ll still be all right.

The primary difference I noticed is a eagerness to learn, or a having teachable spirit. These are keys to any kind of success, but they were elaborated in reality for me. It’s sad to see people who are 22 and 29 who are unemployed, have no creditable education, and seemingly have very few opportunities for advancement.

Whether people stay in school or drop out, the key ultimately is education. If you are in school and don’t want to learn, you are wasting your own time, the time of others (teachers and students), and tax money. If you are not in school and do learn, you are advancing your own skills. Ideally, and probably the easiest way through, is to finish school, but there are enough success stories that prove finishing school is not the only way to be successful.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

3 Comments on Is Education Really That Important? (Part 2)

  1. Good read, Joel, thanks. We could easily write an entire series of Blog posts regarding education, goal setting, life plan, etc. Just from my perspective I don’t think education is valued as it was in the past. By valued I mean in terms of being a discriminator in the hiring process. Certain degrees from certain institutes of higher learning tended to be given more weight in specific fields. Now, education is simply taken for granted by employers and if a person doesn’t have “the paper” then they aren’t even considered.

    There are some very small niche professions that have avoided the education requirement for quite some time and even they are feeling the squeeze. The days of IT Spt showing up at the office for work in blue jeans, tie dyed T-shirt and Jesus Slippers are long gone. Current certifications are a given and the higher education thing is being pushed hard.

  2. Frank, the thing is…if you want to become wealthy, the easiest way to do it is to run your own business and control your own income. When you work for someone else, they are profiting off of your skill set. Even today, many entrepreneurs who run some of the most profitable companies have very little formal education. Passion can cover a multitude of shortcomings. Passion cannot be feigned or replicated either.

  3. Reads right on the own the business to maximize profits part of it. Right on point regarding passion as IME it sure cures a lot of ills. I do not know a single person who is successful (however defined) that isn’t truly passionate about what they do. As sentient creatures we might well be hardwired that way.

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