Thursday, August 5, 2010

Does Education Matter?

In terms of dollars and cents, but more importantly, in terms of personal health and happiness, study after study has shown that getting a solid college education matters immensely. In an article in the NY Times recently, economist David Leonhardt shows just how much a completed college degree can matter.

"The median college graduate now makes about $25,000 a year more than the median worker who attended college but didn’t graduate."
It is not just about money, however. It is about personal wealth, health, happiness and achievement. Obviously, not everyone who is rich required college. Many can point to even high school dropouts who are now filthy rich as examples of why they may not need college. But this argument, in today's new global society and changing job market for US citizens, is irresponsible. It is similar to when a patient who smokes tells me she doesn't have to quit because her granddaddy smoked and he never got cancer and he lived to be 89. That is an EXCEPTION, folks. We know that the rule is much dire. The rule is that you expose yourself to ridiculously higher risk levels of cancer (lung, mouth, lip, stomach, etc), COPD, hypertension, cardiac artery disease, deep venous thrombosis, chronic/peripheral arterial disease, and even other more obscure diseases.

Every person has to make their own decisions in their life and nobody can force them to do otherwise. We can't force someone to make right decisions, we can only give them the tools and knowledge that can guide them toward success - but ultimately, we all live our own lives.

But man, this is some compelling evidence. Click here for the full article.