It seems as if the value of having a formal education is being thrown into question more and more often. Sure, there is not only a very literal price to pay but also a huge opportunity cost when it comes to the pursuit of higher education.
But still, there must be some reason why people aren't just continuing this pursuit but pursuing it in larger numbers than ever before.
Reason 1: Money
Having a formal education still has a very real and statistically significant impact on a person's earning potential both in the short-term and especially in the long run.
Reason 2: Knowledge
It's nice to gain hard skills which lead to higher wages but what a lot of people don't mention is that it just feels good to know and to learn more.
Reason 3: Relationships
The University setting is an excellent place to develop and nurture quality relationships. There is a special sort of camaraderie that can be found when people are tackling difficult tasks together in order to grow and become more.
Reason 4: Exploration
People have an innate sense of exploration which can be manifested through education. The same thrill that accompanies making discoveries for humankind can be found through discovering something new for yourself.
Reason 5: Differentiation
Maybe you don't have aspirations of higher earnings potential but, at the very least, you should know that having a formal education adds an extra layer of security to your lifestyle as you enter an entirely different, more exclusive class of labor.
Sure, our education system has it's flaws but that isn't to say that it is unable to adapt to our changing world. That also doesn’t mean it is going anywhere. Formal education will likely always exist in some shape or form as society passes down information and seeks ways to validate/accredit those who have done the work to acquire this information.