We are living in an age of consumerism. Money, bling, cars, apartments, a luxury before, have now become bare necessities. But do these really define new age millennials? Does Gen Y care only about materialism? NO, according to several surveys. For these indicate that education is the everlasting status symbol. Most university students would rather have a college degree to flaunt, than designer clothes. One should be a thinker and doer.
While for most of us, education is a birth right; for many others it is a source of freedom from drudgery. It is a gateway to success and economic and social progress. A person from a rural background can now educate himself or herself and the rest of the people of a community, triggering a ripple effect that will emancipate a whole generation. Higher education with PMP Certification brings better employment opportunities through enhanced skills and access to wider networks. Education is now the top priority for most governments because of the several benefits that society as a whole gains from it.
- More economic opportunities: Jobs are today no longer bound by geography. The right skills can get you a job even across the seven seas. The BPO industry is the perfect example of this.
- Better education results in better health: Better educated people tend to live longer and have better health. For example research conducted in central European OECD countries have shown that a 30-year-old tertiary-educated man can expect to live eight years longer than a 30-year-old man who has not completed upper secondary education. While a tertiary-educated woman can expect to live four years longer than a woman without an upper secondary education.
- The better educated are more socially active: Education promotes civic engagement. On an average, the better educated are more inclined to engage in civic activities than their less educated counterparts. These activities include voting, volunteering, political interest, and other social activities.
- Lower crime rate: The more educated engage in less criminal activities. Early philosophers such as Plato viewed education as a must for the good of the individual and the safety of the state. These views have great significance in the times we live in. Research has shown that increasing the high school completion rate by just 1 percent for all men ages 20-60 would save the U.S. up to $1.4 billion per year in reduced costs from crime. This is true for other regions as well.
- Higher your education, the happier you are: Again research in the OECD countries has shown that those who have attained higher education are generally happier than their lesser educated counterparts. A reason for this could be that education has a direct correlation to income and with good income comes a self-sufficiency that can affect happiness.
Governments, across the world are stressing the need for better education and some of them are going for live virtual classrooms as well. Rural IT programs help empower people by giving them computer and communication skills. These have helped create IT-based employment opportunities.
The internet has also largely promoted education. Access to free education has never been easier. Prestigious institutions such as MIT, C Berkley, Yale and Stanford have launched their own channels on YouTube thus giving millions of people all across the globe access to premier education material. The internet is a great teaching guru that helps students learn the complexities of metaphysics or pick up a foreign language. Children in rural India can access academic videos and learn geometry and trigonometry through sites such as Khan Academy, Academic Earth and several others. Through its reach, the internet has unlocked the learning potential of several students across the world and given them the power to enhance their social and economic status.
Governments across the world realize that education is the first step towards nation building. The youth also realize that higher education is the first step towards a better future and a higher social standing. The position of education as the number one status symbol over money and fortune might just be a cultural revolution that will take us one step closer to being a more enlightened planet.