Six Great TED Talks on the Importance of Education
It is easy to find reasons to get an education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that people who obtain only a high school diploma earn, on average, about $679 per week if employed full time. An associate’s degree increases that average to $782 per week, a bachelor’s degree to $1,155, and an advanced degree to about $1,435. Of course averages don’t tell the whole story, but the trend is obvious: most of us make more money if we get more education. There are other compelling reasons to stay in school, too. Many people want to join professions where degrees are required and perform work that appeals to one’s mental capabilities and talents. We tend to take for granted the notion that the opportunity to advance through higher education is open to anyone who studies hard enough — and has the money to pay the tuition. In some parts of the world, however, that isn’t the case. For girls particularly, education is not only seen as optional but can even be illegal. Families are frequently threatened with death or exile, and girls themselves have been targeted for attempting to educate themselves. Even here in America there are cultural limits placed on some young people’s futures. Whether through choice, support, or lack thereof, every student has decisions to make regarding his education and his work life. The importance of education is equal to the influence that work will yield over quality of life in terms of finances, time, satisfaction, status, and freedom. Whether the goal is professional or nonprofessional, education of some kind is simply necessary. The six TED Talks collected here help make that point on six different levels. Some are from familiar figures; others are people whose stories are new but memorable. Students may find them helpful to put things in perspective.