Why Is Education Important? The Power Of An Educated Society
Looking for an answer to the question of why is education important? We address this query with a focus on how education can transform society through the way we interact with our environment.
Whether you are a student, a parent, or someone who values educational attainment, you may be wondering how education can provide quality life to a society beyond the obvious answer of acquiring knowledge and economic growth. Continue reading as we discuss the importance of education not just for individuals but for society as a whole.
Harness the power of education to build a more sustainable modern society with a degree from Unity Environmental University.
How Education Is Power: The Importance Of Education In Society
Why is education so important? Nelson Mandela famously said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” An educated society is better equipped to tackle the challenges that face modern America, including:
- Climate change
- Social justice
- Economic inequality
Education is not just about learning to read and do math operations. Of course, gaining knowledge and practical skills is part of it, but education is also about values and critical thinking. It’s about finding our place in society in a meaningful way.
A study from 2022 found that people who belong to an environmental stewardship organization, such as the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, are likely to have a higher education level than those who do not. This suggests that quality education can foster a sense of responsibility towards the environment.
With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly alarming, this particular importance of education is vital to the health, safety, and longevity of our society. Higher learning institutions can further encourage environmental stewardship by adopting a framework of sustainability science.
The Economic Benefits Of Education
Higher education can lead to better job opportunities and higher income. On average, a person with a bachelor’s degree will make $765,000 more in their lifetime than someone with no degree. Even with the rising costs of tuition, investment in higher education pays off in the long run. In 2020, the return on investment (ROI) for a college degree was estimated to be 13.5% to 35.9%.
Green jobs like environmental science technicians and solar panel installers have high demand projections for the next decade. Therefore, degrees that will prepare you for one of these careers will likely yield a high ROI. And, many of these jobs only require an associate’s degree or certificate, which means lower overall education costs.
Unity helps students maximize their ROI with real-world experience in the field as an integral part of every degree program.
10 Reasons Why School Is Important
Education is not just an individual pursuit but also a societal one. In compiling these reasons, we focused on the question, “How does education benefit society?” Overall, higher education has the power to transform:
- Individuals’ sense of self
- Interpersonal relationships
- Social communities
- Professional communities
Neuroscience research has proven that the brain is a muscle that can retain its neuroplasticity throughout life. However, like other muscles, it must receive continual exercise to remain strong. Higher education allows people of any age to improve their higher-level cognitive abilities like problem-solving and decision-making. This can make many parts of life feel more manageable and help society run smoothly.
Emotional intelligence is key to workplace success. Studies show that people with emotional intelligence exhibit more:
- Willingness to try new things
- Innovative thinking
- Active listening
- Collaboration skills
- Problem-solving abilities
By attending higher education institutions that value these soft skills, students can improve their emotional intelligence as part of their career development in college.
Many careers in today’s job market use advanced technology. To prepare for these jobs, young people likely won’t have access to these technologies to practice on their own. That’s part of why so many STEM career paths require degrees. It’s essential to gain technical knowledge and skills through a certified program to safely use certain technologies. And, educated scientists are more likely to make new technological discoveries.
Education exposes individuals to different cultures and perspectives. Being around people who are different has the powerful ability to foster acceptance. Acceptance benefits society as a whole. It increases innovation and empathy.
College also gives students an opportunity to practice feeling comfortable in situations where there are people of different races, genders, sexualities, and abilities. Students can gain an understanding of how to act respectfully among different types of people, which is an important skill for the workplace. This will only become more vital as our world continues to become more globalized.
Ethical and Moral Development
Another reason why school is important is that it promotes ethical and moral development. Many schools require students to take an ethics course in their general education curriculum. However, schools can also encourage character development throughout their programs by using effective pedagogical strategies including:
- Class debates and discussions
- Historical case studies
- Group projects
Unity’s distance learning programs include an ethical decision-making class in our core curriculum.
Effective written and verbal communication skills are key for personal and professional success. Higher education programs usually include at least one communication course in their general education requirements. Often the focus in these classes is on writing skills, but students can also use college as an opportunity to hone their presentation and public speaking skills. Courses such as Multimedia Communication for Environmental Professionals provide many opportunities for this.
According to a Gallup survey, people with higher education degrees are:
- More likely to participate in civic activities such as voting and volunteering
- Less likely to commit crimes
- More likely to get involved in their local communities
All these individual acts add up to make a big difference in society. An educated electorate is less likely to be swayed by unethical politicians and, instead, make choices that benefit themselves and their community. Because they are more involved, they are also more likely to hold elected officials accountable.
The right degree can significantly expand your career opportunities and improve your long-term earning potential. Not all degrees provide the same level of financial stability, so it’s important to research expected salary offers after graduation and job demand outlook predictions for your desired field. Consider the return on investment for a degree from an affordable private school such as Unity Environmental University.
We have already discussed why education is important for environmental stewardship. Education can also lead to better environmental practices in the business world. By building empathy through character education and ethics courses, institutions can train future business leaders to emphasize human rights and sustainability over profits. All types and sizes of businesses can incorporate sustainable practices, but awareness of the issues and solutions is the first step.
The reasons why education is important discussed so far focus on institutional education. However, education can happen anywhere. Attending a university that values all kinds of learning will set students up with the foundation to become lifelong learners. Research demonstrates that lifelong learners tend to be healthier and more fulfilled throughout their lives. When societies emphasize the importance of education, they can boost their overall prosperity.
The Role Of Unity Environmental University In Society
Environmentally conscious education is extremely valuable and should be accessible to all. Unity Environmental University offers tuition prices that are comparable to public universities, and financial aid is available to those who qualify. Courses last five weeks so that students can focus on only one class at a time. This ensures all learners are set up for academic success.
Unity believes in supporting students holistically to maximize the power of education. This includes mental health services, experiential learning opportunities, and job placement assistance. Students in our hybrid programs can take classes at several field stations throughout Maine and enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding the campus for outdoor recreation.
Some highlights from Unity Environmental University’s many sustainable initiatives:
- All programs include at least one sustainability learning outcome
- All research courses are focused on sustainability research
- Reduced building energy use by 25% across campus
- 100% of food waste is recycled into energy
- Campus features a net-zero LEED Platinum-certified classroom/office building
While many schools value sustainability, Unity stands out because everything we do is about sustainability. We also recognize our responsibility to model how a sustainable business can operate in a manner that’s fiscally viable and socially responsible.
Make An Impact At Unity Environmental University
While the phrase ‘education is power’ may sound cliche, it is also resoundingly true. Higher education has the power to transform individuals and societies. Unity Environmental University understands its power to make a positive impact on the world. That’s why we were the first university to divest from fossil fuels.
This year, we celebrated our largest incoming class ever, showing that students want an education system that aligns with their values. In addition to our commitment to sustainability, we offer flexibility to students with start dates all year round for our online degree programs.