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The Real Impact of a Good Education

A Good Education Pays Off

Have you ever read Outliers by Malcom Gladwell? It’s a fascinating read where Gladwell points out that even wildly successful people didn’t just become successful overnight. It takes about 10,000 hours to become a master of something – even when you are really gifted to begin with.

The average American work week is forty hours and if you multiply that by fifty two then you get 2080 hours. At that rate, in order to become really great at something you will have had to work at it for 40 hours a day for 5 years. That doesn’t include any holidays or vacations. So imagine if you have started down the path toward becoming a master at something and then you change direction along the way. Is all of that time spent learning one thing wasted? I don’t know.

I personally don’t believe that time spent working hard at something is ever wasted, it is all part of acquired knowledge and there is no knowledge that is not power. However, we can still use some basic deductive reasoning and determine that the sooner we focus our efforts on a single primary goal the more likely we are to accomplish it and if it is a skill or a talent then mastering that skill, especially if it is one that pays our bills, well, the sooner the better.

The More You Learn, The More You Earn

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…

It’s hard to quantify the full value of an education. But U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data consistently show that, in terms of dollars, education makes sense.

As the chart shows, the more you learn, the more you earn. Median weekly earnings in 2017 for those with the highest levels of educational attainment—doctoral and professional degrees—were more than triple those with the lowest level, less than a high school diploma. And workers with at least a bachelor’s degree earned more than the $907 median weekly earnings for all workers.

Income Statistical Data Chart

Does Money Buy Happiness?

It can be easy to get caught up in the trap of believing that making more money brings happiness. What research shows us is that how we spend our time is what makes us happy. I don’t know about you, but doing chores doesn’t make me happy. But I know some people who love to clean and organize. I don’t like doing taxes, but some people, including my father, actually enjoy crunching numbers and doing taxes, my dad even goes as far as to say, “I love doing taxes!” He even charges very low fees because he enjoys saving people money.

According to the Stanford Graduate School of Business there is a correlation between how you spend your time and your general level of happiness.

Although a substantial amount of research has examined the link between money and happiness, far less has examined the link between time and happiness. This paper argues, however, that time plays a critical role in understanding happiness, and it complements the money-spending happiness principles in Dunn, Gilbert, and Wilson (2010) by offering five time-spending happiness principles: 1) spend time with the right people; 2) spend time on the right activities; 3) enjoy the experience without spending the time; 4) expand your time; and 5) be aware that happiness changes over time. (read full article here)

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