Why Is Education so Important for Success?

Medical student holding flask with blue

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Education can be expensive and take years to complete. Many job seekers ask why education is important for your career, particularly in the healthcare industry, and whether it can have an overall impact on your quality of life.

You may find yourself passed over for a job in favor of an applicant who has a degree or more education, even though that person has less experience. Learn why employers place an emphasis on educational credentials.

Education Is Important to Both Your Personal and Professional Life

Your level of education is often paramount to future success. Completing increasingly advanced levels of education shows that you have a drive and commitment to learn and apply information, ideas, theories, and formulas to achieve a variety of tasks and goals.

Subject Matters

Probably the most obvious reason education is important is to acquire the subject matter and basic knowledge needed to get by in everyday life. For example:

  • English and language skills: English and language skills will help you to communicate your ideas more clearly. Communication skills are essential in any role—whether you’re dealing with co-workers, patients, customers, or supervisors, you will need to effectively convey your plans, ideas, and goals.
  • Math and science skills: Although calculators and computers are readily accessible, you still need to learn how to do basic computations and calculations on paper or in your head. If you are calculating dosages, counting surgical supplies, or tallying sales, math skills are imperative for a career, and for life. Cooking, shopping, driving, and many other everyday activities require math skills as well, regardless of your career choice.

The More You Learn, the More You Earn

Have you ever noticed that the word learn contains the word earn? Perhaps that is because the higher level of education you achieve, the higher level of income you are likely to command. For example, consider the following health careers and the educational requirements as they relate to annual income:

  • Medical jobs, no college degree: Pay $20,000 to $40,000 annually, on average
  • Allied Health Careers, two years of college: Pay from $40,000 to $60,000 annually.
  • Nursing Careers, associate's or bachelor degree: Pay $40,000 to $55,000 on average annually.
  • Advanced Nursing Careers, master's degree required: Pay $60,000 to over $90,000 annually.
  • Pharmacist, bachelor's and PharmD degree: Pay $90,000 to $115,000 annually.
  • Physician, medical doctorate degree required: Pay $120,000 to over $500,000 annually

Are you seeing the trend here? Clearly, education is important for financial growth in the health care field, as with many other careers.

Many Employers Now Require Education for Employment

Another primary reason education is important is that it’s become a basic requirement for many employers to even get your foot in the door. Many employers require college-level education, even for roles which previously did not require it, such as administrative assistant positions. The fewer years of education you’ve completed, the fewer doors are open to you. It’s that simple.

Educational requirements are a quick and easy way to narrow down the field of applicants, especially in situations where there are more applicants than jobs.

When hiring from a field of candidates, employers prefer those who have completed the higher level of education.

Why has education become so important to employers? Hiring managers say the education requirement has become a barrier to entry into many careers because education allows you to:

  1. Learn how to learn. School teaches you how to gather, learn, and apply knowledge. No matter what career you choose, you will need to learn procedures, information, and skills related to your job, and execute tasks based on that information and training.
  2. Develop interpersonal skills. School allows you to interact with other people and refine your communication skills, including those of persuasion, conflict resolution, and teamwork.
  3. Learn time and task management. Learn how to manage projects, deadlines, and complete assignments efficiently and effectively.
  4. Learn from the experience of others. By attending school, you are able to learn from the experience and intellect of thousands of people who have gone before you. In just a few years, through your textbooks, research, and class lessons, school gives you a consolidated overview of theories, formulas, ideologies, and experiments conducted by generations of scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, historians, and other experts. While gaining your own personal work experience is helpful, a formal education is a way to learn from centuries of others’ life and work and academic experience before you.

The Importance of Education in Health Care Careers

Education is important to everyone, but education is even more important in the health care industry. Why?

  • Technology, math, and science are key components of many health care roles: Health care careers often require knowledge and understanding of the sciences and technology. These fields are always changing and growing with new developments and discoveries. It’s imperative to have a basic understanding you can build on with continuing education throughout your career to keep up with the latest changes and new information.
  • Health professionals have a huge responsibility for the health, well-being, and survival of others. Therefore, health professionals must be particularly adept and relating to other people, learning and gathering information about a patient, and applying it to the treatment and care of that patient based on medical knowledge.
  • For many health care roles, degrees and certifications are required for licensure to practice in a certain capacity. Many allied health care jobs require at least an associate’s degree, most nurses need bachelor’s degrees, and physicians and advanced practice nurses must have many years of post-graduate training to include master’s and doctorate degrees. In addition, many professions have continuing education requirements in order to maintain or renew certification and licensure.
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