Monday, 16 February 2009

Why education?

Some months ago I had a chat with a young man. He said he did not want to spend a lot of time on education. But he wanted to have a rewarding life, doing fun stuff, and be able to travel and so.

We spent some time thinking about this and explored some options.

To travel and do fun stuff you need money and time. So, how do we get the money? Well, we could buy lottery tickets and hope for the big win. If we get lucky we don't have to worry about money ever again. But probability seems low.

How about robbing a bank? That would give us the money. But if we are caught we have to spend time in jail. And that is not a way of having fun.

Then a viable option would be to work. A job would give us money that we can spend on the fun stuff. We just need to find a balance. How much time to spend on work and how much on other things.

Can we improve efficiency of the job? Yes, with proper education we can get other jobs. Or do the job better. And that way produce more money faster. There could be a slight delay, but education would in most cases give us better chances to make money faster. We thought.

We could even consider to invent something that might become a succesful business. This could give us a lot of money rather fast. But in order to "innovate" or "invent" we need education. And to turn that into a profitable business we also need education.
Without education we do not have the skills to invent something useful. And without education it would be harder for us to turn this into a succesful business.

So, education seems to be something good if you are thinking of making money in the future.

Yes, we all knew that already. Didnt we?

But for the young man this discussion actually made a difference. We explored options, laughed a bit about the silly parts. And in the end found out why we thought that education was the best option for now.

There are of course other ways of making money. And you could even argue that money is not everything in the world. But to get this young man to consider what educational path to take "future money" was a powerful argument.

The model below illustrates some of our exploration.

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