Whether or not to pursue further education can be a tricky decision to make, and it requires careful consideration before you can make the right choice for you. How successful you are in life can depend on your education, and it cannot. It depends on a number of factors.
What is Your Definition of Success?
You need to first define what success looks like to you. It will probably have many facets, some perhaps being more important to you than others. For example, maybe a work-life balance that is in your favor is more important than driving a new car. On the other hand, paying off student debt and saving a lot of money for retirement may weigh more heavily on your mind than working more than 40 hours a week. When you know what success means to you, you can better evaluate whether more – and what type of - education will benefit you and help you reach your idea of success.
What is Education?
Education comes in so many forms that it’s important to think outside the box. When you’re trying to reach “success,” as you define it, you may need a college degree, another certification. Alternatively, you might need to do an internship, or have a meeting or interview with someone in the field to ask some very specific questions.
Education simply means to learn more about something, and you can do that through YouTube, paid online courses, books from the library, and talking to a knowledgeable friend or acquaintance through a professional group on LinkedIn.
When you find exactly the type of education you need to become successful, you can then take steps necessary to obtain that education and to reach your goals.
How are Education and Success Related?
Education and success are related insofar as they directly impact each other. If you want to start your own business, you certainly don’t need an MBA for it to thrive and grow, but you might need one if you really want to learn as much as you can about the latest in business research and applications in a variety of contexts, including entrepreneurship from the best researchers in the field.
Letting other people tell you that a certain type of education is necessary is not the way to go. It can be a huge waste of time and money, or it could be exactly what you need to get where you want to go. The trick is not to move too fast, to talk to as many people as you can who have reached the level and type of success that you want, and to learn from their experiences.
You might learn more from a self-paced online class with a supportive Facebook group to learn the specific skills you need than you would from a year-long university certification program. Or you might need that hands-on training in welding or nursing that only a university can provide. You may also be able to find what you need by attending professional training classes through your current job.
Take the time to really research the types of education available to you, and then make the most informed choice that you can.