There is an age-old debate about education being the key to success. When most people think of success, they think of being wealthy and use examples of millionaires and billionaires that may have made a fortune without completing University. They compare those statistics with well-educated persons who have not yet achieved millionaire or billionaire status. So is education really the key to success?

Success via Education

My niece graduated last week from Teachers Training College, and one of the speakers at the ceremony was giving an account of his journey. He was paying his success to his education. He grew up in a poor neighbourhood, and his way out was by educating himself. He acquired several degrees and elevated himself out of his situation. It’s safe to conclude he is successful because he achieved his aim or purpose. There are thousands of examples like his where someone was able to use education to elevate themselves.

Is Education really the Key to Success: Truth or Myth?

Success via Wealth

Forbes has listed ten successful billionaires and their net worth, and the thing that they all have in common is they either dropped out of high school or University. The persons on the list can have their success measured by their wealth. They all aimed to build businesses and did so, so they were successful.

Is Education really the Key to Success: Truth or Myth?

What Does Success Mean To You

So is education really the key to success? Well, it all depends; what does success mean to you? I think this is the real question. Success looks like different things to different people. According to a google search, success is the “accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”  Therefore, someone that aimed to achieve a University degree and went on to achieve it is successful. The same is true for someone that wants to be a millionaire or billionaire.

Is Education really the Key to Success: Truth or Myth?

What is Education Anyway?

Education is not only sitting in a classroom and achieving a certificate; it can be achieved by reading and life experiences. Persons that are successful either through education or wealth or both have one main thing in common, they never stop reading or self-improving. So in a way, even wealthy people are educated; the only difference is that their education will take place outside the classroom. They gain it through life experiences and the journey to build their businesses and wealth.

Is Education Really the Key to Success: Truth or Myth?

So that brings us back to the question: Is Education really the Key to Success: Truth or Myth? Success is personal and can be achieved in several ways and is not only limited to wealth or education; it is reaching a goal that you set out to achieve. Success is a lifelong journey. You can be successful at different stages in different areas. So it’s safe to conclude that a person who hasn’t had a formal education can be just as successful as a person who has, and also, a person with formal education can also achieve success in the form of wealth. It can be one, the other, or both. In my experience, success through education has been my truth and I view it as a stepping stone to gaining another level of success which is wealth. What has your experience been?

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24 Replies to “Is Education Really The Key to Success: Truth or Myth?”

  1. Such an interesting article and information. I find it interesting how many successful people have not completed a formal education or have learning disabilities or other things in life but they still lead successful, fulfilling, interesting lives! I think life lessons are just as important as school lessons!

    1. I agree with you there; life lessons are just as important. I think a good education is a combination of both.

  2. You have some great points here. I agree that education is a stepping stone to success, but education doesn’t have to be conducted through expensive schools/ universities. It could be through informal education outside school, as long as someone is teaching and one is learning, then it would help tremendously in one’s growth and path towards success.

    1. You hit the nail on the head there. Once there is a teacher and a student, there is learning and education.

  3. I totally agree with you. Success doesn’t mean a high education degree. I know very educated people that are successful academically but are a failure in other aspects of life. And people without education that are successful in the most important areas of life. Thanks!

  4. As an educator, I get comments and questions like this all the time, especially at the beginning of the school year. Students want to know why teachers or other adults push college as the only way to be successful. I tell them that it’s because they probably found success with education. I let my students and son know that they have so many options, but it’s up to them to look into it. Also, success doesn’t automatically come when you get a degree.

    Everyone may not want a degree, but everyone needs a goal, focus, and consistency.

    Sorry for the long-winded response. I have so much to say about this topic.

  5. Love this! I think it’s important to focus on things a child naturally gravitates to and nurture that connection. I also think focussing on life skills – actual applicable stuff like how home ownership works, mortgages, STEM – kids being forced to learn algorithms or equations that are outdated (or useless) serves no purpose.

  6. I agree completely. I think success is determined by someone’s discipline and perseverance. There are plenty of people who dropped out of college or forewent college to pursue successful careers.

  7. I think a certain degree of education is key to success but less about academic study. I think experience counts for an awful lot and I think that’s why people end up dropping out of traditional education, to get experience x

  8. Interesting read. I really do believe that education is important, but not a rigid structure. I believe education needs to be tailored to the needs of the person.

  9. Part of a good education is life experience. I think a good education can be important but both go together. When interviewing for new staff I’d be looking for an all rounder so it does play an important role.

  10. I consider myself to be well educated but I am not rich. Maybe education programs should include modules on how to make money.

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