In general, we believe that people with higher level of education will have better job prospects. This opinion does not come without reason, as can be seen from a study titled “Highlights from Education as a Glance” which declared that education is generally good insurance against unemployment, even in difficult economic times. The study highlighted that individuals with tertiary education have remained below 5 percent and below 8 percent for those with only an upper secondary education. Moreover, during recent economic crisis, increase in average unemployment rate for individuals without an upper secondary education was 1.1 percentage points higher than for those with at least an upper secondary degree.

Then, is it true that the main aim of education is for employment?

A quick answer is obviously NO. Now, let’s see the true definition of education first.

According to Google dictionary, education is process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university.

Wikipedia defines education as process of facilitating learning, or acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age.

Encyclopaedia Britannica writes education as a discipline that is concerned with methods of teaching and learning is schools or school-like environments as opposed to various non-formal and informal means of socialization.  

Business dictionary states that education is wealth of knowledge acquired by an individual after studying particular subject matters or experiencing life lessons that provide an understanding of something. It requires instruction of some sort from an individual or composed literature.

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From four aforementioned definitions, there is no implication that education is merely for employment preparation. It is much more than that. Poll from debate.org showed that 54 percent respondents answered ‘no’ for a question: is the main aim of education to prepare students for a career? One of respondents said, “Many people are rich. Knowledge is not only to prepare child for highest salary and packages, it is also to make them a good person for society. Schools are also prepared them to be a knowledgeable person to better our planet.”

Nathan William in his article published at HRinAsia also agreed that education degree does not define where one individual should work. As you see, many of graduates pursue their career according to their passion and/or ability. A few does pursue their career according to their certification. Education and scholarly degree might help you to be smarter in your decision-making and career/life choice. But “regardless of what subjects you are studying at school, college major should not limit or even force you to compromise your career interest in the longer run”, added Nathan.

The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.” – President John F. Kennedy

Jaiveer Yadav, educator at Unacademy, added that skills and knowledge acquired through traditional school and college education do help you to build a good career. Yet, broader than that, education can impact on your whole life which eventually improves your quality of life and career. So, do you still think that education is just for employment purposes?

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