Benefits of higher education


General purpose: To inform

Specific purpose: To inform the students about the importance of higher education.


Have you ever imagined the importance of higher education? Or why should you need it? I believe that some of you imagine that the main reason for higher education is for us to get jobs and recognition in the society. Though that could be one of the reasons, the significant of higher education goes beyond that. Let’s begin with a definition of higher education. McMahon (2009) defined higher education as the professional study provided to students at colleges, universities and other tertiary institutions of higher learning.

Governments across the world are considering investing heavily in higher education programs by facilitating infrastructure and providing financial support. The topic of higher education is relevant to all students because it is the next level of education ahead of you. I am credible with this topic because various researchers and scholars have published different literature concerning the topic. Also, the existing literature has shown the current trends in higher education and how it has been approached by different governments. Countries such as U.S, UK among others have developed programs to facilitate higher education (Baum, Ma and Payea, 2010). This shows that they have realized the value generated by higher education not only to people, but also to the nation. This speech is an illustration of the benefits of higher education.

The benefits of higher education

Higher education was introduced many decades ago, and the intention was to enhance education in their territories. The original idea for higher education was to provide tertiary learning to students. It was introduced to enable students acquire skills necessary to work in different job industries. According to Baum, Ma and Payea (2010), higher education provides graduates with a variety of jobs to choose compared to those who fail to pursue education beyond high school. The research by Howard (2005) indicated that in 2004, a college graduate earned $54,700 higher than the $30,000 earned annually by a person with a high school diploma. This is an indication that higher education contributes to higher income among individuals. This is illustrates in the following diagram.


Countries all over the world have demonstrated their interests in enhancing higher education in their territories. According to Howard (2005), the report published by American department of the treasury in conjunction with the department of education, it was identified that higher education plays significant roles in the socio-economic advancement and is a significant driver of economic mobility. Additionally, higher education has benefits to future children. According to the study conducted by 90, child mortality rates reduced significantly from 1980 to 2010 as the number of women’s educational achievement levels increased. Similarly, with higher education is useful for intergenerational mobility (McMahon, 2009). As indicated in the figure below, Without higher education, a child born to a parent in the lower income quintile has a 45% chance of remaining there as an adult. With higher education, a child has less than a 20% chance of remaining in the lower quintile of the income distribution.




Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012)


Now that we have found out that there are other benefits of higher education other than the traditional ones, we can now elaborate on more benefits as presented by different scholars. Baum, Ma and Payea (2010) argued that increased cultural diversity and globalization has given higher education a new image, roles, and benefits. Higher education is now crucial in the current global economy. Higher education gives you the opportunity to experience a rich social and cultural scene, meet new and different persons and learn something new. Additionally, a higher education provides a student with a range of opportunities in life. Howard (2005) claimed that higher education is where a person meets opportunities to achieve personal goals. He quoted “higher education is the eye opener for a person to develop his/her career ambitions”. This shows that various researchers have recognized and appreciated the benefits of higher education in the current society.

Studies have found out that nations can only succeed if they invest heavily in higher education. As I started previously, higher education is the channel through which individuals can achieve much in society. Higher education enriches one’s education through which we learn diverse beliefs and experiences from others. Baum, Ma and Payea (2010) claimed that this enhances personal growth. An example of this benefit is given by Howard (2005) when he stated that higher education enabled employees to learn and interact with each other and also worked better in a multicultural environment.

Another benefit is that higher education strengthens workplaces as well as communities. This is because of the diversity of higher education which encourages teamwork and pluralistic society. I can quote Gurin, Nagda and Lopez (2004) who claimed “higher education is the approach that governments should go to eradicate elements such as hunger and poverty in our society.” As I conclude my speech, we need to examine critically these potential benefits that we benefit from higher education, whether to an individual or the society.


In conclusion, higher education plays significant roles in individuals’ lives. Some of these benefits include increased job opportunities, higher incomes and the general growth of the society. Governments have identified these benefits and invested highly in higher education. I can conclude that there are many benefits that higher education offers both to an individual and to the society.


Baum, S., Ma, J., & Payea, K. (2010). Education Pays, 2010: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society. Trends in Higher Education Series. College Board Advocacy & Policy Center.

Bureau of labor statistics (2012). Current population survey. Retrieved from:

Gurin, P., Nagda, B. R. A., & Lopez, G. E. (2004). The benefits of diversity in education for democratic citizenship. Journal of social issues, 60(1), 17-34.

Howard, M. A (2005). Higher Education and the Public Good. The new york times. Retrieved from;

McMahon, W. W. (2009). Higher learning, greater good: The private and social benefits of higher education. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

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