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Education – the be all and end all?

Education – the be all and end all?

There can be no doubting the benefit of a good education.

For the individual, education can open many doors in terms of employment opportunities, offering a higher quality of living.

For society, the betterment of individuals is reflected in the quality of services provided, again leading to a higher standard of life, this time for the many.

However, the question that must be asked is whether the minimal requirement of a degree for many jobs could in fact be creating barriers for individuals of real ability.

Looking through history, there are numerous examples of individuals who defied educational standards to make major contributions to their areas of expertise.

One of the more extreme examples is none other than Albert Einstein. The man who gave us the theory of relativity was in fact a high school dropout and failed his university entrance exam.

Einstein later made it through college, but the man considered the greatest mind of the twentieth century was initially far from prolific in academic performance.

Steve Jobs, the creator of Apple, is another who failed to complete third level education. At the time of his untimely death, Jobs had amassed a fortune of $11 billion.

Some people will point to the unique nature of these individuals and suggest their genius made their education irrelevant. Those people need to take a look at the life of Richard Branson.

Founder of the Virgin brand and a self-made billionaire, Branson suffered from dyslexia and dropped out of high school at 16. Today, his net worth is said to be roughly $5 billion.

The glaring truth is that people have far more to offer the world to be restricted by their level of education.

After all, genius is not only defined as “an exceptionally intelligent person”, but also as “one with exceptional skill in a particular area of activity”.

The potential for genius is therefore inside us all. It is just a matter of seeking it out and bringing it to the surface.

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