Is Education Is The Path to Advancement?

In some sort of shape, form, or structure every culture acknowledges education but with the differences in our cultures relating to education, we create or diminish the belief that education in the traditional sense, college, is the path to advancement. The cultures in which we find that going to college is highly encouraged, are the ones where value has been put in education from the start. In particular, many minority cultures in America and other developed countries have placed value on education because of previous experiences where only some part of the community (e.g.the higher class or majority people), could go to college and get an education. Those privileges resulted in them getting higher-paying jobs leaving the minority communities with the less desirable trade or labor work that didn’t pay as well. On the other hand, the communities who have always been higher up on the social ladder tend to not have as high value in education which makes a lot of them have less belief in education as the path to advancement.

However, there are still a handful of people of higher hierarchy that still believe that education is the path to advancement. Although these people do believe education is a good thing they are more lenient with their beliefs because of their already advanced roles in society. Majorly we will find something similar in people with the belief that education is the path to advancement and that is the value their communities have put in education.

Historically, knowledge has always been something of value in many cultures, so when higher institutions like colleges and universities were made available it was deemed a necessity. Colleges have been a thing for many years and since the beginning was a valued institution. The first colleges were created to train clergymen, highly respected people in early societies, and teach the skills necessary to hold important political positions or public roles. Thus, going to college was a valuable privilege. In earlier days it was mostly people of important family background who went to college creating the earliest belief of education as the path to advancement. Although the aristocrats were the ones going to college they didn’t have as much value in the system on the contrary it was those who could not obtain the value of education who valued it. You see, this is where the value for education deepened in most cultures and it would stay for a long time.

The ideology that education is the path to advancement can also be traced to the wealth of fully educated professionals such as doctors, lawyers, Judges, architects, engineers and the like. People saw their wealth as a direct result of their professional degrees, which it was. This along with the desire for such opulence would further solidify the value of education in various cultures and communities.

Generally, we as humans tend to value things that are scarce or hard to get, and given the history of many lower-class cultures, it is a given that they would put value in the education that a lot of the higher class flaunted. Now in present times, those who previously did not have access to education will push their children to have an education, and that value and prestige being passed around in the community in regards to education would foster the beliefs that education is the path to advancement.

Correspondingly, wealth is another determining factor of the value that would make lower class and minority cultures value education. Not wanting to see the next generation remain at the bottom of the social ladder, the older generation would push for them to get an education. Why? Because it is believed to be a creator of wealth. The younger generation being taught and told about the importance of education would also believe it was the path to advancement because after all, we are all results of the society, cultures, and communities we grew up in. This value for education being passed down from generation to generation in these cultures tends to influence them to believe that education is the path to advancement.

Nonetheless, a lot of people who believed education is the path to advancement as a result of the value of the education that their communities instilled in them, have begun to stray away from that narrative. A lot of modern Psychological and sociological research and technology extinguishes people’s belief in education directly resulting in fewer people coming from the lower-class cultures believing that education is the path to advancement. Even some with the same desire for wealth as the older generation still believe there are other ways to attain success or wealth and rightfully so because now there are various ways to be successful without education. Means such as investing, entertaining, practicing a trade, and many other various means even though these require some sort of knowledge, going to college is not necessary.

However, the prestige of an educational degree will always remain as doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers, and other professional careers that require an education still hold more prestige and value over other means of attainment of wealth and success. That prestige still held by professional careers remains a reason, an important one, for the value of education in many communities.

Overall, the value of education still remains a constant in many societies, cultures, and communities, especially those of lower social class, and this still continues to promote the belief that education is the path to advancement in these communities. The historical relevance, social scars and memories of the lower class in society run too deep for modern influence to easily eliminate the belief. To sum it all up, the belief that education is the path to advancement will always be present in these cultures regardless of external influence, modern research, technology and communication and this indicates that in order to push people out of this mindset, change in regards to the gap between social classes needs to be implemented to show people that although education is a valuable resource it is not the sole contributor to an individual’s success. Once people start to see other means of success as viable in their culture we will start to see social class differences begin to dissolve.


Anderberg, Jeremy. “Is College for Everyone? An Introduction and Timeline of College in America.”, The art of manliness, 5 March 2014,, Accessed 12 September 2021.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store