How do you (or the people in general) benefit from someone else's education in high education institutions?

When you study at a university (whether it is undergraduate, graduate or PhD), you are “supposed to be” a more sophisticated and knowledgeable individual. Is it really so? Do you really believe in it? If he or she isn’t going to be a researcher with a PhD in a certain field who will pursue “life improving” or “life changing” work, how can we benefit from this individual’s education? She/He isn’t going to find a “solution for infectious diseases” (for example) with his master’s degree in business or economics. So what is the point of his/her studies?

If people have a better all-round education they will tend to make smarter decisions all round.

Education teaches you critical thinking, how to analyse, parse information, and communicate ideas. Even if you don’t work in the specific field you studied it makes you better at your job, which benefits your company and your industry. It might help you to make better life choices - although you’ll still be free to make a mess of things. For instance, if you’ve studied a science you might be able to communicate more effectively with your doctor and appreciate why they are recommending a particular treatment. I have a blood disorder and my love of science definitely helps me to understand some of the explanations I get from my consultants and we talk through my problems critically and find treatments and solutions to things mutually; which is much better than them just examining me and handing me a drug. That benefits the community slightly because I’m using up less hospital resource and time.

I studied philosophy and while I don’t use the specific learnings from it in my life it did make me a better thinker which helps me with my job and with my life. I benefit directly from that but so does my employer and the community to a small extent. University did something else too: I met people with different backgrounds from different parts of the country - it got my out of my bubble and made me a more well-rounded person.

Starting a career earlier can also do all these things without doubt. But higher education, done well, is extremely valuable.

On the contrary, with a business or economics degree she might get a job in the management of a company that develops new medical treatments. She may never directly contribute to the research, but her job is essential. Her work may well save many lives.

I’m not sure where you got the idea that education makes one sophisticated, but ignoring that, by definition education makes one more knowledgeable. This is how we get experts in any field, as well as informed workers who can innovate and improve. Our modern society evolves through many incremental improvements (and takes some steps backwards) that come from all over. A Masters or PhD in economics may lead to microloans in parts of the developing world that improves the lives of millions. A PhD in business may lead to improving efficiency in corporations around the world. An advanced arts degree may produce amazing new art forms that inspire people to do more amazing things.

Or they might just pad their own bank accounts. Not everyone is going to change the world for the better. But it’s a good way to start.

Just imagine what it would be like if no one had an education.

Is that the world you want to live in?

I think there’s another aspect of getting a college degree that’s too often overlooked. Getting a college degree is a process regardless of what area of knowledge it’s in. A student has to make a multi-year plan and work through a number of steps in order to reach a specific goal. The skills they learn by doing this will help them throughout their career and their life, regardless of whether the specific knowledge they acquire is applicable. A person who has a degree in medieval folklore is a better employee not because they know medieval folklore. They’re a better employee because they obtained a degree.

The point I make to everyone about getting a college degree is that it shows personal commitment. Whether a liberal arts degree or a PhD in Nuclear Physics you have shown that you have the ability to finish something that you started. That you understand and place importance on achieving a goal and that you have the ability to go through the grind to get there. In the real world this is one of the most important skills you can obtain.

It’s kind of like going into the services and getting a honorable discharge. It’s something that society recognizes and appreciates as an accomplishment.

People who drop out their studies senior year piss me off and/or disappoint to no end. The same with people who get dishonorable discharges from the services.

Hell yes. I don’t work in the lab any more, but when I did, it was supported by a small army of non-technical people.
Not that they’re exclusively important. I had my ass saved by plumber, electrician, glassblower, etc. plenty of times.

That’s one thing it could show. It also might show that you just managed to pick a task/commitment that makes you happy or is easy for you. It might not not show at all one’s ability to remain bound to a long-term obligation that is not rewarding or otherwise poses challenges. Don’t assume all college grads have “the ability to go through the grind” or that drop-outs or never-attends don’t.

Why does it “piss you off”? What about my not completing four years of school inspires you to be angry? What about this tiny fact of my life has the power over your emotions this way?

Often, it demonstrates a middle class or better upbringing.

It also demonstrates an ability to navigate pointless bureaucracies and jump through meaningless and arbitrary hoops.

Both are things that employers are looking for.

People with degrees are running the companies we work for. They’re creating the technologies we rely on for everything from life saving to idle web browsing. People with degrees are bringing us the news, teaching our children, designing our buildings and roads, taking care of us when we’re sick, managing our finances, fighting our court battles…I mean, the list is extensive.

The list is extensive of what you can do without a degree, too! And with the ever-important associate’s degree (not sure if the OP considers that “high” education).

But in the midst of the world showing us the importance of the hourly service worker, remember there’s people with degrees and skills that set all those stores and gas stations up in the first place, and keep them running and making money day-to-day.

Like everything else in life these are not absolutes. But if I’m picking up your resume and see that you are applying for a job that says college degree required and you state that you almost graduated but left your senior year your resume is going into the bottom of the pile as you are perceived as a quitter. Its generally how society rates people they don’t know. It’s up to the individual to overcome this perception. Same with a dishonorable discharge, its part of your record that you need to explain to people.

When you don’t know someone and are looking at them on paper this is what happens. Whether you like or not or whether you agree with or not.

Yes. Many of the problems facing our world, and our country, and our cities, states, companies, and organizations, today are economic problems.

Anywhere from 25% (minimum) up to 75-85% of that education was paid for by my taxes. So when you fooled around for 3 years+, and then quit without finishing, you wasted a lot of my tax money. Don’t you think that’s a reason for me to be pissed at you?

This is true. But I feel the more important employment skill is that getting a college degree shows you can finish a plan that was set up by somebody else.

I could, for example, set myself the goal of riding my bicycle five thousand miles in a year or learning to speak Japanese. These are worthwhile goals - but they’re goals I chose.

A potential employer is going to be more impressed if I can demonstrate that somebody else set a major goal for me and I was able to achieve it.

There’s also the fact that colleges generally don’t have enough room for everybody who applies to them. So when you attend a college, you’re using a spot that somebody else wanted.

That’s fine if you’re using the spot. But it seems wrong to take up the spot in a college class, effectively denying it to somebody else, and then not complete the program. You’re essentially throwing away something that somebody else wanted.

How do you know that Eonwe just “fooled around for 3+ years”? It’s possible to get education without getting a degree.Are you implying that it’s only the degree that matters, and not the education acquired in the process of obtaining that degree?

This is true at selective colleges, but I don’t know that it’s true generally. The “college-age” demographic has been shrinking lately in some parts of the country.

This is hogwash, sorry. Our taxes go to education because an educated citizenry is a good thing for society. A degree only shows that an individual completed the required curriculum of a particular program. It doesn’t indicate that they know more than someone else. Just that they did extra work.

At any rate, a person who has three years of advanced course work under the belt is in a better position for employment than a person who has none. Just like a person who drops out at the 11th grade is in a better position than the person who drops out their freshman year. So no, you don’t have a good reason to be pissed off.

This would be more akin to the differences between a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree. And this is why people with Masters degree make more money out the gate, because they have demonstrated the ability to come up with, focus on and complete a dissertation on a novel subject.

Still I recognize that some people who drop out don’t really need the degree to be successful, like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. But most people are not Gates or Jobs, so people who drop either have to A. Not put it on their resumes, B. Not say it was the equivalent to getting an Associates degree (because you didn’t) or C. be prepared to discuss their situation and show enough persuasiveness to convince someone that they are capable for the position.

I have a friend that has been working as a non-degreeed engineer for like 25 years and he interviewed at my place of employment. Managers loved him as he was very forthright and confidant, knew the technology well and was a hands on trouble shooter. HR would not consider him since he did not have a degree. So I am not against people who drop out but I have seen where it can be very difficult for them to keep reselling themselves over the years when they lose a long standing position. In short completing the degree gets you to a level where this weeding out process doesn’t happen, that’s the benefit.