Can you put a dollar-value on education?

I wrote this week that I received my graduate certificate from the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David. Today I’d like to address a question I keep getting, “will that certificate increase your income?” I have to answer that it probably will not, but trying to put a dollar value on what one gets from a College education is kind of missing the point.

I see it as self-development, as important as exercise or having a spiritual practice. Reading, synthesizing information and writing cogent papers using critical thinking skills is a process and in the liberal arts at least, this process is valued as highly as any outcome. It has been proven that continued education develops the mind and enhances memory. Yes, you could memorize sport statistics, Monty Python movies or work crossword puzzles but  learning a language, studying art or military history and philosophy will do more for you. The liberal arts still hold sway as the gold standard of education.

Do you know what the “Liberal Arts” are?

liberal arts, value of educcationThe seven liberal arts are grammar, rhetoric, logic, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. St Augustine, Martianus Capella, Boethius, Cassiodorus and Isidore of Seville all wrote on the “seven liberal arts” as the basis of a proper education for a free man,  in other words, a citizen, to know in order to take an active part in civic life. They are not an end in themselves, in the way a vocational course is but a foundation for learning.