Education does not Equal Success

education does not equal success behind the schmile

You already know this: education is not equal to success. It can even be argued that educational success itself is not success, or at least not the epitome of it.

What is Success?

According to my favourite source,, success is:

  1. The favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
  2. The attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like.
  3. A performance or achievement that is marked by success, as by the attainment of honours.

I can confidently say, as a statement of fact, that education does not guarantee you any of the above. Education can, of course, prepare one’s mind and help to develop the necessary skills or build the foundations of knowledge that can lead to acquiring such. But this is not a promise.

But maybe I’m not being specific enough; after all, education is simply the act of acquiring knowledge, a term used to describe the process of teaching and learning. Learning is something that comes with life’s experiences- if of course, we choose to reflect and acknowledge the lessons. So with this view, I am forced to admit that education is probably the only thing that can actually lead to success. What I probably should have said is that a university education is not equal to success.

I know I know I know, just last week I told you that university was worth the stress and endless debt! I still stand by this, but university is more than just formal education.

education does not equal success behind the schmile

Degrees are not Diamonds

Kanye West- Lil Jimmy (Skit)

That degree, those letters and numbers scribed onto that scroll that will most likely collect dust, stuffed into the back of a drawer, is not your ticket to “the attainment of wealth”. Your university qualifications probably won’t even guarantee you a job in your chosen field to kick-start your career. As obvious as this seems, many of us have come from backgrounds where university is the only way- these other options don’t even exist, you dare not mention then in conversation and you’d be a fool to suggest your interest.

Maybe once upon a time, when a university degree was somewhat rare, it may have served as a stepping stone into the working world where the majority believe that success has confined itself to. But today, where a large proportion has such qualifications, it simply isn’t enough.

“Want a good job? Get a good degree”

“Got a good degree? Get some experience”

“Want some experience? You need to already have experience”

But we only have 18 years to do all of this… So I need to come out of the womb with a careers guide in my hand and of course the ability to read. Problem: I didn’t figure any of this out until I was 16 and so now my supposed success is very much delayed. Damn.

The point is that your university degree is not the golden ticket that it once was. This is not to downplay university at all, if I thought it was a complete waste of time I wouldn’t be drowning in debt. But you can’t rely solely on it and this is why I think it’s about time parents (especially those of African and Asian descent) finally accept this so we can all live happily ever after.

education does not equal success behind the schmile

Academic Limits

Not everyone will excel academically. Shocker!

I know some people that just didn’t do well in primary school and went on to do pretty well in secondary school; I know some people who were in ‘bottom set’ during their GCSEs and came out with A grades at A Level; I know people who did relatively badly at both and went on to achieve 1st class degrees at university; I even know some who started off as geniuses and barely passed their GCSEs. Everyone is different. There are so many social factors that affect our academic performance. There are those with all the knowledge and ability that just can’t pass exams and those who always achieve a perfect score on a test but have no practical or social skills.

By confining so-called success to a degree that unfortunately leads to uncertainty, we have completely disregarded the non-academically gifted.

“You cannot judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree”- Einstein

education does not equal success behind the schmile

The impression you give a child of their abilities and prospects can stick with them for life. An environment where success is restricted to a very bias set of skills and achievements can literally destroy a person by completely diminishing morale.

The education system all over the world has MANY fundamental issues. I could write a rant about this that would be longer than my dissertation. Instead, you can watch this TED Talk.

Learning Objective

The learning objective (as the school system seems to refer to them) of this post is that no, education is not pointless neither is it a lost cause. But it certainly isn’t a guaranteed key to success.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the hard work and grinding stops just because you got a piece of paper. Don’t limit your ability to your academic capabilities. Don’t lose confidence because you aren’t an A* student or because you didn’t go to Oxbridge.

A few weeks ago we defined what success means to us and you don’t necessarily need a degree to achieve these things.

You can still be a success… however you choose to define it!

education does not equal success behind the schmile

All the best!

Tisha x


If this post interested you, here’s a book you might want to read: Rich Dad Poor Dad

Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on education and success.

  58 comments for “Education does not Equal Success

  1. Syd
    September 19, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    I agree with this so much. Everyone is meant to go to college and you can succeed other ways. You just have to want it bad enough, thanks for keeping it 100

    • TishaKimiira
      September 19, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it- thank you for reading!💙

  2. GhanaGirl
    September 19, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    Oh the facts about experience! we are all doomed! Great read though.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 19, 2017 at 8:10 pm

      There is hope lmao! Thank you for reading x

  3. Autum Love
    September 19, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I love this post! I have a BFA in Fashion Design, but to be honest I don’t think I needed it. Time has changed and I think I probably could have taught myself alot of things. BUT my degree did give me experience that I don’t think I could have learned anywhere else. But that’s one of the things I won’t force on my daughter, she doesn’t have to go to college in fact If she decides to start a business once she graduates highschool I would be just as happy!!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 20, 2017 at 7:56 am

      You made a very valid point here about the times changing- it’s probably time to introduce a new official method of educating in certain fields bc a degree is not always unnecessary. So glad to know the younger generation acknowledges this and isn’t as forceful with university. Thank you for reading!💙

  4. September 20, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Completely agree, I wish I didn’t waste money on college!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 20, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Would you say it was a complete waste? Thank you for reading btw!x

  5. September 20, 2017 at 9:34 pm

    Our own motivation to learn is the fundamental skill. Even if you don’t go to college, if you have the motivation, you will find ways to learn the skills you want to have. I had a bachelor degree. It took me years to payoff the debts that resulted from that. Now, I am turning into a completely different direction for my career. I am starting from scratch through self-learning. I feel like I learn so much more in the past 3 months than in the four years of college.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 20, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      Love this! Self learning, or at least the will/motivation is what can make education successful! Thank you for reading💙

  6. September 28, 2017 at 4:11 am

    I just achieved success in earning my Doctor of Education degree on June 26, 2017. And you’re right, it has NOT magically helped me to be successful in all areas of life! I’m still waiting for my breakthrough to happen in the career field. I especially like this statement: “Don’t limit your ability to your academic capabilities.” Amen!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 28, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      First of all congratulations!!! Wishing you the best as you continue to progress in your career! So glad you could relate to this post and thank you so much for sharing your story!

  7. October 10, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Ahhh if only I read this when I was 22 lol! Such a relevant and ACCURATE read!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 10, 2017 at 10:34 pm

      Haha glad you could relate! Thank you so much for reading!x

  8. October 22, 2017 at 1:18 am

    Powerful piece! Facts!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 at 1:49 am

      Thank you!💙

      • October 25, 2017 at 5:01 pm

        You’re welcome! ☺️

  9. November 10, 2017 at 3:46 am

    I work in a staffing agency and some of our recruiters don’t have an education but earn six figure salaries from recruiting. My boyfriend doesn’t have a formal education but is definitely one of the smartest guys I know. Education doesn’t equal to success or measures someone’s intelligence.

    • TishaKimiira
      November 10, 2017 at 8:18 am

      I definitely agree! Thank you for your contribution to the discussion- I hope it encourages someone! Thanks for reading💙

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