Education does not Equal Success

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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.

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  1. September 17, 2017 / 8:41 am

    I agree with this. Education can come in many forms. It’s important to choose the right path of education for your desired future.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 8:54 am

      So important!!!!!!! Otherwise it can be seen as a wasted investment. Thank you for reading!😊

  2. September 17, 2017 / 9:26 am

    Thanks for keeping it 100! Too many people think that college and degrees are like magic beans lol. Especially in this economy today, it takes a lot more work, effort, networking, investing, A LOT! People also have to understand success is a JOURNEY and not a one stop destination.


    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 9:28 am

      Love this! Definitely a journey, a difficult and tiring journey but the destination is worth it! Thank you for reading- I’m glad you enjoyed it!😊

  3. September 17, 2017 / 12:32 pm

    I totally relate to this post! I myself have chosen not to go down the route of uni, although it may be others, it certainly isnt for everyone! Thank you for sharing 😊

    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 12:35 pm

      Glad you can relate! Thank you so much for reading 💙

  4. September 17, 2017 / 1:38 pm

    I really enjoyed your post. While a college degree does not guarantee success, as you said, college is so much more than the academic degree. For myself, there was something about completing college that gave me confidence that I could see something through, which was important for me. The other thing that resonated with me is about the messages we give young people about their educational choices. In my senior year of high school, my teacher told me I’d never complete anything because I wanted to drop calculus. Now that I have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, a graduate certificate, and have been at my job 21 years, I guess I can finally put that “quitter” prediction to rest. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      I’m so glad you said that, “having the confidence to see something through”- this is exactly what I needed to hear today- thank you for inspiring me lol!😂What an encouraging story!!!!!!!! Congrats to you and thank you for sharing! So many are held back by harsh words that have spoken about them, especially concerning their education, always encouraging to hear of someone that fought past that! Thank you so much for reading 💙

  5. September 17, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    I agree with you 100 percent! I have a degree and it is pretty much useless after all of the time I spent getting it. Sometimes it’s not what you know it’s who you know in order to get to where you want to go.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 2:23 pm

      This is definitely true in more cases than it should be! Thanks for reading 💙

  6. September 17, 2017 / 7:47 pm

    Loved this!!! So many good points that are often ignored!!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 7:49 pm

      Thank you for reading!💙

  7. September 17, 2017 / 9:07 pm

    True- college does NOT guarantee success.
    However, I feel like education teaches us (at least it SHOULD) the grit necessary to be successful at anything. The fact that we are judged by grades instead of by how much we really learn is another issue, but hard work= success in most if not all cases, and college is likely the place that will teach us courage, perseverance, time management and overall grittiness to make it when we get out.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 9:22 pm

      Uni has definitely taught me a lot about courage and perseverance- depending on the course/subject I’d say the transferable skills are more important! Thank you so much for reading and sharing as always 💙

  8. esgartland
    September 17, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    I completly agree that a degree does not mean success. It’s all about how you define success as well. You should be proud of your accomplishments but you shouldn’t look down in others because they went a different path.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 17, 2017 / 10:53 pm

      This is very true- we aren’t to judge others for the path they choose. Thank you for reading 💙

  9. September 18, 2017 / 3:38 am

    My thoughts on education and success is just like you said. Just because you get an education it doesn’t guarantee you success. You still have to work toward success. Education is just one part of the formula.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 7:14 am

      So many people forget that the grind doesn’t end when graduation comes- thanks for reading! Glad you agree!💙

  10. September 18, 2017 / 3:40 am

    I think the value in education is exposure, experience, and building confidence. There is so much value in being surrounded by like minds and like hustle. Great video!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 7:15 am

      Very valid points!!! Glad you enjoyed it 💙

  11. Esther bello
    September 18, 2017 / 4:48 am

    True talk

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 7:15 am

      Thank you!💙

  12. September 18, 2017 / 5:37 am

    Great post – I agree that earning the degree doesn’t directly translate into success, as we’ve seen people who didn’t complete higher education and still accomplished many great things. After all, not everyone who graduated in the same class worked as hard, got the same lessons/takeaways from their higher education experience, or share the same goals in their career or post-grad life. My friends and I discussed before on whether U.S. college education is truly helping/equipping students with the knowledge and skills they need after college, and really, the answer is often times mixed. Depending on the major (for my case, media studies), the courses can be interesting, thought-provoking but too theoretical and sometimes detached from the jobs applied for. Most of the ‘technical’ skills needed for the jobs I’m interested in were actually gained outside of class, but I believe the coursework I’ve taken taught me other important things, including taking on soft skills like writing and people skills, embracing more perspectives, being proactive, communicating more effectively and problem-solving. And again, everyone’s takeaway is different but I think it’s what you make the most of your experience that guides you through your journey after and attain your defined ‘success’.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 7:21 am

      I couldn’t agree more and thank you so much for your feedback- I love hearing other people’s thoughts on the topic! I think most have concluded that excluding very specialist courses like medicine, uni/college’s most valuable lessons will be the transferable skills! Sometimes I feel like I could learn those skills in less stressful environments 😂but as someone said earlier, learning perseverance building courage is an important lesson too! Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate your feedback!💙

  13. September 18, 2017 / 9:52 am

    I think people’s view of education is distorted in the sense that you think education is just going through school and learning stuff and then a degree….. Education is learning new things that might make us better and inspire…. Education is definitely guaranteed if you are learning for the sake of knowing new things and aiming to be inspired…. For example I am a literature student at the University because I want to be a better writer and every lesson is important for me…it inspires to keep writing or teaches me a new trick to apply in my writing….So why are you studying ?

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 8:38 pm

      I agree with your points, the education itself is guaranteed if you bother to learn, but the ‘success’ the people believe follows instantly isn’t, in my opinion. Sometimes people forget that they still need to make an effort and can’t rely solely on a degree/academic education. Thank you for reading!💙

  14. September 18, 2017 / 10:43 pm

    I NEEDED THIS! I am so glad that I decided to go to college but academically I have struggled. In the beginning, my grades sucked and I thought that diminished my worth and that I would never get a job. Over the past three years, I have just worked really hard to get any hands on experience possible to offset my sucky grades. Through those experiences, I have been able to learn more than I ever could in the classroom.

    Everyone will not obtain success or reach goals in the same way and that’s okay. I hope that your message is able to get out, so that people that are in similar situations as I was are able to hear that success comes in many different forms.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 10:53 pm

      I’m so glad you found a way to ‘re-validate- yourself, you are sooooo much more than your grades! I know exactly what this can feel like- thankfully it seems setbacks pushed you to be better! Thank you so much for this, I’m so glad you could relate!💙

  15. September 18, 2017 / 10:48 pm

    Education can be an equalizer; however success is determined by your push to succeed.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 10:54 pm

      Love this- so simple and true! Thank you for reading 💙

  16. September 18, 2017 / 10:50 pm

    I totally agree with you on this, I feel that although education is important, it is just a tool. It is up to you to create your success, you can have all the education in the world, but if you are not working toward your own success you will not get anywhere.

    • TishaKimiira
      September 18, 2017 / 10:55 pm

      Once people understand that it is nothing more than a true I feel as though society as a whole will definitely change! Thank you for reading 💙

  17. September 19, 2017 / 2:20 am

    This couldn’t be more true! It truly depends on your course of study, work ethic and network. I think that’s why so many people with degrees are struggling. Even with that degree, you still have to go out there and get it by any means necessary. There’s no shortcuts anymore!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 19, 2017 / 7:54 am

      Certainly course-specific. So many other soft and social skills people need to develop- completely agree. Thank you for reading 💙

  18. September 19, 2017 / 6:37 am

    I totally agree with you, Tisha. Education might be important but it won’t guarantee you success. You have to have your own definition of success and In the end, how you live with people, what you learn from them and life, how smart you work will determine your success. Success come to those who prepare and work for it.Thank you so much for sharing this. 🙂

    • TishaKimiira
      September 19, 2017 / 7:55 am

      Thank you so much for reading- I’m glad you could relate. Defining your own success (end goal) should always be the first step in any endeavour!💙

  19. September 19, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    I’m with you here. Education does not guarantee success. Passion is very important I think, you’ll have good results if you are motivated and love what you do!

    • TishaKimiira
      September 19, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Passion is definitely important- both are integral to achieving real success (based on my definition of it lol) Thank you for reading!x

  20. September 19, 2017 / 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 / 6:02 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it- thank you for reading!💙

  21. GhanaGirl
    September 19, 2017 / 7:50 pm

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

    • TishaKimiira
      September 19, 2017 / 8:10 pm

      There is hope lmao! Thank you for reading x

  22. Autum Love
    September 19, 2017 / 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 / 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!💙

  23. September 20, 2017 / 8:16 pm

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

    • TishaKimiira
      September 20, 2017 / 8:36 pm

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

  24. September 20, 2017 / 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 / 9:36 pm

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

  25. September 28, 2017 / 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 / 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!

  26. October 10, 2017 / 10:06 pm

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

    • TishaKimiira
      October 10, 2017 / 10:34 pm

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

  27. October 22, 2017 / 1:18 am

    Powerful piece! Facts!

    • TishaKimiira
      October 22, 2017 / 1:49 am

      Thank you!💙

      • October 25, 2017 / 5:01 pm

        You’re welcome! ☺️

  28. November 10, 2017 / 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 / 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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