The Key to Raising Human Capital: Education

Elizabeth Barna–Honorbound

Some of the “comfortable” or wealthy people in the United States have achieved their monetary status through natural talent, but more often than not other investments in their individual human capital have been made through education. Investing in one’s human capital will later return greater yields; “A college education is reckoned to yield about a 10 percent return on investment, meaning that if [one] put[s] down money today for college tuition, [one] can expect to earn that money back plus 10 percent a year in higher earnings”[1]. The more human capital one has the more versatile and flexible they can be and work. It is true at the other end of the labor spectrum that it does not take much skill to be a fast food worker, therefore, that person’s human capital is not as high as someone who let’s say is a top surgeon in New York City. It makes sense to want to invest in one’s human capital when the returns will become much greater in the future and give one better chances in the competition of life.[2] The best way to increase human capital is through education, but not just in the U.S. but also by expanding and improving education globally and then our world economy will become richer as a whole.

Secretary Arne Duncan remarks at the “World Bank, Human Development Network Forum,” by claiming that the world is in a global economic crisis. He says that “education–then and now–is the beacon lighting the path forward, perhaps more so today than ever before”[3]. The way to get oneself ahead is to further one’s education. The World Bank is a big supporter of education since it first invested in educational development in 1962 and has since “invested $69 billion in more than 1,500 education projects around the globe”[4]. Over the last few years, the Bank has invested more than 5 billion dollars in 2010 alone. Arne Duncan argues that fixing and improving education is not a quick and easy process, and also that he believes this is not a zero-sum game; he believes everyone can win if we increase and better education globally.[5] America needs to share its experience with other nations going through the same educational challenges for a mutual benefit in the end. Basically, if everyone goes to college then everyone will see an increase in their human capital which means a greater yield in the future. And if everyone does this it will raise the economy as a whole and everyone will be better off.










[1] Charles, Wheelan, Naked Economics, (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010), 128.

[2] Charles, Wheelan, 129.

[3] Arne, Duncan, “Improving Human Capital in a Competitive World – Education Reform in the U.S.,” U.S. Department of Education. March 3, 2011. Accessed November 28, 2011.

[4] Arne, Duncan.

[5] Arne, Duncan.


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