The smart business strategy: Investing in higher education

Considering the fact that businesses are some of the biggest beneficiaries of an educated population, you would think that they would be investing in education a lot more than they currently do. Sadly, this is not the case.

No major figure has made the effort to spearhead the push for increased investment by businesses in higher education. It seems a little strange if you think about it. On the other hand, businesses are making huge investments in other areas. Consider the impact made by Bill Gates on world healthcare, for example. By taking the lead, he has led the push to improve healthcare around the world and the positive results are there for everyone to see.

higher education

Healthcare presents incredible profits to the private sector so many businesses will invest in it. So why invest in education? Businesses arguably draw the greatest benefit from the spread of higher education and a more skilled workforce, so they should invest in it as well.

The statistics

There are some interesting statistics in the public domain about education. UNESCO released a policy paper that shows that the private sector invests a very small amount in this area. Actually, the total amount invested by the private sector in education is less than 0.1% of the profits drawn by the two largest oil companies in the world. That means, of all the businesses in the world, the amount invested in education by the private sector can barely even exceed 0.1% of the profits of just two companies. That’s quite unsettling.

In developing countries, the total amount invested in education by private entities totals to $683 million every year. Sure, this sounds like a very large number. However, when matched up to the total amount invested in this sector every year, it only accounts for 5%. That means that the government shoulders 95% of the burden of investing in education in developing countries.

In the United States., grants from foundations are mostly directed toward the health sector, with 53% of funds going in that direction. Meanwhile, only about 8% of the funds go to the education sector. As for the total contributions made by the private sector to education, 60% of those contributions come from just a handful of companies, while the rest contribute the remaining 40% distributed among themselves. When you choose EduBirdie website to check plagiarism you’re supporting one of these handful of organizations.

To be sure, governments already have a heavy burden of supporting many different sectors at the same time, and having to prop up the education sector at the same time doesn’t make things any easier. In such an environment, we all need to pool our efforts to get children all over the world to school, especially children in the most marginalized communities, genders, and countries all around the world.

Why your business should invest in higher education

To get a good idea of what higher education means for the economy, all we need to do is look at the differences between more economically developed countries (MEDCs) and less economically developed countries (LEDCs).

  • In MEDCs, over one third of the workforce has attained higher education at the tertiary level, while that number is a mere 12% in LEDCs.
  • 90% of citizens in MEDCs have gone through secondary education while only 63% of citizens in LEDCs have done the same.
  • In MEDCs, male to female student ratios are roughly at par while in LEDCs, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, there is a disproportionate number of females that cannot access education.
  • People with higher education are more likely than those without to invest in the education of their own children, leading to a virtuous circle of education.

It can be argued that more developed economies are the way they are precisely because of their greater average level of education. They have more skilled workers, leading to higher production of high quality goods and services, and finally to economic growth.

For a business, having a skilled labor force increases your capacity to deliver competitive products to your consumers while increasing your return on investment.

By investing in the higher education of both your current employees and your potential employees, you give your business a real return on investment that will improve your bottomline in the future.

A lot of the aspect of setting up and running a business involve a lot of specialist knowledge. You will have to either hire the professionals that will help you do this or pay contractors who specialize in the knowledge. However you look at it, an educated workforce is valuable to your business. So why not invest in it?

There are many ways to contribute to higher education, such as promoting ISAs, running scholarships in institutions where courses relevant to your industry are taught, and supporting organizations that seek to improve the overall quality of education globally. Over time, this can put your business at an advantageous position relative to the competition and boost your market dominance.


The effects of improved education can be felt both at the business level and the greater national economic level. A more educated population leads to better businesses, which lead to a higher GDP, which leads to higher social contributions to the government, which leads to greater welfare, which in turn leads to a higher quality of life for everyone. 

Michael Turner is a content writer and researcher with a deep passion for the topics of education and technology. He writes many articles on the latest developments in these fields and seeks to improve public awareness on the benefits of education and technology. He also writes about human development and different aspects of everyday life. You can also find him on twitter.