I was in the same congregation the whole time I was growing up in the 70's and early 80's. It was a very conservative congregation. Of course, I didn't know that. It was the only congregation I had attended. Higher education was frowned on, and my father was an elder. There was no way I was going to have any family support if I went, and it would have been viewed as rebellious.
Then, in November of 1992, there was a WT article entitled "Education with a Purpose"
It basically said you could go to college now, but only if you were doing so in order to get a good paying part-time job so you could pioneer. This was right about the time that I was realizing that it was a bad idea to allow my life to be remote controlled by a bunch of old men in New York.
How much education does a young Christian need in order to respect these Bible principles and meet his Christian obligations? This varies from country to country. By and large, however, it seems that the general trend in many lands is that the level of schooling required to earn decent wages is now higher than it was a few years ago. Reports received from branches of the Watch Tower Society in different parts of the world indicate that in many places it is difficult to find jobs with decent wages after completing simply the minimum schooling required by law or in some countries even after finishing secondary or high school.
What is meant by "decent wages"? It does not indicate highly paid jobs. Webster?sDictionary
defines "decent" in this context as "adequate, satisfactory." What might be termed "adequate," for instance, for those who wish to be pioneer ministers of the good news? Such ones generally need part-time work to avoid putting "an expensive burden" upon their brothers or their family. (1 Thessalonians 2:9) Their wages might be termed "adequate," or "satisfactory," if what they earn allows them to live decently while leaving them sufficient time and strength to accomplish their Christian ministry.
What is often the situation today? It has been reported that in some countries many well-intentioned youngsters have left school after completing the minimum required schooling in order to become pioneers. They had no trade or secular qualifications. If they were not helped by their parents, they had to find part-time work. Some have had to accept jobs that required them to work very long hours to make ends meet. Becoming physically exhausted, they gave up the pioneer ministry. What can such ones do to support themselves and get back into the pioneer service?
A balanced view of education can help. For many young people of the world, education is a status symbol, something to help them climb the social ladder, the key to a prosperous, materialistic life-style. For others, schooling is a chore to be dispensed with as quickly as possible. Neither of these views is appropriate for true Christians. What, then, might be termed "a balanced view"?
Christians should regard education as a means to an end. In these last days, their purpose is to serve Jehovah as much and as effectively as possible. If, in the country where they live, minimal or even high school education will only allow them to find jobs providing insufficient income to support themselves as pioneers, then supplementary education or training might be considered. This would be with the specific goal of full-time service.