For some people in some parts of the world (especially the developing countries) education is the only hope that people have of escaping debilitating poverty. While poverty is widespread in many developing countries, education offers the best opportunity for people to escape it.
Educated people have higher earning capabilities in addition to being more productive. Education and modern technology enable people to be more productive and to produce high quality goods in a more economical way. Investment in agricultural technologies has enabled farmers to be more productive and to produce goods much more cheaply. Perhaps the real effect of education can be seen in the rise of nations that have invested heavily in education.
Much of the West has been able to rise to prominence through investment in technological education. Much more recently, countries such as the Asian Tigers have witnessed great growth through massive investment in education.