Almost everybody has a "dream job", one where they do some kind of interesting work and get paid lots for it. This is one of the reasons why a person would consider going beyond high school, and pursuing higher education; so they can get that "dream job". With degrees and Ph.D.s comes money, along with wider opportunities for the future, and less physical work. Of course, the three aforementioned traits do not always apply, but in the majority of cases they do.
In learning more about your world, you can absorb some history, and in the process keep your culture alive. Culture and traditions can only survive if they are passed down from generation to generation. By studying history, you can also learn from the mistakes of those who came before you, and ensure that you do not repeat those mistakes. Good examples of this are failed strategies used in war; you would definitely not want to repeat those.
Some people go for degrees because they think it earns them power, respect, and esteem. Certain socialites feel that if you do not have a Ph.D., you are not worth anything, not even a bit of their time. The third reason to pursue higher education is to appease swine like this. If you want to become one of the social elite, college is necessary.
No matter how hard you try to deny it, the majority of people are dolts. In order to ensure a healthy democracy, you need well educated people to vote on modern issues. It is pretty obvious that if we had a bunch of easily duped...