Education is a trillion-dollar industry and it’s getting bigger. OECD countries devote 11.3% of public spending to education, an average of US$10,493 per student per year. Spending per student on primary and secondary education has increased by almost 20% since 2006.

UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goal 4 is that every one of its 193 member states spends 4-6% of GDP and/or 15-20% of total public expenditure on education by 2030.

It’s growing because there are more young people to be educated. But also, because the level of education among the global population is increasing. The UN’s Millennium Development Goals aimed for universal primary education by 2015.

By 2015, 91% of children in developing regions were enrolled, up from 83% in 2000 — an increase of 43 million children.

People are making the link between education and economic success.

The OECD evaluates 72 national school systems using the PISA targets, testing 15-year-old on science, mathematics, reading and problem-solving. It estimates that if every child met the targets, the GDP of upper-middle-income countries would be 16% higher over the next 80 years. The GDP of lower-middle-income countries would be on average 28% higher over the next 80 years.

Since 1970, there has been a massive expansion in tertiary education around the world. As universities have become more accessible, enrolment has soared. On average, 36% of today’s young adults in OECD countries are expected to graduate at least once from tertiary education before they are 30.

The greatest expansion has taken place in Asia. Korea has the highest proportion of graduates: 67.7% of 25-34 year old have been through tertiary education.

Education must evolve to meet the demands of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

How we live, work, play, and think is changing as a result of technological advancements. And it's occurring at a faster rate and on a wider scale than at any other time in human history. Education must provide today's youth with the tools they will need to succeed in the world of tomorrow.

Even if we have no idea what it looks like. Computers can not only be trained to perform a wide range of human jobs, but they can also learn how to do things on their own by applying their processing capacity to large datasets. Artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, and 3D printing are just a handful of the technologies that will alter most jobs in the next few years.

A wide range of occupations will require a higher degree of cognitive abilities — such as creativity, logical thinking, and issue sensitivity — as part of their core skill set.