In the past, education was largely about preparing people for jobs, and job preparation is still a major component of education. These days, many jobs require basic math and writing skills, and many require computer skills as well. Education prepares people for the job market of the 21st century.
Education also teaches people about the world they live in, which allows them to understand and appreciate their lives and their interactions with others. Knowing how the government works helps people make informed decisions, and learning history helps them interpret modern news events. A well-rounded education is key for intellectual enjoyment.
People can also learn about critical thinking skills while in school, which helps them make better decisions. Students learn about the scientific method, and this helps them learn how to avoid certain scams. It also teaches them how to interpret statistics and anecdotes. Critical thinking also plays a role in many jobs, and learning how to weigh various factors and make a judgment serves students well for their entire lives.