Completing higher education has become one of the most integral factors considered for being able to enter and succeed in the “real world” of business. A college degree has become more necessary than ever in this day and age. According to a report by Payscale.com, people with college degrees make up to 60% more money than those without them. That’s a pretty significant difference! Not only that, but having higher education also increases your chances of succeeding as an entrepreneur.
According to an analysis published in 2018, the proportion of new businesses created by people with less than a high school education was only 0.44 percent in the United States that year, implying just 40 new entrepreneurs per 100,000 adults. There’s definitely a gap there. Contrastingly, the rate of new entrepreneurs among U.S. residents with a graduate degree or more was almost six times higher at 26.06 percent.
There are a multitude of reasons why having a college degree is so essential for those looking to become successful entrepreneurs.
What Higher Education Are We Talking About?
When we say “higher education,” we’re not just referring to getting a four-year degree from an accredited university. Higher education has its many forms, and each one can provide you with the skills needed to start and grow a successful business.
For instance, with a general MBA, you can gain the business skills needed to start and run your own company, whereas, with a master of science in entrepreneurship, you can learn how to develop and execute an effective business plan.
Many specialized programs can give you an edge in the business world. For example, if you’re interested in starting a technology company, you might want to consider getting a degree in information technology or engineering.
Even if you’re not interested in getting a formal degree, many other types of higher education can be just as beneficial for entrepreneurs. For example, you could take business administration, marketing, or finance courses. Or, if you’re more interested in the technical side of things, you could take courses in programming, web development, or systems engineering.
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Why College Degrees Are Necessary for Entrepreneurs
There are several compelling reasons why a college degree is necessary for entrepreneurs. Here are just a few of them:
Theoretical Knowledge and Practical Skills:
The business world is infested with sharks where ruthlessness and cut-throat competition are the norms. In order for your business to thrive or even survive in this competitive environment, you need to have a good understanding of the theoretical concepts and possess the practical skills to execute them. College provides you with both of these essentials.
You’ll get a chance to learn about various business concepts, such as accounting, finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. And you’ll also get to put these concepts into practice by working on team projects and case studies. This effectual combination of theoretical knowledge and practical skills will set you apart from the competition and give you just the edge you need to succeed.
Referrals and networking are essential for any business, and this is especially true for entrepreneurs. A college degree grants you access to a wealth of valuable networking opportunities.
You’ll meet other students who come from all different backgrounds and industries. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet professors, alumni, and business professionals. These people can all help you in your entrepreneurial journey by providing you with advice, mentorship, and contacts.
Gaining Cultural Literacy:
Do you know how many startups fail within the first year of business? A whopping 50 percent! This is partly because many entrepreneurs don’t have a good understanding of the cultural landscape they’re trying to break into.
When you’re doing business in another country, it’s essential to understand the cultural norms and values. For instance, if you’re doing business in China, you need to be aware that the Chinese are very family-oriented and that relationships are essential. In contrast, to penetrate the business world in Australia, you’ll need to be mindful of the “down-under” mentality, which is highly competitive and risk-averse.
Safeguard Your Business from Uncertainty:
In the aggressive world of business, there is no such thing as a free lunch! Risk, always lurking nearby and ready to pounce on your dream, is inherent in the entrepreneurial journey.
One way to reduce the amount of risk you’re taking is by having a good education under your belt. With a college degree, you’ll be better equipped to make sound business decisions and reduce the chances of your business failing. It arms you with the knowledge of designing a robust business plan, inculcating financial discipline, and understanding the customer psyche.
Are you so eager to earn that first dollar that you’re ready to skip college and plunge right into the entrepreneurial waters? Well, before you take such a drastic step, consider the many benefits of getting a college education. A college degree is not only necessary for entrepreneurial success, but it’s also a great way to guarantee a bright future for yourself.
We realize there are big names like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who dropped out of college and still managed to make it big, but there are thousands of other entrepreneurs who didn’t make it for every Gates or Zuckerberg. So, if you’re serious about entrepreneurship, we suggest you go ahead and get that college degree!