Entrepreneur Dilemma: Secondary Education or Not?

There’s a fallacy in the business world that you need a college degree to be successful. Most people that buy into this notion are surprised to find out that some of the most successful business minds in the world never even graduated from college. The list of successful drop-outs includes names like Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and other billionaires.

Statistically, self-made billionaires without college degrees are not the norm. Over half of business owners have some college under their belts when they begin their business. On the same note, most businesses also fail. These two facts have led some to believe that having a college degree can actually be a hindrance to the average entrepreneur.


Societal Pressure

There’s an assumption in society that those who hold a college degree will be more successful than those that don’t. Having a college degree automatically makes you more of an authority in your subject. The little piece of paper stating that you survived 4 years after high school of classes, late nights and exams is the key to unlocking the types of opportunities and connections the average person will need to succeed.


However, if you’re not average – which most true entrepreneurs aren’t – who’s to say that a secondary education is the right road for you? There are many different ways to learn and with social media, there are many different ways to network. In today’s world, a college degree is more proof of your time commitment than a statement of your worth.

Because of societal pressure, many people that don’t necessarily need a degree get one anyway. The degrees can be costly, leaving the individual with years of debt that make success harder to attain. Tuition costs to get the degree versus the potential payoff should always be at the forefront of the decision of whether or not to pursue a secondary education.


Reasons to Get a Degree

While a degree isn’t necessary for every field, there are a few times when having one can be invaluable. Those that are looking to change careers late in life can really benefit from secondary education. The schooling is a good way to brush up on the subject matter, gain valuable skills and change your mindset to work with your new chosen field.

Credibility is often a trait that’s overlooked by entrepreneurs. If you are starting your own business and you need startup money, you will want to appear as a professional and a credible source. Investors are more likely to give money to companies run by people that have specialized in that field. Having a college degree in a specific discipline is just one way to set yourself up as an authority to secure investors.

In conclusion, a secondary education is not a necessity for an entrepreneur, but it won’t hurt either. When choosing a school for your educational needs, make sure to look at the cost of the degree versus the potential payoff. Take courses that help you achieve your dreams and always approach learning with an open mind. Having a degree is not essential for reaching success, but it sure makes the path easier to follow.




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