There is a common belief among many young people today that they don’t need a college education. They look to successful entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, all of whom famously made it to the top without a college degree. All the same, many less inspiring stories remain untold.
In fact, more than half of business owners in the U.S. hold a college degree. So if you’re thinking of college only in terms of student debt, useless knowledge, and wasting time, think again. Actually, it can be a significant step toward your success as an entrepreneur. Check out these six reasons for that.
1. College Teaches You How to Process Information Efficiently
In college, students are asked to process lots of information, much of which they find useless. They write essays and research papers that appear to add little value to their education.
However, when an artist draws a single petal over and over again, it’s not because they expect their sketches to become a still-life masterpiece. Not at all. The true artist understands that he or she is learning how to use colors and shapes.
The same general idea applies to college assignments. In short, the work you do in college teaches you how to work with information.
How Will This Help Me as an Entrepreneur?
As an entrepreneur, you’ll have to keep abreast of industry news. You’ll need to look continuously for fresh opportunities. You must monitor your competition and learn new ways of doing things. Otherwise, you risk drowning in the flow of information and making poor decisions.
College prepares you for all of that. For example, working on essays teaches you to delve deeper into a subject and structure your findings. What’s more, the skills you gain while writing a research paper help you to analyze information efficiently.
2. College Is a Good Springboard for Networking
Successful entrepreneurs are talented individuals. However, they are not necessarily smarter than the rest. Many of their achievements occur because they know how to show up in the right place at the right time. What’s more, usually other people are involved in this ability of theirs. No matter how innovative your idea is, it is nonexistent until others know about it. That’s why networking is so important.
Some people are naturally wired to get acquainted with people easily and keep in touch with them. However, if you’re not among the fortunate ones who were born to socialize, then college is perfect for you. Why is that? It’s because you don’t have to make enormous efforts to make friends on a college campus. It occurs naturally.
Besides, on a college campus you find yourself in an environment filled with young and ambitious peers. Some of these people could even become your business partners. You’ll soon learn that people don’t have to be older than you to provide you with useful information and connect you with the right people.
3. A Degree Is a Fallback Plan in Case You Fail
For every successful entrepreneur without a degree, there are thousands of people who fail and end up with nothing.
Of course, you have to be sure of yourself to be successful as an entrepreneur. However, no one is immune to bad luck and unexpected turns of events. On the other hand, if you have a college degree, you’ll have a better chance of finding a steady job should you need one. Then you can earn money while working on your mistakes or designing another business project.
4. You’ll Gain a Wide Range of Skills and Knowledge
Students often complain they waste time on useless courses that have little to do with their majors. However, for entrepreneurs, it is very important to know a little about everything. In this way, they can make connections between things that seem unrelated.
Traditional education can broaden your horizons. It will enable you to create innovative solutions and see possibilities where other people cannot.
5. You Can Test Your Business Ideas on Peers
College gives you unprecedented possibilities for interacting with people from various backgrounds. This is important, because entrepreneurs need to be aware of existing cultural and social differences. After all, their future customers will come from different backgrounds. Successful entrepreneurs have learned to communicate effectively with all people.
Additionally, you can also study your peers’ needs and issues in light of your business ideas. For example, your business idea might seem brilliant in your mind but turn out to be useless and irrelevant in reality. Therefore, you might replace your initial plan with another one that solves an actual problem.
You can even soft launch your business in college to see how it goes. Then you can scale it up after graduation if it does well.
6. You’ll Have Opportunities to Travel
Many say that going to college is too costly. They tell you it will take several years to pay off your student debt. But who said you have to spend loads of money on college?
For example, there are tuition-free colleges as well as affordable community colleges. However, it would be even better for your entrepreneurial future to study abroad. This type of study will broaden your horizons and open your eyes to things you might not have noticed before. What’s more, there are countries where you can even earn a degree for free. Alternatively, you can look for internships.
Being an entrepreneur does not always mean frequent international business trips. So before you become too busy, don’t miss this chance to see the world and make some great connections.
Summing Things Up
Finally, a college degree will provide you with abundant possibilities for pursuing your dreams. So make the most of your college years. When you do, your chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur will increase dramatically.