There are a lot of college dropouts that went on to start some of the most successful businesses in the world. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates are the two most notable examples and people often point to their stories as evidence that further education doesn’t help you create a winning business.
Some people are just born business leaders and it’s hard work and dedication that will get you through, not a college education, but how true is that?
Although there are plenty of people that didn’t go to college before starting a business, there are plenty that did. If you are at a crossroads and you are thinking about starting a business, you might be wondering whether you need any formal training beforehand. So, do you really need to go to college before starting a business?
Learning Technical Skills About Your Industry
This is something that people overlook when they’re talking about what it takes to run a business. Being a good leader and being able to come up with creative solutions to problems are both very important skills, but you also need to be knowledgeable about your industry. If, for example, you wanted to start an IT consulting business, you wouldn’t get very far if you didn’t know anything about computer science. In that instance, having a college degree goes a long way and is essential to the success of your business. This benefit is less applicable in industries that are not as technical but, in most cases, learning more about your industry will stand you in good stead when you start a business.
Learning Practical Skills for Business
It’s a common misconception that you can’t teach somebody how to be good in business. In fact, there are a lot of day-to-day practical elements of running a business that every business owner must learn. Things like financial management, tax issues, how a supply chain works, how to run a marketing campaign etc. are all central to the success of your business. These aren’t skills you are born with, they are skills you can learn during undergrad courses in business. You can, of course, start a business without going through these courses, but that means that you will have to learn all of these different skills as you go and you’re far more likely to make mistakes. Taking the time to learn practical skills means that you are better prepared and your business is more likely to be a success.
Opportunities for Continued Education
The best business leaders are the ones that continue to invest in themselves and learn new skills over time. If you do a college degree, not only does it give you a good foundation to build your business on, but it also means that you can pursue further educational opportunities, like an MBA, later on. By starting your business journey with education and continuing that dedication as you move forward, you can make sure that you are the most effective business leader you can be.
Although there are stories about successful college dropouts, that doesn’t mean college is worthless for business owners. In fact, you stand a much better chance of success when you invest in yourself.