Are college degrees absolutely vital for budding entrepreneurs ?

by Aswani on March 28, 2011 · 11 comments

in Entrepreneurship

Often, I’ve been in a situation where people has asked me this same question again an again – Do I need college degree to see me grow into an Entrepreneur? Can’t I do without the same? Well…very honestly, I have never ever thought of being an entrepreneur and so everything for me stops here itself. But yes, from the questions raised above, I strongly agree that college degrees do add a great deal of value to the budding entrepreneurs. Nothing goes waste but again, I do agree that practical knowledge is far more important than the bookish knowledge. And that’s why to support the same, we have some great examples of those who have made it to the top without burying themselves into college degrees.

Dilemma, entrepreneurship, education,

Dhirubhai Ambani, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Walt Disney and Steve Jobs…and perhaps I could have added more in the list. Surely, these people have different names but they have one thing in very common – All of them considered ‘willingness to take risk’ rather than a college degree as the basic parameter for being an entrepreneur. How many of us think the same way ? How many of us have dared to think beyond our limitations ? Interestingly, there is a clear contradiction between how people think in either of these cases. For some, entrepreneurship is all about taking risks and therefore, leaving school to become an entrepreneur is indeed one of them. And there are some for whom education is still a top priority no matter how much they know! Education for them is a must to prove their worth in the long run! From the list of entrepreneurs as mentioned above, you need to know one thing that while few of these people were ‘dropout by situation’, most of them were ‘dropouts of choice!’ That clearly shows that education surely is not the most influencing factors when it comes to being an entrepreneur.

There’s a lot to be learned from these people. Education may seem vital but these people have proved it otherwise. To add to it, there are some like Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal who thinks that modern education is crippling young minds instead of providing freedom and the tools to pursue big ideas. And so it is always better to step out early from schools if you have that strong urge to work on your business ideas. You can still come back anytime to pursue your formal education if you feel convenient for the same. On the contrary, you have people like Vivek Wadhwa, noted entrepreneur, academic, researcher, and writer….who feels that one needs to understand subjects like finance, marketing, intellectual property and corporate laws before moving ahead for anything like entrepreneurship.

Whatever maybe, I think this is a highly debatable topic. There is no point in arguing over the same. What may look good at one end, may not be flawless at the other. For me, I still feel that a decent college degree is more likely to open better business opportunities. Only proper education can provide the traits of decision making and leadership which are absolutely vital for entrepreneurship. I think its high time to redesign our education in a way that it goes hand-in-hand with entrepreneurship. Finally, the choice is yours!


Bio –

Aswani is an avid blogger from India who loves blogging and social networking. He has been blogging since 2007 at One Stop Blog where he has been sharing his useful, interesting and informative tips on blogging, SEO, social media networking and related stuff.


Veronica Cervera November 9, 2011 at 10:11 am

Entrepreneurs are the type of people who were able to figure out the “why’s” in things. The employees or the job seekers are usually the people who know the “how’s”. The “how’s” are taught in school. That’s why we go to school in order for us to get a job one day. However, there are people who figure out the “why’s” early on and these are people who are confident enough and believe that their discovery of the “why” is all that they’re going to need to succeed (e.g. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, etc). These people did not find school necessary in order for them to push forward. So the answer pretty much depends on the individual.

college degrees July 21, 2011 at 7:41 pm

In my opinion, no, a college degree is not vital at all for an entrepreneur. However, most people have taken it as far as to say that superior education is not important at all for entrepreneurship – and this is where I beg to differ. A college degree is important even when trying to build your own business.

Aswain April 8, 2011 at 3:14 pm


Successful Entrepreneur April 8, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Many different inputs are required for successful entrepreneurship and one of the most important is entrepreneurship skills. Motivated people need the right skills to identify entrepreneurial opportunities and to turn their entrepreneurial projects into successful ventures which could be achieved through proper training, coaching or guidance.

Nicola Deiana March 29, 2011 at 7:20 am

Great post Aswani. In my view if a college degree give you a good education you have high business opportunities. Despite my college doesn’t gave me the right skills to start a business online, I learned how do to work with constancy and the importance of setting up my goals correctly which isn’t a bad thing.

Aswani March 29, 2011 at 10:25 am doubt. You are doing a terrific job. I wish you all the best. Keep it up!

Roezer @ Affiliate Paypal March 29, 2011 at 4:35 am

Education will always help but sometimes because people know too much they fail to reach out to the general public.With formal education you will get a good job but self education and knowing when to take risks is what can make you millions.

Aswani March 29, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thanks Roezer for your valuable feedback.

Robert March 28, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Hi Aswani,

This is a great article and as you already mentioned, a highly debatable topic. I was wondering why my name wasn’t on your list of risk takers and entrepreneurs…just kidding. :-)

Speaking from my own personal experience, I had to drop out of college after my first year for personal reasons. I don’t regret that at all and it may have been a very good decision. I went to work for one of the best known cable TV networks, learned all I could and shortly thereafter, I became the VP of sales and marketing. I learned a great deal about sales, marketing and advertising from hands-on experience and I’m still able to apply much of that knowledge to all my online and offline endeavors.

I feel a college degree can be beneficial for many people but there are many others who do extremely well without it. I think much of a persons success is up to the individual and how they apply themselves. There are also those professions such as; doctors, lawyers and teachers where a degree is required.

Aswani March 29, 2011 at 10:22 am

Very well said…Bob. Yes and therefore, I have finally ended up with…The choice is yours!

Aswain March 28, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Ashvini…I am delighted to see this post on your blog. Thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to write this article for you. Hope its useful for you and your fellow readers. Keep in touch and have a nice week!

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: