Nowadays, with skyrocketing college tuition prices and a rough economy that’s leaving even degree-holding graduates jobless, many people think that it’s not worth it for entrepreneurs to go to college. However, contrary to that belief, there are actually several reasons why college can be perfect for entrepreneurs- here are 5:
1. Make connections
Entrepreneurs can get valuable help launching their company if they have connections made. And college provides ample opportunities for making connections. Professors active in their fields can make introductions for their students to professionals of interest. Such connections are especially important if you end up needing outside funding for your project. Depending on the project, you might need to enlist additional help from someone with a different area of expertise, so it’s definitely good to know people whom you’d feel comfortable approaching in the future for guidance or advice. Along those lines, college professors can offer great mentorships to ambitious students who are eager to learn more than just what’s outlined on their class syllabus.
Some people feel more inclined to work alone, perhaps entrepreneurs more often than not, but collaboration has been key to some of the most innovative start-ups of today. We learned from The Social Network that Mark Zuckerberg even needed the help of his friend for the investing and business aspects of Facebook. In college you can meet like-minded people and put your heads together for some interesting and collaborative brainstorming. Additionally, you’ll strengthen your team-building skills and be more comfortable with working in groups.
3. Get the education
This one’s pretty obvious; the point of college is to give you an education, and while people can of course learn on their own, attending college can give you a more intensive (and credible) education on the field of your choice. It can give entrepreneurs the background knowledge they might need to turn their idea into a reality by applying what they’ve learned to their project. Remember what teachers always told you as a kid: knowledge is power!
Most people consider the social aspect of colleges just as important as the educational. Moving outside of your high school’s student body will expose you to a more diverse range of people, and help you grow socially. College also offers young adults independence that they’ve never experienced before. It can teach self-sufficiency, and help you come into your own and develop your real individuality. This is important for everyone, including of course, entrepreneurs.
5. Have Security
As a college student, you’re eligible for internships that can give you valuable hands-on experience you can use later on to launch your project. And by having a college degree and experience like internship work, you’re more likely to obtain a decent job after graduation. With this economy, you’ll want to do everything you can to better your chances of earning a steady income while you wait for your company to take off. Success doesn’t happen overnight, so it’s important to have a backup plan.
So if you think of yourself as an entrepreneur, don’t be too quick to discount college; it might be just what you need to make your aspirations come to life.