Is Higher Education A Waste Of Time For Entrepreneurs?

skipping higher educationMainstream thinking says that everyone should go to college. Many people say if you skip it you will fail…doomed to a life of low-paying jobs. 

I believed this when I was younger, and that’s one of the main reasons I went to a college. Now, I think that reasoning is false. It might have been true in the old days…during our grandparents generation. 

But the world has changed. Higher education is increasingly irrelevant. Its gotten to the point where it is actually hurting people. More people are realizing that university can be a waste of time and money. As time goes on, formal higher learning will become less important.  At The College Investor, they’ve been showcasing Young Millionaire Investors, and many of them are skipping school for entrepreneurship.

Traditional schools are not good environments for many students. How does it make sense to send the same young people into four more years of school? So they can go crazy sitting at a desk and taking notes? For many, that is a complete waste of time. 

Universities and colleges are businesses…like any other. They are looking to grow their bottom line. And they are highly subsidized by the government in the form of student loans. Colleges have gorged on the easy money. It is one reason why tuition rises every year. 

And the increase in cost does not translate into better education. The value of a degree has been cheapened to be almost irrelevant. Taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans for a degree that is no guarantee of a high paying job is foolish. And excessive student loan debt makes it harder to have a happy life after graduating.   

It seems like this is unsustainable. At some point, the student loan bubble will burst and colleges will be forced into crisis mode. That could be a good thing. Iit might serve to trim the fat. Perhaps the country would be better served by fewer, higher-quality schools. 

So what are some alternatives to college? 

Go Blue Collar

For many young people, learning a trade is an excellent choice. Trade schools teach real-world skills. Their programs are usually much shorter and less expensive than four-year college degrees. 

Trade schools provide students with a way to rapidly enter the workforce…without wasting away prime years sitting in a classroom. And of course once learning a trade, it is possible to start your own blue-collar service company. 

Hey, you might laugh at plumbers, but those guys charge what they want. They make bank. And that’s just one example. Many other blue-collar contractors do just as well. 

Entrepreneur’s Education

Another alternative is taking the entrepreneurship route…skipping higher education completely. This choice will become more popular as college degrees are devalued. 

I’ve recently become fascinated with rapid-skill building. This means learning only what you need, as quickly as possible. This way you achieve your goals in a short amount of time. 

You are blessed with the internet. Everything you need to learn to make money can be found online, mostly free. And you can pay a premium for specific, high-quality information to fill the gaps in your knowledge. 

You can learn theory in school, or practice and build skills in real life. Of course there are always exceptions. Some professions require a college degree. If you want to become a doctor, engineer, or judge, then college is required. But unless you plan on going into STEM or law, why bother? 

Here is what being an entrepreneur will teach you. Sure you can learn some of these skills in school. But why pay for what you can get for free?

1. Creativity. Schools foster conformity, not creativity. They teach you how to follow orders and be a loyal and obedient employee. This is not a good mindset for a budding entrepreneur.

2. Marketing. Running a business successfully forces you to learn marketing. Learn how to sell yourself, or a product or service. This one of the most valuable skills in the world. That is true in all walks of life, not just business. 

3. Technology skills. Learning how to run a business online is essential to success for many entrepreneurs today. These kinds of skill can be learned rapidly online with very little investment. WordPress, basic HTML, SEO, and content creation are just a few examples. 

4. Real-world experience. And finally, being an entrepreneur introduces you to real life. College is like a cocoon, a buffer from the real world. Cutting the apron strings and standing on your own two feet is liberating. 

You’ll obviously learn more than that, but those are some basics. 

It’s easier to take risks when you are young. You have less to lose. It makes sense to chase your entrepreneurial dreams early. Don’t wait. It’s harder after you get older and get used to the security of bi-weekly paycheck.

And college is completely overpriced. For an aspiring entrepreneur, it is just not worth the cost. Why should you spend four years and taking on massive debt? For a degree with no guarantee of job? 

Young entrepreneurs can and should avoid student loan debt completely. Money that they might have spent on college should go into starting a business instead. Don’t listen to your parents or guidance counselors. If you have entrepreneurship in your blood, then consider skipping college and starting your business immediately.

Do you think higher education is a waste of time for entrepreneurs?

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

Comments

  1. I think education is largely what you make out of it. Some people do not need a certified degree to be very successful, while other require the strict rigidity of a curriculum to force them to learn. A degree in and of itself is just a piece of paper, but the actual learning behind that degree is what will get you far in life. So yes, I think a college degree is overrated, while true education remains one of the finest ideals in our world.

    • Yeah, but it’s an expensive piece of paper. Only a small segment of our society really benefits from having a college degree. The rest get one because they are told it’s the right thing to do.

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