If You Want to Be Successful in Business It REALLY Helps to Have a Solid Education

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Over the last five years or so, an interesting trend has emerged. Lots of people have started thinking that if someone wants to run a successful business, they need to drop out of college and start on it immediately. At first, it’s easy to assume that this belief is limited to eighteen year olds who don’t have enough life experience to know better. However, with programs like the Thiel Fellowship being launched by experienced entrepreneurs specifically for the purpose of encouraging students to drop out and focus on their business, it shows this is actually a much wider trend.

Why exactly have so many people jumped on this bandwagon? Although there are probably a couple of contributing factors, one of the most obvious is that there are a few notable people who have dropped out of school and gone on to build incredibly successful companies. More specifically, the two examples people often quote are Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. Gates dropped out of school to focus full-time on Microsoft, while Zuckerberg did the same for Facebook.

While both men accomplished truly impressive feats and inspired several very entertaining movies, that doesn’t mean anyone with an idea for a business is going to be the next tech pioneer. What so many people overlook is that these guys aren’t the rule. Instead, they’re the exception to it. Or as Malcolm Gladwell would say, they’re outliers. In fact, Gladwell actually used Gates as one of the examples in his book.

From the fact that they both dropped out of Harvard to the years they had already put in to become extremely good at the skills they needed to bring their technical pursuits to life, this wasn’t something they just stumbled into. And as both will readily admit, they definitely benefited from executing on the right idea at the right time. Additionally, while some profiles written about both men will make it sound like they did everything on their own, they actually surrounded themselves with seasoned business people who were the right complement for their highly technical skillets.

Now that we’ve covered the two most common examples people use as justification for dropping out of school to pursue a business, let’s dive into exactly how completing a college degree can help you in the business world:

There’s Real Value in Learning

Just about anyone who’s successful in business will tell you that they’re always learning. The great thing about going through a degree program is that learning will be accelerated and highly focused on exactly what you need to know.

Backup Plan

Plenty of ideas never turn into real businesses. And even when an idea does become a business, a lot of businesses fail. Since big rewards generally require significant risk, that’s part of what goes along with being an entrepreneur. While there’s no shame in chasing your dream, you need to think about what you’re going to do in the event of a worst case scenario. The last thing you want is for your business to fail and then be left without any viable prospects.

Since studies and surveys from a wide range of sources show that people with college degrees have significantly higher lifetime earnings than those without, one way to think of your degree is as an insurance plan. Additionally, if you dive into entrepreneurial life and then realize it’s not for you, having the options a degree will provide means you won’t have to stick with something just for the sake of doing so.

There’s No Reason You Can’t Do Both

Most businesses don’t experience explosive overnight growth. They’re almost always built through slow but consistent progress. That reality is why there’s no reason you can’t start building your business while also working towards your degree. This is especially true if you have the benefit of the flexibility provided by an online degree program.

A Great Business Education Isn’t Just for Fresh High School Graduates

Think you’re too old to get a degree? Think again! Whether you want an accounting degree or another business degree, the availability of online college programs means you can get the education you need to feel confident about launching your business.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to pursue a college education comes down to your personal beliefs in what’s going to be best for putting you on the path you want. Just keep in mind that if you were hesitant to start working towards a degree because you thought it might get in the way of your business plans, that’s definitely not something you need to worry about!

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