Entrepreneurs Still Benefit From Formal Education

why entrepreneurs still benefit from formal education business school

Successful entrepreneurs are not that far from demi-gods of the modern world. Names like Bill Gates and Elon Musk are often said with reverence, especially by those interested in entering business for themselves. You might look at the origin stories of famous self-made billionaires like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg and consider following their footsteps in your own journey to triumph in a particular business space. 

However, one legendary element of entrepreneurial achievement is often an inability or unwillingness to complete a university degree. Skipping college might seem like a convenient way to see your business dreams come true — but research shows that most entrepreneurs still benefit from formal higher education. Here’s why. 

School Teaches Invaluable Hard Skills 

Business isn’t a field you can feel your way through. You need to exercise real knowledge and skill — but gaining that knowledge and skill on the job can take extreme amounts of time and energy. Worse, when you are an unskilled entrepreneur, you are much more likely to make mistakes, which could set your business back substantially if they don’t cause complete and utter failure. It has taken millennia for humans to discover and invent brand-new concepts, but it takes a few hours or months for humans to learn from others who already understand. 

Instead of trying to learn hard skills the hard way, through trial and error, you should find a formal education program that suits your entrepreneurial interests. An online bachelors degree program in business administration, finance, marketing, economics and other fields gives you a structured method of gaining skills and knowledge in math, technology, psychology and other fields essential to startup success. Then, when you begin to build your business, you will have a firmer foundation of hard skills to draw upon. 

School Provides A Sandbox For Soft Skills 

Hard skills are important, but you shouldn’t misunderstand the role of soft skills in building a business. Soft skills tend to be non-technical, involving interpersonal relationships or creativity in ways that hard skills do not. For entrepreneurs who are not involved in the technical development of their business’s products, soft skills can be even more practical than hard skills, which makes the development of soft skills all the more crucial. 

Some formal education programs do emphasize the practice of soft skills inside the classroom, but more typically, a degree program gives you the opportunity to flex and grow soft skills on your own. Talking to peers and professors, solving problems inside and outside the classroom, leading clubs and teams and generally coexisting with those around you during your program will help hone the soft skills you need to thrive as an entrepreneur. 

Plus, academic environments are excellent for forming the foundation of your business network. Networking is critical for entrepreneurs, who benefit from all sorts of connections as their startup grows. Connecting with those on campus and taking advantage of opportunities like conferences and internships can create a strong and stable network for you to draw upon in your future as a business leader. 

School Introduces New Ideas And Perspectives
 
entrepreneurs benefit business school classes

You don’t know everything. In fact, you have a remarkably narrow perspective — on business, on the economy and on life in general. This isn’t meant as an insult; everyone is limited by what they learn and experience in their lives, and no one can contain all perspectives. 

However, as an entrepreneur, you need to recognize that your perspective might not be the only viable or valuable one, especially for your business. It might be that your current limited outlook makes you incapable of imagining ideas that will drive your business to success. The more contact you can have with people who have different backgrounds and worldviews, the more likely you will be to consider an alternative perspective in your business planning. Fortunately, universities tend to cultivate diverse student bodies, which gives you the opportunity to develop bonds with those offering unique viewpoints and ideas. 

On a related note, increased perspective is another good reason for you to opt for diversity in your hiring practices when you become a business leader. You might pull partners and employees from your university network to ensure a well-rounded workforce with varied and balanced perspectives. 

Some people know they want to carve their own path through business — but even so, going to school and earning an education is an important first step for entrepreneurs. You will gain lifelong benefits from your formal education, and all your business endeavors will be the better for it. Education enhances entrepreneurship!

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