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Starting A Company Without Previous Education: Pros And Cons


By John Stone

There are plenty of successful entrepreneurs who didn’t receive college degrees, from Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln to Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. On the other hand, statistics say that only 1 in 4 entrepreneurs didn’t have a college degree at the time they started their business.

The famous entrepreneurs mentioned above are the biggest proof that running a successful business without a college degree is possible. But like any other important decision, this one also comes with its own set of pros and cons.


Building up experience: In some businesses, experience is more valued than knowledge gained at school. If a graduate decides to launch a startup instead of applying for a college or university he or she will build up professional experience instead of sitting in class and learning about running a business in theory. The real thing is always better, and if by any chance an entrepreneurship project starts with an upswing and becomes profitable during the first few years of work, stopping it in order to get a formal education would make it lose its precious momentum.

Saving money for business investments: Colleges are another form of business, and the tuition fees and other kinds of expenses tied to them can cost students a lot of money. Many freshmen decide to take out student loans, which they still pay several years after they graduate. Investing all of this money into a startup business can make it much more profitable.

Courses are much less expensive and time consuming: Today there are plenty of different courses that offer college-like education and more intense studying programs. The education that these programs provide can be a great addition to the large experience that one college-skipping entrepreneur is able to build up during three years of hard work. This makes him or her a much more desirable candidate for various posts and positions than recent graduates. There are plenty of different courses available, and one that could be very useful for running a startup business is a bsb50415 Diploma of Business Administration.


Colleges and universities are great for networking: Except being the ultimate places to find quality education, these institutions are also great for creating connections with the experts from the industry. In addition to regular classes, students also attend different kinds of college events where they can meet lots of people and establish very valuable relationships. There are also student organizations that provide free seminars, foreign exchange and lot of great opportunities to learn and socialize.

Lots of colleges invest in their students' entrepreneurship projects: It is really hard to get this kind of backing, but if the project has potential, some colleges will definitely back it up with their investment money. A great thing about these institutions is that they also provide free consultations with professors that are usually very high up in the business hierarchy, and their advice is very valuable. The only bad thing about this is that students then need to run their business and finish their university at the same time, which can be exhausting.

It provides status: Studying provides titles and a certain status that only graduates can enjoy. Lots of businessmen evaluate people by the college or university they finished, and although this is very wrong and proves nothing it still happens often in the business world. Although this kind of status is important, applying for a college or university just to get the diploma is definitely the wrong approach.

The bottom line

“Knowledge is power," but college is not the only place where people can get it. Before deciding on this matter, young people should take into consideration all of the important parameters and consult entrepreneurs both with and without college degrees.

Image credits: 1) Flickr/Roel Wijnants 2) Flickr/Alex

John J. Stone spent is a regular contributor at Bizzmarkblog. Always on the move and keeping up with the latest developments in technology, through years of experience he became a devout believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur. In his spare time he enjoys playing guitar.

3p Contributor

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