It seems as though “Entrepreneurship majors” are getting caught up in the herd mentality; they think that college is the only path to success, and without a degree they can’t prosper.
Let’s looks at facts of the matter.
Entrepreneurship courses at the undergraduate level are not producing the next Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, Sean Parker, or Evan Spiegel. None of these mentioned visionaries of our time have ever taken up an “Entrepreneurship” class and credited it to their success of founding billion dollar companies. In fact, Zuckerberg, Dorsey, and Parker never even stuck around to graduate.
Without even going down the road of taking into account the amount of debt a student accumulates while trying to earn a business/ entrepreneurship degree, one can point to the biggest problem with entrepreneurial programs in 2015 being the herd mentality that our current educational structure infuses on its students.
Do points taken off for grammatical errors in a business plan, “right or “wrong” multiple choice exams, and “bad idea” deductions really foster the next 21st century visionary or the next academic? Today’s grading criteria are not based on creativity, effort, or trial and error, but rather the complete opposite, and this “yes or no” “right or wrong” mentality is what’s destructive to a future entrepreneur.
How is a student ever supposed to get through the rigidity beginnings of a start-up if a professor deems his or her project a “bad idea” from the start? Should students pursue their dreams on their own time outside of the classroom? Simply drop the idea completely? Sounds like we’re dealing with students destined to fail by the realities of Segal’s law, as any true entrepreneur who has been in the field knows, trying to be the best at everything will only result in being the best at nothing.
Lastly, new data appears to show that millennials are sticking around college longer, even after receiving their four-year undergrad degree. What are they doing? Many are aiming to further further their education by enrolling in master’s degree programs and post-baccalaureate programs.
How is the next generation of future entrepreneurs ever going to thrive if their reading textbooks and completing homework assignments throughout their early to mid 20’s? This is a huge problem as too many students are waiting too long to rise from the pack. Have we really reached the point where prolonged economic uncertainty has created so much fear that students are afraid to take risk in the real-world? Seems like it.
As mentioned by Entrepreneur, it’s not the brightest idea to put off networking or gaining hands-on experience while still in college, as these are the key elements that distinguish an entrepreneur from someone who plans to simply work for someone else’s firm.
Don’t get too discouraged, there are still a handful of college programs that are intact with the demands of a 21st century global economy. Babson College for example, has remained an entrepreneurial powerhouse offering programs where students are given a certain level of support, both financially and professionally, and are tasked with starting their own companies during their freshmen year. THIS is exactly the type of entrepreneurship program more colleges need to follow.
And if you still have any doubts about the points mentioned in this article, take it from billionaire entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson:
You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.