Does college get entrepreneurs ready for success? Or, is starting a business straight away a viable alternative for those who don't want to slog through four years of higher education?
This question came to mind after recently perusing a small-business-focused infographic from the credit-card comparison site CreditDonkey. Among the fun facts about entrepreneurship in the graphic: Just over half of business owners have a college degree, according to recently released survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
This stat is particularly interesting because it would seem that entrepreneurs, on a whole, tend to have more education than the general public. Of the American labor force, fewer than half of workers don't have a degree — 25 percent have only a high school diploma while another 19 percent attended but didn't graduate from college, according to the Census Bureau.
It may be a chicken-and-egg question, but I'm betting that somewhere along the way the egg cracked and yoke got all over the place.
The correlation between entrepreneurial success and education has always interested me. As a young man, many folks told me that I was crazy to go get a MBA at Wharton if I was simply going to be an entrepreneur after graduation.
Going to Wharton was an amazing experience, for me, and I credit Wharton for much of what I have accomplished as an entrepreneur. I would not change my decisions here.
Having said that, many folks have benefited from just jumping in. I personally believe that having an education is an awesome safety net that allows you take entrepreneurial risks with the peace of mind that you won't be homeless if things don't work out as planned. That is important obviously.
What do you think?