Do Entrepreneurs Need College?

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I am all about breaking the rules!

I raised both of my children to approach life the same way; to forge their own paths.

So what path did Brock take to gain all his entrepreneurial success?

He went to college.


While that sounds like taking the traditional path, it actually isn’t for people looking to start their own business(es).

Many entrepreneurs sidestep college in favor of pursuing their own ventures. In fact, some of the most famous tech and business pioneers skipped out on college.

Despite this common misconception, college can be an extremely valuable experience for current and future entrepreneurs alike.

If you’re deciding whether college is right for you, you might want to take the following into consideration.


entrepreneurs in college


Reasons Entrepreneurs Often Don’t Attend College
  • Success stories: Visionaries like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs serve as living proof that you can make it big as an entrepreneur without a formal college education
  • Opportunity cost: Entrepreneurs sometimes choose to invest their time and money into starting and growing their businesses instead of pursuing a college degree
  • Self-directed learning: Driven by curiosity and a desire to learn on their own terms, they often prefer self-directed learning. They explore online courses, workshops, books, and mentorship tailored to their business interests.
  • Non-traditional skill sets: Some entrepreneurs have unique skills or talents that aren’t typically learned in college. This can make formal education seem less directly related to their goals.
  • Existing knowledge and expertise: Sometimes, entrepreneurs already have specialized expertise in a specific field through their work experience, or previous ventures. They might believe that a college education is not essential to thrive in their chosen industry.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset: Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks, thinking outside the box, and adapting to new challenges. Some people just have these qualities in their DNA. Formal education might not feel like the ideal route for them to excel.
  • Networking and mentorship: Entrepreneurs often discover that they can build meaningful connections and find mentors through alternative avenues. Industry events, meetups, and online communities are all channels where they can establish valuable relationships and seek guidance from experienced individuals


Going to college isn’t the right fit for everyone, especially when it comes to entrepreneurs.

However, for many, it isn’t difficult to gain practical experience and nurture an entrepreneurial mindset while attending college.


How College Benefits Entrepreneurs

Exposure to diverse perspectives

  • Experience a range of ideas, cultures, and viewpoints
  • Broaden perspectives, enhance creativity, learn to identify unique business opportunities
  • Foster cultural intelligence, which is highly valuable in today’s global business landscape

Personal and professional development

  • Enhance critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills
  • Collaborate on group projects, engage in discussions, and participate in extracurricular activities
  • Develop leadership, time management, and organizational skills

Knowledge and skill development

  • Take courses in business fundamentals, marketing, finance, accounting, and management
  • Gain a well-rounded understanding of key business concepts, theories, and practices
  • Utilize resources like libraries, research facilities, business centers, and access to industry databases

Internships and practical experience

  • Apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings
  • Make industry connections and gain valuable insights into specific sectors
  • Take advantage of programs like business plan competitions, startup incubators, and entrepreneurial workshops

Credibility and validation

  • Demonstrate a level of commitment, discipline, and the ability to follow through on long-term goals
  • Open doors and provide an added level of trustworthiness
  • Societal norms and expectations still value formal education

Networking opportunities

  • Engage with fellow students, professors, alumni, and industry professionals to build a strong network of contacts
  • Make connections that can lead to partnerships, potential customers, investors
  • Find a mentor to share valuable advice, industry insights, and help navigate entrepreneurship

In college, having a mentor can be a game-changer for entrepreneurs. 

It’s a fantastic chance to learn from someone who has been down the same entrepreneurial road before. They can share their wisdom, introduce you to valuable contacts, and offer the support you need to boost your chances of success. 

Plus, having a mentor can contribute immensely to your personal and professional development.


entrepreneurs in college


College can be a transformative experience that sets budding entrepreneurs up for success.

While some entrepreneurs may benefit greatly from a college education, others may thrive without it. Ultimately, the decision depends on individual circumstances, goals, and personal preferences.


Regardless of the path, succeeding as an entrepreneur requires a never-ending hunger for learning.

It’s important to note that while college can provide valuable knowledge and skills, it is not the only way to entrepreneurial success. 

Believe it or not, starting a podcast can be a valuable educational tool. Listen to episode #702 of Build Your Tribe to find out how to use podcasting to go from novice to expert in your desired field. 


Here’s why you want to listen to episode #702 – Do You Really Need To Go To College As An Entrepreneur…
  • Brock’s college experience
  • Learn to network your way through college
  • Quick tips for education yourself on a budget
  • How to land an internship


Check out the following links for more tips for being a successful entrepreneur…

BYT #692 – The Shocking Truth About Entrepreneurship | 5 Myths You’ve Been Believing

BYT #687 – 20 Must-Have AI Tools for Creators & Entrepreneurs

BYT #685 – ADHD Focus Tips for Entrepreneurs

BYT #684 – Don’t Let Entrepreneurship Destroy Your Relationships

How to Stay Motivated As An Entrepreneur – Blog


Other resources:


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