Do I Need A College Degree To Start A Business?

Do I Need A College Degree To Start A Business?

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While this may be a rather fundamental question to most people, there are many young people and first-time entrepreneurs who ask whether they need a college degree to start a business. The question has two answers. There is a quick answer which can be answered with a yes or a no, and there is a longer, more thoughtful answer.  But there is also a deeper question of whether a degree would be helpful. And if it will be helpful, how helpful will that degree be in starting a business? In this article I will address both of these questions. Additionally, here is a brief video addressing the subject of whether a degree is needed to start a business.

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The Quick Answer To: Do I Need A College Degree To Start A Business?

The short answer is no, you do not need a college degree to start a business. At least you are not legally required to have a degree before you start your business. And you especially do not need a business degree to start a business. In fact, many businesses are started by people with technical degrees because a technical degree allows you to be able to create a product whereas if you have a business degree (MBA or undergraduate), you do not have an actual skill to create anything, and will be dependent on others to get your product built.

The Thoughtful Answer To: Do I Need A College Degree To Start A Business?

To start a business, what you do need, is to bring a certain level of expertise to your business. You can acquire that expertise in many ways. One of those ways is a college degree. And the college degree does not have to be in business.

For example, my degree is in Computer Science. I admit, when I graduated, I knew nothing about business. But I slowly learned. But what I gained from my degree was the ability to create software. And I created my apps, and before that, many websites. Of course, I made many business mistakes during all those projects. But I learned from them.

One way to avoid some mistakes is to get quality mentors. Mentors and advisors can give great advice and guidance. And they can supplement what you may lack in a certain area. Here is a brief video about how to get the help you need when starting a business.

http://youtu.be/8qW_v1gRUI4

The truth is that when you start a business, it helps to have as many complimenting (not overlapping) skills on your team as possible. In my case I needed business business skills and Computer Science skills. But I also needed to be able to interact with people, and be self-aware and deal with stress. So the greater college education and experience was really helpful in those kinds of issues. In fact, I often find that my literature, psychology, philosophy, and humanities classes contributed much more to my daily life than did my Computer Science classes. Those general education classes introduce people to great ideas to live by and through which to understand the world. Without those kinds of college classes, I don’t think I would be where I am today.

So while you do not need a college degree as a legal prerequisite, it can help you gain multiple different skills. And very importantly, a college degree can help you grow as a person by giving you exposure to different ways of thinking. And you can take that greater education and apply it to everything else in life, including business. I think that greater education is a priceless asset.

Avoid Pitfalls

The question of whether a college degree is necessary to start a business can come from different life experiences and motivations. Sometimes this question comes from people who are looking for a reason to simply skip college because they are not having an easy time there and the experience is overall frustrating. The mistake would be to start a business simply because studying is frustrating. Business is much more frustrating and difficult so the same themes will occur in business.  We sometimes daydream about how great it will be to have our own business but the reality of having a business is that you will have to work incredibly hard. Here is a tutorial explaining what daydreaming about success does to us.

If you are thinking to go into business instead of college, try to get support and advice from your family. Here is an article on the importance of family support when starting a business. Additionally, take a look at this article about business psychology to make sure you don’t end up falling into any of the psychological traps common to entrepreneurs.

Further Business Resources

For more business-starting resources, please take a look at our business planning mobile apps. Here is the iOS business plan app and here is the Android business plan app.  Additionally, here is the iOS fundraising app. And here is the Android fundraising app.

And here are our business apps on the Kindle. And here is an article where I give the argument that our Android apps are the best business apps on Android.

And please check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel where we cover many marketing topics.

Author: Alex Genadinik

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