Opinion

Published

Are degrees necessary? They weren’t for these entrepreneurs

3 Mins

A degree is no antidote to unemployment anymore. At the same time, rising tuition fees, are making it harder for young people to attend university. If they do, they begin working life in debt. 

The prospects for graduates don’t seem too rosy. Nowadays, more companies prefer to hire employees with work experience. Face it, business leaders want to spend as little money as possible in the current climate, and training staff is just one more monetary cost. Why train when you can hire an experienced worker who is also looking for a job, after so many companies had to let people go?

How are students supposed to get those necessary skills firms want, when we can’t seem to get work so as to develop them? At the same time, who can blame businesses? Your workforce is the backbone to your company, but this outlook could end up damaging future businesses; a generation of untrained individuals.

So what about those with no degree? There was a time when skills and spirit were just as applicable as having a degree. Now, we have come to believe that a lack of education is limiting, and that a degree is ultimate for success.

However, if we take a look through history, there have been a number of entrepreneurs that succeeded in creating their empires without a formal degree.

With a record of poor academic skills as a student, combined with dyslexia, Richard Branson started his first venture at the age of 16. With the creation of Student Magazine, Branson discovered his ability to connect with others, and dropped out of school to focus on creating what would later be known as Virgin Media.

Mark Zuckerberg was accepted into Harvard, and from the confines of his dormitory, the basis for social platform Facebook was born. Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard in his sophomore year to further the idea of Facebook. He quickly became the world’s youngest billionaire, at the age of 23.

Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, was co-founded Harvard drop-out Bill Gates. If he had applied for a position in the industry he works in instead of creating his own, Gates would probably not have been accepted.

Steve Jobs left college after just one semester to work for Atari. Later on, he helped create Apple, which revolutionized the technology world. He was later fired from his job, but came back as CEO. 

So, isn’t it safe to say that with the right mix of spirit, ambition and hard-work, you could create a billion dollar business? Isn’t it time to re-evaluate our attitude towards higher education? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

Share this story

When banks are just too big for business
Killing the common myths about the European VC market
Send this to a friend