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Considering Starting A Business Or Staying In School – What’s The Smarter Move?

young girl school study

by Blair Thomas, co-founder of eMerchantBroker.com

Are you facing the problem of whether to continue your studies or start your business? This is a serious issue that many young people are struggling with these days.

Many college graduates ask themselves whether the time and money they spent on their education was worth it. On the other hand, many young startup founders believe they wouldn’t be able to do without the skills they learned in college.

What Do Numbers Show?

Based on a 2013 survey by one of the leading specialist insurers, half of the US-based small business owners believe the national education system isn’t encouraging enough when it comes to individual ideas or dreams, and these are the components that play a highly important role in entrepreneurship.

Those who think they should skip a formal education, usually, consider that some of the biggest entrepreneurs of all times, like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, never received a college degree. However, a great number of entrepreneurs without a college degree wish they had finished a college.

The recent CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey shows many small business owners in the US don’t have a college degree.

The Last Grade of School Completed:

Did not complete high school – 5%
High school or G.E.D. – 20%
Associate’s degree – 14%
Some college – 17%
College graduate – 26%
Post graduate degree – 18%

Entrepreneurs without college degree outnumbered those with higher-education degrees across both genders and in every age group included in the survey, except for the 65-and-older category.

On the other hand, according to the data based on an analysis of Labor Department statistics by the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, Americans who had a 4-year college degree made 98% more an hour on average in 2013 as compared to those without a degree. The number is up from 89% 5 years earlier, 85% a decade earlier, and 64% in the early 1980s.

A few years ago, findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that there was a $400 per week difference in earnings between those who had a high school diploma and those who had bachelor’s degree. Moreover, there was also a significant difference in unemployment. As of the end of 2011, high-school only workers were unemployed at a rate of 9.4%, while those with a bachelor’s degree had an unemployment rate of 4.9%.

A study from Manta shows that small business owners who have a college degree consider college education important when hiring, and a smaller percentage of small business owners without a college degree consider college education less important when hiring. 69% of the survey participants had a college degree. According to 68%, college education made a difference in their success. According to 61%, having a college degree was necessary or important to reach success in business. 

With all this in mind, it’s also important to note that today’s increasingly tech-oriented economy is encouraging many business owners to get back into the classroom so to update their skill. Entrepreneurs, who are ready to get back into the classroom, think this way they can stay engaged with today’s ever-changing business landscape, fill the existing gaps in their background and experiences, as well as diversify and grow their business.

School Vs Business.

The question of whether you should stay in school or start a business largely depends on your individual circumstances. To make the right decision, you should take into account a number of factors.

1. Your Finances.

Draw a parallel between a student loan and a business loan. Will your college degree help you find a job in your field? Maybe it’d be better to apply for business funding such as a merchant cash advance and start your own business? Of course, if you’re going to become a lawyer, you should stay in school. If you’re planning to open your own bakery, you can leave your school and apply for a business loan with a reputable business funding provider.

2. Important Connections.

Consider the opportunities of making connections both in school and in the world of business. College students can benefit from competitions, incubator-accelerator programs, access to technology, and more. All these advantages can also be found in the real world.

3. Studying Vs Practicing.

If you follow the famous quote by Benjamin Franklin “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn,” you must be thinking the better learning experience comes from doing. On the other hand, without understanding the fundamentals, it won’t be easy to succeed in your business.

4. Missed Opportunity?

Do you have a great idea? Can it wait? See whether by spending 4 years in college, you won’t end up with a missed opportunity.

5. Thoroughly Tested Your Idea or Not?

When deciding whether to leave your school or not, be 100% confident in your business idea. Don’t run the risk of losing your education if you’re not confident. 

6. Life Conditions.

There are cases when there is no way out but leaving school and starting a business instead. The important thing in this regard is to have a strong support of family and friends.

7. Good Reason.

Are you passionate about a particular business idea and staying in school doesn’t seem compelling enough? Are you trying to prove something by staying in school or do you really want to continue your studies? See whether you have a good reason to drop out or stay.

When deciding to stay in school or start a business, you should just figure out which option offers more benefits to you. By staying in school, you’ll gain a depth of knowledge. It’ll open up doors for you. On the other hand, starting a business might be a better path to follow. Weigh out all the pros and cons so to make the right decision.

 

Blair Thomas

Electronic payments industry expert Blair Thomas, co-founded America’s top rated high risk credit card processing company, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants eMerchantBroker.com in 2011. His drive for entrepreneurship and business development has given him keys to the world and he’s at full force driving eMerchantBroker, which made the Inc 500 list as one of the fastest growing companies in 2016.

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This is an article contributed to Young Upstarts and published or republished here with permission. All rights of this work belong to the authors named in the article above.

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