College is universally accepted as a viable training ground for anyone looking to be successful in their industry, whatever that industry may be. However, some wonder what college can really do for the aspiring entrepreneur.
Successful entrepreneurship is a wildly elusive goal, and there are plenty of examples of those who opted to forego the college experience in lieu of pursing their startup dreams. A few of these examples are now household names, inspiring examples of just how far you can make it in the United States.
For every one of these success stores, there are many more stories of failure. If your startup is going to unsuccessful, it’s better to be unsuccessful and have a college degree than to only have a high school diploma on your resume. Here are some things for the aspiring entrepreneur to consider when deciding upon college:
A school’s reputation, as prestigious or otherwise, isn’t very important for entrepreneurs. What does matter is what problem the entrepreneur is trying to solve, and how well equipped they are to bring that solution to the market.
A key ingredient for any successful entrepreneur is networking. When considering schools, an important consideration is the networking power of a university that includes students, faculty and alumni.
A school located near places with a strong startup track record such as New York, Silicon Valley, Boston, Chicago or Seattle are much more valuable to the aspiring entrepreneur than a school located in a desolate are. Additionally, entrepreneurs will want to go where the industry they plan to enter has a strong presence.
Many people stress over choosing the perfect major, not just entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should major in a field where they have passion. They should not be so concerned with what their major is; instead the focus should be on getting as wide a range of experience as possible.
Entrepreneurs will want to choose a school where they’ll have ample access to quality mentors. Whether these mentors come through a structured program or from networking, their guidance is invaluable for budding innovators.
Another essential factor for choosing a college is the access one would have to internships. Any experience future entrepreneurs can scrape together is valuable, but if the experience is at a successful startup it will likely be worth more.