The Role of Education in Entrepreneurship

Learn how it plays, learn how it pays

The nature of education is rapidly evolving, and with global commerce more accessible than ever, many people are wondering what is the role of education, especially as it relates to entrepreneurship. More and more, colleges and universities trying to adapt to a changing educational landscape which includes MOOC (massive online open courses), bootcamps, and other online learning channels.

You may also consider the rapid increase of entrepreneurship as an M.B.A. focus. According to Poets & Quants:

“From a survey of self-employed alumni who graduated from 1959 to 2013, GMAC has found that 45% of 2010-2013 grads started businesses directly after finishing b-school, while 80% of self-employed alumni from years past worked several years for an employer before embarking on entrepreneurial ventures.”

Can colleges and business school programs teach not just the theory, but the harsh reality that comes with being an ? But further, should academic institutions feel a responsibility to take on that topic?

What is Education?

To begin answering the question of education in the realm of entrepreneurship, we first must consider what post-secondary education is even designed to do. Historically, and can be considered a baseline assumption, colleges and universities were designed to prepare students for higher-earning careers.

Depending on the institution type (community college, four-year university, post graduate), students can earn technical, incremental growth opportunities (certificates or credentials), or degrees that prepare students for bigger, more competitive, and assumed safer career paths.

I mention this because historically, the role of post-secondary education was never designed to create business people. While many colleges offer business coursework (accounting, business law, etc.), the knowledge of what it takes to run a successful business has not been adopted at the foundational level.

Why Academic Institutions Are Not Ideal to Fuel Entrepreneurship

On the surface, academic institutions might seem a good venue to fuel innovative entrepreneurs. They have a ready, engaged user base. They come with respect and laurels. They already offer some existing framework courses.

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