Entrepreneurship Education, More Dropout vs Graduate Debate | CNNMoney | #DIYEDU

Martin Zwilling at CNNMoney adds his thoughts on whether entrepreneurs should stay in school and graduate or drop out. Zuckerberg, Gates, and Jobs represent the epitome of the DIY Edu / dropout movement. From Zwilling:

Academic research supports that this experience pays off. It also shows that survival prospects are higher if the owner has at least four years of college, like Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google (GOOG), and Andrew Mason of Groupon (GRPN). The bigger question, then, for an entrepreneur, is not whether or not to go to college, but rather what to do once there.

Study entrepreneurship, but major in something else. Many colleges offer courses on entrepreneurship, to help you think like one. But a depth of knowledge in a specific discipline, like computer science or engineering, allows you to understand that business as well as run it.

An MBA is helpful, but not required. More important are standard business, finance, and economics courses. If offered at your college, don’t forget the practical business skills like “Critical Thinking”, “Business Writing” and even “Dress for Success.”

Supplement course work with practical experience. Look for that summer internship job in the field of your interest, or even just part-time work during the school year. Too many startups fail simply by missing the practical elements of money management, time management, and setting priorities.

Take advantage of inside and outside advisers at school. Some college faculty members have great practical experience. Find the ones with experience, and the ones who are willing to share, and tap into it for free. Most universities also bring in outside advisors to mentor budding entrepreneurs. It’s a huge opportunity to learn early.

There are more tips (and I don’t agree with all of them), but its somewhat clear that Zwilling is advocating a do it yourself approach to education (#diyedu) within the context of a four year degree or a masters degree environment.

via Most great entrepreneurs don’t drop out of Harvard – Term Sheet.


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