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An Education in Entrepreneurship

William Arruda’s article in Forbes gives new hope for those who see value in continuing education. “Why Aspiring Entrepreneurs Should Put Their Education First” outlines reasons why pursuing a college education, particularly one focused on business can be a real asset for individuals who seek business ownership.

With the rising cost of a college education, many people see it more as a source of debt than an avenue to success. Arruda arrived at a refreshing take on the well-known accomplishments of Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates. It’s true that each of these men has achieved phenomenal success, and they’ve done so without a college degree. They are the models of possibility and achievement held as a banner example by people who wish to diminish the benefits of education. Arruda is quick to point out that these men are anomalies rather than the norm in the world of entrepreneurship.

Nothing can replace certain attributes, such as drive, determination, and good instincts. Combine them with a great idea, and it’s easy to understand why college seems to be an indulgence. The benefits of a traditional college education, and even that of a trade-specific program, are profound. Part of completing a program of study is learning discipline. The coursework is designed to be challenging and requires commitment in order to complete it.

Another valuable asset of completing a course of study is developing communication and negotiation skills. College and business-specific programs involve completing assignments and internships that require effectively working with others from a myriad of backgrounds. It’s an invaluable resource to have accessed prior to hiring and managing one’s own employees. The potential for conflict involved in employee relations is enough to send even the most resourceful entrepreneur to the door’s closed sign.

Zuckerberg, Jobs, and Gates are an inspiring group of men. They are indeed visionaries. The vast majority of aspiring entrepreneurs, however, will recognize the advantages of completing a course of study that leads them into their chosen business.

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