Friday, 30 May 2014

The degree!!! Is it a friend or a foe of entrepreneurship




Its a dream of every parent to see his/her child pursue a degree believing that a college education is our ticket to a happy, comfortable lifestyle. Unfortunately in this 21st century having a degree is not an assurance of getting the dream job and living the comfy life. Statistics show that only about 40% of the kenyan graduates manage to get a white collar job. The remaining 60% start business,join blue collars jobs or engage in some funny "hustles".

A while a go I happened to share with Jane,a 2nd hand clothes vendor and Erick,a tailor in Gikomba . Jane makes between 90k and 150K profit from her business every month while Erick makes an average of 50K per month. Jane has never gone beyond form 4 while Erick did a tailoring course for 6 months after high school. Jane owns several plots in the city and she plans to start constructing rental houses in the next few years. Truth be told these two are earning well compared to most of their peers in the white collar jobs.

On the other side, I have still met young successful graduate entrepreneurs with investment ranking in millions. Some are still employed while others quit employment to concentrate on their businesses.

So the big question Every one asks is "Do people without degree make better entrepreneurs than those without?" Personally I think its one of the toughest questions to answer because each got its strength and weakness. 
  
 The degree as a friend
  • Networking : College gives you an opportunity to connect with people who might turn out to be your most valuable customers or even business partners. Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo are an example of business that were were conceived in college.
  • Exposure: College gives you adequate exposure in terms of current trends emerging, unique ideas that have a potential to be the next big thing
  • Knowledge : The best thing about getting a degree is that you have got enough information on what it takes to start and run a business. Some causes like B.com are all rounded meaning that you can serve the position of a marketer,the accountant,the supplier etc in the initial stages of the business
The degree as an enemy
  • Kills creativity : This we can all agree is the biggest effect of a college degree. It kills creativity in that it encourages the employee mentality. You will find that 90% off all graduates want to be employed and those who start business mostly do so after failing to get a Job.
  • Ego: I think a degree certificate is an EGO stamp. Most of graduates cannot do certain types of job despite good pay because they afraid of what their friends will say. Some prefer to protect their ego and remain poor rather than bruising their Ego and make money. Ego prevents one from seeing the bigger dream. In business you have to shed off the Ego because humbleness is key to succeed
  • Closed/specialized mind : It tends to limit one to a particular filed meaning that its hard to recognize an opportunity that is outside the area of specialization. On other hand people without college education are open to any idea across all sectors.
  •    
    Here are some quotes to challenge you...

“Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year”

In some circumstances, obtaining a college degree is a necessary step in pursuing a career that you love. However, in most cases, a college degree is nothing more than a little slip of paper that tells the world you are a certified worker bee. - See more at: http://www.violentacres.com/archives/235/college-will-kill-your-entrepreneurial-spirit-while-simultaneously-turning-you-into-a-worker-bee/#sthash.0UdsDjso.dpuf
"In some circumstances, obtaining a college degree is a necessary step in pursuing a career that you love. However, in most cases, a college degree is nothing more than a little slip of paper that tells the world you are a certified worker bee."

"Too much education or experience can actually kill your entrepreneurial spirit. I have worked with many people whose post-secondary degrees cost them the ability to take a risk. If they couldn’t model a business idea or see it tangibly working, they were afraid to jump"-Eric V. Holtzclaw

My Take
I have met successful entrepreneurs on the both sides that is: with and without college degree. So no matter the side you belong ,you have got no reason to be a successful entrepreneur.

Whats your opinion? Lets engage on twitter  @GitongaMunene

In some circumstances, obtaining a college degree is a necessary step in pursuing a career that you love. However, in most cases, a college degree is nothing more than a little slip of paper that tells the world you are a certified worker bee. - See more at: http://www.violentacres.com/archives/235/college-will-kill-your-entrepreneurial-spirit-while-simultaneously-turning-you-into-a-worker-bee/#sthash.0UdsDjso.dpuf

“Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year - See more at: http://www.violentacres.com/archives/235/college-will-kill-your-entrepreneurial-spirit-while-simultaneously-turning-you-into-a-worker-bee/#sthash.0UdsDjso.dpuf
“Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year - See more at: http://www.violentacres.com/archives/235/college-will-kill-your-entrepreneurial-spirit-while-simultaneously-turning-you-into-a-worker-bee/#sthash.0UdsDjso.dpuf

4 comments:

Mwangi Mbugua said...

Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year”.... Perfectly said

Mwangi Mbugua said...

Despite what your guidance counselor may tell you, college does not turn people into free thinking individuals who will someday have the whole world at their feet. It turns them into worker bees that will spend their lives in cubicles just so long as they get 2 weeks paid vacation time per year”.... Perfectly said

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hellen said...

Degree is a friend if used properly and added to other skills especially technical skills, it will put you ahead of other enterpreneurs of you do not just concentrate on the degree