No! Of course you don't!
These guys didn't have a college degree and they did pretty well:
Just to name a few...
Since a young age we are taught to go through the education system in order to find a job and work your way up a ladder. That's why the majority do. Whether it's best for the individual or not.
When teaching many students it's easier to guide everyone down the same route, towards the same goal than it is to tailor teaching, learning and experiences to each individual. Of course it is.
There needs to be more support and opportunities for the next generation to embrace entrepreneurship as a real career choice like being a doctor, lawyer, marketer or police officer.
Now I don't think you need a degree to be an entrepreneur but I do see usefulness in it. I learned how to learn at uni, my networking skills probably vastly improved due to the social life university provided and I grew up fast once having to organise my life myself. But I would have also learned a lot having not gone to uni and starting a business. Whether I failed or succeeded at first.
Before you watch 'The Social Network' and think yeah, I want to do that and drop out of uni, realise that entrepreneurship ain't like that son.
It's hard, time consuming, money draining, gritty stuff. You'll have very bad days and you'll have awesome days, but it's the downs you'll have to work through. It certainly isn't as comfortable as a university degree paid for by the student loans company which you don't have to worry about paying back till that time period called 'the future'.
But university is getting more and more expensive, rather than coming out with a huge debt, if you have the ambition, commitment and dedication to start a business instead you can. What if you took out a startup loan to the same value a degree would cost you over 3 years. Do you have a business plan that you could make a viable business that can support you after 3 years?
Do you have the skills? Do you have the contacts? Do you have the support?
If you really do have an idea you back fully and you genuinely think you can make it work then don't be afraid, don't feel like you have to do 3 years at uni, to make someone else happy. take the leap.
To be honest the only reason I ever passed my degree was because I started two businesses whilst at university, one which was successful, one which wasn't. But when it came to exams I had real life experience to draw upon. And despite failing a year, not revising much and generally not doing so well whilst running those businesses, I passed with a 1st.
To say the least it's not the same for everyone, but you know yourself better than anyone, you know how you learn best; and if you don't figure it out, only you can.
I am starting a startup incubator on a bus for those looking at an alternative to university. We're offering startups, with support, mentoring, workshops and introductions to investors. You can learn more and support the project here: http://goo.gl/S0NzVj
What's your thoughts? Have you started a business without going to university? Did you start one after getting a degree?
Let me know in the comments below:
Help pledge your support for young entrepreneurs for free here: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/9738-support-young-entrepreneurs