Your whole life you have been told by your parents, your teachers, your coaches that you will not be successful without a university degree, that you will amount to nothing without good grades and your head in the books. This might have applied in the 1990s, even in the early 2000s, but these days, with the dire state of education, the prohibitive cost of tuition and the current high unemployment rates, there is a serious call for our youth to look at alternatives to mainstream tertiary education.
Despite your youthful brainwashing to the contrary, there are many reasons why you don’t need a 3-year induction into varsity life, the first year of which is often a blur and a waste of your parents’ money, to make something of yourself. There are many successful people/entrepreneurs who don’t have university or college degrees – the likes of celebrities Steve Jobs, Oprah, Richard Branson, Michael Dell and Steven Spielberg, and home-grown Lebo Gunguluza, USN’s Albie Geldenhuis, Chicken Licken’s George Sombonos and Netflorist’s Ryan Bacher to name a few – who have done remarkable things, started remarkable businesses and inspired and mentored even more remarkable people and enterprises.
Let’s face it, not everyone is made for university or college, so shouldn’t the whole concept of entrepreneurialism be a part of the curriculum in junior and high school to foster and cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in our youth so that they can actually give consideration to starting their own businesses as a career option? With unemployment at an all-time high, that is well worth considering, particularly when small business is the backbone of our economy. Some inroads have been made by Government, but not nearly enough to make any significant impact.
Leon Lategan, founder of , says, ”Many people, particularly our youth, possess a natural aptitude for entrepreneurship – day-to-day challenges, socio-economic issues and hard times naturally encourage a certain independence, a gift of the gab, toughness – they are risk-takers and whether they know it or not, possess the key ingredients for successful entrepreneurship.” Lategan, a successful entrepreneur himself, university drop-out and graduate from the school of hard-knocks, adds that this resilience is exactly what has stood himself and entrepreneurs the world over in good stead, and along with a good work ethic, will stand future young entrepreneurs in good stead too: “They just need to have these talents, skills and creativity awakened in them.”
Yes, varsity or college does give you an education but it is by no means the only education. Bottom line, you can be your own boss without a university or college degree – granted, you can learn the basics to assist you in your efforts to become an entrepreneur but you won’t learn what it takes to be successful as your own boss, there. Degree or not, you determine your own level of success and the path that you take, and there are plenty of entrepreneurs/self-made people that have proven just that.
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