It’s a surprise to many that some of the most successful entrepreneurs did not go to college, or that they dropped out. However, it goes to show that college is not the only path to success, and with many better alternatives, why focus solely on getting a degree? Entrepreneurs should look at these other options when determining how to get a relevant education and experience.
Job shadowing is a great option for anyone looking to enter any field. All you have to do is find someone willing to take you under their wing and show you how they work. Then, just show up, take notes, and try to get involved where you can. As long as you act respectful and accept that you won’t be given tons of responsibility, job shadowing should go smoothly.
Many people cannot afford to go to college all four years (or more). The problem is, some college-level courses are actually very useful, especially when it comes to finance. Rather than abandon all hope of learning this information, entrepreneurs can consider taking online courses, either free or paid, to gain all the knowledge they need to succeed.
The Internet is home to thousands of resources about any topic you could think of. You can watch a TED Talk about entrepreneurship, listen to a podcast interview with a company’s founder, or even read successful entrepreneurs’ Medium blogs. No matter what route you’re looking to take with your business and career, there is no doubt that you will find a free resource out there for you.
Mentorships are becoming trendy, which means more people are interested in pursuing them. Consider reaching out to an established figure in your niche — for example, if you are looking to create a shippable snack food, find someone who already has a successful shippable snack food business. I do want to point out that mentorships don’t have to only be between the newest people and the most veteran entrepreneurs. You can be a mentee at any point in your journey, and your mentor might only be one step further along the path than you are. Rather than focusing on finding the perfect mentor, try looking for someone who can help you through a specific era of your business.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs go to business school, and many end up with unnecessary debt. Instead of worrying about getting a college degree (which is not a prerequisite to entrepreneurship), see how you can learn everything you need on your own for little or no money.