College Alternatives -
Is It Better To Start A Business?

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Becoming an Entrepreneur vs.
Getting a College Degree:

If your child is in high school, he may be starting to think about what he wants to do with his life. For years, going to college has been the top recommendation for high school students, but is it really the best choice for your high school student? Here’s a closer look at why becoming an entrepreneur may be the better choice for your child.

The Declining ROI of a College Degree
In 2002, “The Big Payoff report” from the U.S. Census Bureau reported that college grads would earn around $1 million more than individuals who never went to college, and at that time, a college degree offered an excellent return on investment (ROI). However, over time, the ROI of a college degree continues to decline. In fact, in 2011, a new study showed that college grads were only earning around $650,000 more in their lifetime than high school grads. Some of the college degrees that have the worst return on investment include Sociology, Fine Arts, Education, Religious Studies/Theology, Hospitality/Tourism, Nutrition, Psychology, and Communications.

The Job Market and College Grads
Unfortunately, another problem making it difficult for college grads is the current job market. After spending thousands of dollars on a college degree, many young people quickly find themselves jobless, even with a great degree. The job market continues to be difficult across the country, and it’s college grads that are having a tough time finding good jobs within their field. Many recent graduates are forced to take jobs outside of their major or jobs they’re overqualified for, which severely impacts their earnings and delays their career.

Starting a Business Builds Important Skills
Another reason that beginning a new start up is a great option for high school jobs is because it requires them to build important skills that will be beneficial throughout their entire life. Being an entrepreneur will help individuals build essential skills, such as communication, curiosity, people skills, perseverance, planning, problem solving, and more. Many of the skills learned by entrepreneurship are skills that you will never learn in college. Unfortunately, while the poor job market is one reason that new grads have a tough time finding jobs, a lack of important skills is another reason that the job market is difficult to navigate for new grads.

Entrepreneurship Opens Opportunities
Becoming an entrepreneur also opens up a lot of new opportunities to young people that wouldn’t be available if they went to college. For example, entrepreneurs may have the opportunity to start and sell multiple businesses. Going the start up route often gives young people the flexibility and independence they want, along with a steady income and personal fulfillment.

Is a college education a bad idea? No, it does offer many benefits. In fact, education can be helpful to individuals who want to start a business. However, in today’s job market and with the declining ROI of college degrees, becoming an entrepreneur offers many excellent benefits. Going the start up route has the potential to help your high school student develop important skills, open opportunities, and build a stable financial future without all the debt that comes with pursuing a college education today.


Herb passionately advocates for storytelling to build relatable, impactful brands. He is dedicated to creating a platform that empowers, inspires, and connects women from all walks of life, promoting self-belief and happiness.

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