Colleges Fail to Teach Entrepreneurial Skills Poll Finds

Colleges Fail to Teach Entrepreneurial Skills Poll Finds
  • Opening Intro -

    College students may be getting their studies completed and earning degrees, but a Zogby/463 Survey notes that students are not being equipped with the entrepreneurial skills needed to launch their own enterprises.

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That May 2011 released survey, which focused upon entrepreneurism and education, noted that traditional teaching methods don’t equip students to launch start-up operations later on.

Formidable Global Competition

Small businesses are the engine that drives the country, but many businesses fail because operators aren’t properly equipped to handle the vagaries of running a start-up, something that could be taught while students are still in school. Two out of three Americans note that the nation faces stiff global competition, but colleges and universities are not doing enough to prepare students to compete effectively in a global marketplace.

“Some entrepreneurs may be born while others made, but what is true is that all of them need to develop and hone the skills needed to create and grow a business,” said Douglas K. Mellinger, vice-chairman and co-founder of Foundation Source and a trustee at Cogswell College. “We need to reinvent the way we prepare our students to enter the business world by enabling them to start and run businesses while in school.”

Creating New Opportunities

Mellinger’s comments mesh well with the survey which found that most participants, 73 percent, believe that the best way for students to acquire entrepreneurial skills is to intern with a start-up or launch a new business while still in college. Most also agreed that students who are properly equipped to start and manage businesses will be better positioned to create new opportunities and jobs once they graduate.

About 5 percent of the people surveyed believed that colleges are currently the place where students become entrepreneurs. However, 63 percent believe that entrepreneurial skills are learned while working.

Small Business Success

The Zogby/463 Survey also singled out the 18-24 age group, the people who are most likely in a position to start a business over the next few years. When asked, only 2 percent of the people in that age group felt that classes and lectures provide the tools necessary to start a business with nearly two-thirds agreeing with the statement that, “the most effective way to teach someone to become an entrepreneur was by creating a small business or interning.” More than half also believed that launching businesses while still in college would help them succeed entrepreneurially later on.

Perhaps the most significant “we get it” answer received from the pollsters was the realization that 93 percent of the people surveyed agree that entrepreneurship is “very important” to the future competitiveness of the American economy.

Resources

Cogswell Polytechnical College: Entrepreneurship 101 – Identifying Market Opportunities

Entrepreneur; Your Entrepreneurial To-Do List; Brad Sugars; March 2, 2010

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