A Different Kind of Education that Drives Innovation
Of course, all of these possible ambitions and stepping-stones are carved by the influence of parents and teachers who are aware of the need for a new approach towards education. These powerful influences should work to create leaders, not just college graduates. The workplace needs innovators. Professors can lecture about professional business plans, economics, and financial analysis, but we need to push students further in order to set them up for success. We need to nurture self-confidence, team-building skills, and an appetite for risk.
Experiential learning opportunities can build and direct these skills in driven students. By actively pursuing and participating in local business and networking through conferences and startup weekends, students harness and hone their raw talents. These activities also introduce them into how small businesses and local commerce operate effectively. The Harvard Business Review recently published an article that asked, “Can entrepreneurs be made?" It stated that “the lack of guts is the most common barrier to entrepreneurship success…building guts may thus be the most important way in which entrepreneurs can be developed." These “guts" are built through experiences that educate students on how small business, local commerce, and networking actually relate.
The prospect of $15,000 per year for a college graduate is not very motivating or promising. However, by altering traditional education slightly so students can pursue entrepreneurial endeavors, they can gain the necessary financial and practical skills to survive. Preparation and intelligent planning in selecting a major can make a world of difference in predicted incomes. The college or university experience is changing in response to our economy. Those students who will succeed do so with a foundation of a solid work ethic, confidence, and astonishing determination.
About the Author: Dr. Greg Bier is a professor of management at the University of Missouri. He leads the newly formed Entrepreneurship Alliance at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business. He is also a partner with Entrepreneur MO (www.mo.com). Follow Greg on Twitter at @gregbier.