Should You Skip College to Start a Business? The Pros and Cons

Young people in modern society are repeatedly told the same thing. They need to go to school, earn good grades to get into college, and then land a high-paying job using their degree. You then get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.

Although this fairy tale sounds picturesque, it is not everyone’s dream. Some people don’t want to get married, and would choose a life of variety and adventure over a stable career. And there’s no reason you have to go into further education if you don’t feel the urge.

If you have a winning idea for a business, you probably want to make the most of it right away. You’ve found a gap in the market and seen the potential to make a lot of money or do some good for the world. Why should you wait three or four years to graduate before making your first move? If you are wondering whether you should skip college in order to start your business, you’ve come to the right place. The following article looks at the pros and cons of making this major life decision, and will hopefully lead you to the right answer.

The Pros

Follow your dreams

You have a dream in your mind so why wouldn’t you do whatever you can to achieve it? You don’t need to have a college education in order to run a successful business. In fact, some of the most powerful CEOs in the world dropped out of high school. A degree is little more than a piece of paper and it doesn’t determine who you are or what you can do in this world. Most people at college age have no idea what they want from their lives and you are one of the lucky few who do. This puts you at a great advantage and it would be a shame to put it to waste. Go and make your dream a reality.

Make money

A college degree is expensive, and your time in higher education is guaranteed to saddle you with a load of student debt. You also have to factor in the cost of accomodation, text books, your thriving social life, and other living expenses. You can of course find a part-time job to help fund your studies, but this will only cover so much. When starting a business, on the other hand, you’ll have money coming in rather than going out. Yes, it may take you a little while to become profitable, but at least you will be heading in the right direction.

Defy expectations

Everyone is expecting you to go to college and finish your education: your parents, your teachers, and your friends who are getting ready to begin their studies. But you shouldn’t feel pressured into something if your heart’s not in it. Defy expectations and surprise people. They may not all agree with your decision but you will be acting of your own free will and not bowing into peer pressure.

Learn new skills

Even though you might be passing up the opportunity to gain a college education, that’s not to say you won’t be gaining valuable knowledge. Everyday as an entrepreneur you will be learning new skills such as how to build a website or register a company. It could be argued that this is a lot more practical than much of the content taught in a degree.

The Cons

Risk of failure

When you become an entrepreneur, success is not guaranteed. In fact it’s pretty unlikely. More than one fifth of businesses fail by the end of their first year, and almost half by the end of year five. So you have no way of knowing whether your company will beat the odds and stand on its own two feet. Are you willing to take the risk and put your time and money into an endeavor that might not work out? Make sure you are one hundred percent certain that this is what you want before you take the plunge.

Limits your options

Simply having a university degree can open so many doors in life. Most employers will only consider applicants for a role if they have gone through higher education, and it gives you a huge advantage over candidates who haven’t gone to college. If for whatever reason your business doesn’t work out, it’s possible you might struggle when you try to go into full time employment. Of course it is never too late to enroll in academia but it’s a completely different experience when you are a mature student. An alternative would be to have the best of both worlds by studying and starting a business together. There are plenty of scholarship programs, such as the Rapid Formations Entrepreneur Scholarship, designed to help students with their entrepreneurial endeavors.


Announcing to your friends and family that you are starting your own business can be a nerve wracking experience. You want them to react with positivity and support but you never know whether someone might respond with judgment or doubt. Maybe a loved one thinks you are making the wrong decision or doesn’t think you have it in you to succeed. This can be an upsetting experience and it’s easy to avoid taking risks in order to please your parents and peers. To avoid this, it’s a good idea to raise the discussion with your family and friends to help you arrive at your decision. This way you benefit from alternative perspectives and it won’t be such a shock to your loved ones when you make a go of it.


In conclusion, there are many great reasons to start a business as an alternative to college. As long as you have an idea and a plan, as well as the motivation to make it work, you can get a headstart in life. No need to spend three years revising and racking up debt when you could be out in the world making money. As with anything worthwhile there are risks, but with adequate preparation there will be no stopping you.