Entrepreneurship has a broader meaning than simply starting an enterprise. It encompasses a habit of mind and is an approach to addressing challenges and risks. Many people may default to be entrepreneurs because of the uncertainties of how one may be able to earn a future living. Many individuals may default to becoming the entrepreneur of their own lives — i.e., self-employed or being more entrepreneurial in some way, never having intended to start something.
Increasingly, it is very easy to envision a future where many will not be traditionally employed job holders, but rather will earn a living by being a multi-tasking “company-of-one.” This might mean earning money by utilising specialised skills or knowledge directly for clients; functioning as an independent contractor doing work arranged through an intermediary agency etc.
People who do this will require the same skills as traditional entrepreneurs: presenting yourself and your ideas, effective/succinct writing, negotiation, self-branding and the basics of running a business. So, it’s increasingly urgent to prepare young people for the possibility that this is how they will earn their living. Here are the reasons why entrepreneurship education must start before university:
COLLEGE GRADUATES ARE DRIVING TAXIS
Many recent university graduates are already experiencing a challenging job market and troubling underemployment. In polls of recent college graduates, from 41% (April 2013 Accenture Report, Wall Street Journal January 2014, Gallup2013) to 46% (May2014 Accenture Report, Federal Reserve Bank of New York Report) said they were either underemployed or didn’t even need a degree for their current job.
It is predicted that AI will replace the solid careers now held by university-educated knowledge workers who use data and set decision rules: accountants, auditors, structural engineers and many others. And in further testament to the underemployment of university graduates, Wall Street Journal online recently reported that 15% of taxi drivers in the US have a college degree, up from less than 1% in 1970.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE PLACE TO TEACH ENTREPRENEURIAL REALITIES
High school is the most effective place to teach entrepreneurial realities and give students the skills they need before they start their career path. Historically, in developed societies such as the US, completing a high school education has been deemed sufficient to get a job or earn a living.
For those aspiring to have a “career” that offers far greater earning potential than just a “job”, a college education or other advanced training was the prescription. Unfortunately, many traditional paths to securing a “good living” including a number involving university education, are slipping away.
The income-earning path chosen as a student departs high school is often a pivotal decision in his or her life, often setting a life-long trajectory. To make such a critical decision, students must have a clear picture of the accelerating changes in the potential for earning a living today and the growing uncertainty of future work. Students must have this knowledge before high school graduation.
High school is the most effective place to teach these realities and give students the skills they need before they start their career path. Finally, while nobody has figured out how society can deal with technology replacing human endeavour, being the “entrepreneur of one’s own life” provides a mind set with a greater range of alternatives and skills for dealing with an uncertain future.
From: Entrepreneurship Education Must Start Before College. By Roy Carriker. Entrepreneur & Innovation Exchange Published online at EIX.org on October 04 2017 DOI: 10.17919/X97T0X
Categories: Entrepreneurship and Small Business