Journalists and authors covering the world of tech startups love to point to famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and other daring founders who dropped out of college to pursue their business. This has led many to believe that skipping college is the ticket to startup success.
Unfortunately, there is an element of what is known as survivorship bias, in which you only notice the individuals who succeeded while missing all of the failures. In reality, completing college can give you a big advantage when building a startup. Below, we’ll look at three college degrees that could give you an edge in the competitive world of entrepreneurship.
Any good business is designed to work as a system, and engineering is the art of building elegant and robust systems. In addition, every startup needs an awesome product, which also requires engineering. So it should come as no surprise to learn that many successful startups are built by people with engineering backgrounds. The most popular and in-demand fields are computer science and electrical engineering, either one of which will help you build the next generation of disruptive new products.
An MBA or MPA
The startup community has a tendency to ignore the importance of an MBA and the closely related MPA, but in reality, both can offer a number of advantages for startup founders. The MBA and MPA cover a wide range of business skills that will be a powerful advantage over competitors who lack such a skill set. In addition, you can get a master’s of business administration or a master’s of public administration online, making them ideal for a busy person with dreams of launching their own startup.
It might be surprising to learn that most of the great products you use every day are built with psychology in mind. The human brain has a variety of cognitive biases and mental shortcuts that are often leveraged to build addictive and appealing products. In addition, every startup needs marketing, and marketing is all about reaching the forefront of people’s decision making process. A degree in psychology will provide powerful insights into how people make crucial decisions.
A great startup requires a great founder, and being a great founder requires a diverse skill set and broad knowledge. Before you pass up on a college education, consider the powerful advantages offered by any of these three college degrees.
This article was contributed by guest author Lizzie Weakley.