Entrepreneurship And Education: 5 Ways Business Will Shape Learning
There seems to be a great deal of concern over how entrepreneurship and education today will work together as changes in public schools and universities become more rapid.
There is an argument that says education is not a business where there is room for profits and losses. That everyone has a right to have an education and that no one has a right to belittle that ability. It’s hard to argue with this fact. Not every person who attends school is going to be a groundbreaking financial success. These people still deserve the right to be educated and reach the pinnacle of their abilities. There should always be opportunities to take care of those who are not necessarily “top of their class”.
Still, the adversarial role that educators often take towards business minded education solutions is a setback for students everywhere. Entrepreneurs are going to have a tremendous impact on the future of education as well they should.
Here are the ways that’s going to happen.
1. Entrepreneurs are going to show students what is possible in the real world.
One of the biggest problems with public education — in most capacities — is that it has no connection to the “real world.”
That’s a reality that has started to change in states that feature a non-traditional licensure program. By bringing in qualified individuals, who have worked in the private sector and know what it’s like to apply the subject matter they are teaching, it is easier to connect educational materials to the outside world and make it interesting to students.
What’s important, though, is that these non-traditional candidates treat the job with the respect that it deserves. They can do so by learning from the experience that already exists as well as a healthy and supportive administration.
What it boils down to is this: entrepreneurs bring interesting vision and drive that students today are going to need if they are going to be globally competitive.
2. Entrepreneurs are going to help connect students to their passions professionally.
Entrepreneurs do what they do because they have vision, and you can’t have vision without passion and creativity. Those are the sparks that ignite the pursuit of one’s dreams. But you cannot pursue a dream without the proper training and know-how.
As the push to make students more competitive on a global level intensifies, the world of public education can’t help but incorporate the experience of the entrepreneur. The key is letting students into the vision itself. What does an entrepreneur want from their goals? What can their dreams make possible?
Until teachers can find ways to implement that same desire in the classroom, students will not be able to see the forest for the trees. That’s why relationships between the entrepreneurial community and the classroom are so important.
3. Entrepreneurs are going to help students think on their feet in a changing economy.
Entrepreneurs think differently during difficult times. For the last eight years, the economy has been in a state of flux with larger companies offshoring their jobs or hiring freelancers. The people who are employed are not as employed as they would like to be, meaning they work part-time jobs for less take-home pay.
Furthermore, companies are also cutting hours in response to higher minimum wage votes. It’s a tough time to be “employed,” in other words. This is an environment that encourages entrepreneurship, and by tapping into that spirit, teachers can also show students that it’s never a hopeless situation.
With the drive, creativity, and vision, students can find and build opportunities when they get out of school.
4. Entrepreneurship and education will make the most of cross-discipline training.
No one is more cross-disciplined than an entrepreneur. They have to be good at what they do, good at customer service, good at accounting and marketing and a number of other things.
Entrepreneurs, in other words, understand how things work together, and who needs to learn that more than a jaded student, who finds that English comes easy but hates every minute of math class?
The world of public education has already done a fine job of emphasizing the importance of being cross-disciplined, but there is no better way to emphasize this than for students to see it in action.
5. Entrepreneurs are going to reduce the cost of a quality education.
It’s already starting with an economy that is increasingly skills-based. Learning skills means that the emphasis to an employer is more on performance than what letters fall after a name.
A 2012 study from Georgetown University also showed that skills learners with a technological bent tended to out-earn college graduates with bachelor’s degrees, and they got there at a significantly lower cost than what the average 4-year public university charges for in-state tuition.
With so many affordable online courses (and the less overhead that naturally follows), education of the future will be decidedly more affordable. Educators, however, will need to emphasize to students that they need to find their purpose before going into debt.
While professional educators will still be completely necessary in the world of the 21st Century — after all, classroom management is a skill in itself — the time has come to incorporate some of the ideas that you will see in the business world. After all, that’s where students are heading after graduation, so why not make sure they’ve had a taste of it beforehand? Who are some entrepreneurs that you admire, and feel would be good inclusions in the classroom? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons / Pixel.la]