How important is an education?

EDUCATION is an important subject to us all – but just but how important is one’s education when it comes to being successful in business?

The vast majority of us attend school from a very early age to accumulate information, skills and principles, taught to us by knowledgeable teachers.

If we are fortunate enough to obtain good grades we are then able to make the decision whether to further our education by attending college or university, but does every managing director have to have a degree?

I understand the importance of acquiring a good education and I do not disagree with anyone who chooses this particular pathway. But does having a college or university degree guarantee success, especially in business? This is definitely debatable as many of my friends now have huge amounts of debt, and several are still looking for full-time employment.

I’ve been told that university not only provides young people with a greater level of education and independence, but also a fantastic social life as well. Hopefully at the end of all the studying, the hard work eventually pays off and a person can walk away with a piece of paper that actually means something. If I had known exactly what occupation to follow when I left school, like becoming a doctor, lawyer or some other line of work, then perhaps I would have made a definite decision to pursue a university education.

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In fact I left school without a plan and I was lucky enough to find a good job in my home town and literally jumped straight into work, beginning my career as a sales executive for a local printing firm. I worked hard, putting a lot of time and effort into building my career as well as gaining valuable experience. In due course I was made manager of my department.

After two years I moved away from home and found myself working for a variety of different companies in larger cities. On several occasions it was clear to me that my personality, combined with my level of experience allowed me to gain positions over other candidates who were solely relying upon their qualifications. The real point that I’m trying to make here is this: I sincerely believe that a person can become successful without following the conventional educational pathway. I look at certain people like Lord (Alan) Sugar of the BBC’s The Apprentice. If you’ve watched him on the TV or recently read his biography you’ll understand what it really takes to reach the higher levels within the business world.

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I like to think that, now that I am running my own business, I have put into practice some of those qualities that Lord Sugar often talks about – traits like reliability, persistence and courage, combined with following that “gut” feeling, something that he also mentions quite frequently.

To those out there who aspire to have their own business one day, I would say it doesn’t matter what you have done in the past; it’s what you do in your future that counts.

University degree or not, you have the power to shape and create your own opportunities; all you have to do is work hard and believe you can.

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