Entrepreneurs: Graduate or Drop Out of School?

Billionaires Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Larry Ellison and Paul Allen all dropped out of college, and neither of Napster’s young cofounders — Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning — have their bachelors. Many young entrepreneurs reach a point when they have to ask: “Should I drop out of school and focus on starting up my business?” And even more find themselves asking: “Should I quit my fulltime job and focus on starting up my business?”

Here are a few things to think about before taking the big plunge:

Money: How will you pay your bills until you start earning an income from your business? Are you prepared to adjust your lifestyle? How much savings do you have? If you are still dependent on your parents, will they continue to support you financially?

Advice: What do your loved ones think? What kind of support and feedback have you received about your business idea? Have you spoken to someone else who has left school or a steady job in order to pursue a business?

What If…: How well have you thought out this decision? How solid is your business plan? What time frame have you given your business? Two years? Five Years? What’s your backup plan if this business doesn’t work?

A few other resources that can help you figure out which path is right for you:

“Entrepreneurs – You Might Want to Drop Out of College” by Mason Hipp

Blog post: “Should You Quit School Because You’re Brilliant?”

“The Time Is Now: Yes, you can build a million-dollar business while you’re still in college” by Nichole L. Torres

“Rich Dad’s Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business” by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter

“Your Good Side: Don’t quit your day job. Really, we mean it. Start a business on the side while you work full time for someone else.”
by Nichole L. Torres

“Knowing it’s Time to Quit Your Day Job” by Pamela Slim


Jovie Baclayon is the editorial director for YSN.com and an expert in the experiences faced by emerging adults. To learn more, check out Jovie’s YSN portfolio and feel free to e-mail her! She blogs every Wednesday and Friday on Waste Time Wisely.