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The ROI of Entrepreneurship Education

The heading I wanted to put is “Why is Entrepreneurship not taught to every high school student as a core subject?” but then I checked myself, and asked, ‘what are the benefits of each subject to students after they graduate?’ and ‘which subjects offer the most return on the time invested for students during high school?’. What would you say before reading any further? Are math, english, social studies, and science the true core subjects that every student should be learning? Or would the core subjects look different if it were up to you?

A study by University of Miami back in 2014 found a strong positive correlation between a student’s high school GPA and their average salary earned in the future.

The question for me is did the subjects themselves matter in this scenario, or was it a student’s ability to master the game of modern day high school, that predicted future success.

A CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey in 2017 showed in a survey of small business owners that less than half had a college degree, and 25% had no college experience at all, having ended their schooling at high school, or even dropped out early.

So now I’m really scratching my head trying to think of a way to effectively measure the correlation between doing well in different high school subjects vs being successful in the real world, which for the purpose of this micro-investigation, I’m going to define as wealth (net worth).Here is a list of skills that practicing entrepreneurship teaches us according to compared to the top 12 needed skills identified by self-made millionaires in a Business Insiders article:

Skills Learned Through Entrepreneurship

  1. Curiosity
  2. Time Management
  3. Strategic Thinking
  4. Efficiency
  5. Resilience
  6. Communication
  7. Networking
  8. Finance
  9. Branding
  10. Sales


Top skills identified by Millionaires

  1. Communication
  2. Sales
  3. Marketing and Branding
  4. Emotional Intelligence
  5. Product and Service Innovation
  6. Organizing
  7. Goal Setting and Planning
  8. Money Management
  9. Philanthropy
  10. Networking
  11. Leadership
  12. Time Management


Honorable mentions: Perseverance, innovation, coaching and mentoring, customer service, public speaking, storytelling, traveling, team building, negotiation, etiquette, conflict resolution, stress management, advanced learning.As you can see, there is a ton of direct overlap between the two with 5 items repeated on both lists, and a further 2 that are different ways of describing the same thing.A true ‘apples to apples’ comparison would require the same skill list be generated for the other academic subjects. Once I have a comprehensive list to compare to, I will update this article. Feel free to contribute your own thoughts and ideas via email for the next part in this series! [email protected]

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