Alternatives to education in economic crises

With the downturn in the economy and jobs being scarce these days, many undergraduate students are choosing to continue their education. Enrollment in graduate schools is at all-time highs, with many people choosing to pursue Masters and Doctorate degrees. However, there are some serious questions about whether this is really a smart strategy to ensure employment post-graduation.

Alternatives to education in an economic crises
Alternatives to education in economic crises

Innovation During Hard Times

If you look historically at when innovations in technology and successful companies have been established, it is amazing to see how many happen during times of economic distress. Apple was started by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1975, during a major economic downturn.

Neither Jobs nor Wozniak had graduate-level degrees and they developed a technological innovation that has become a leading company around the world. During the midst of the dot-com bubble burst of 2001, Apple engineers were working on innovative products that later were introduced as the iPod, leading the way to later products such as the iPhone and the iPad.

In 1980, Ted Turner introduced CNN. During this period of time, the United States was in the midst of a double-dip recession, and interest rates and inflation were extremely high. CNN was the first 24-hour news network and in 1982, Turner introduced Headline News.

Other top companies that have been introduced during economic recessions include General Electric (1890), General Motors (1908), IBM (1896), Disney (1923), and Microsoft (1975). Interestingly enough, none of the founders of these companies had advanced degrees.

Seeking Alternatives for Income

One of the amazing phenomenons of the current economic downturn is the alternative options that many people are finding for creating income and employment. With the availability of the internet and computers, many people have discovered new ways to support themselves without having a traditional job.

For example, the introduction of smartphones has changed the entire technological landscape and individuals are writing small apps that have turned into lucrative sources of income.

Other individuals are discovering the secrets of internet marketing. Opening an e-commerce site or selling items through eBay, Itsy, or other sites has created income for many people. Often, it is possible to work with drop ship companies and remove the necessity of maintaining inventory or being responsible for shipping products.

Success Without Advanced Education

Certainly, there is value in getting an education. It can open you up to new ways of thinking and entirely new subjects of interest. However, having an education is not a guarantee of success in business or life in general.

Frequently, individuals who start new companies or create innovative new products have the drive for success regardless of their educational background. Skills such as leadership, creative problem-solving, and determination allow them to find niches for their products and services.

With so many people currently enrolled in graduate school programs, the issue of lack of employment has simply been delayed. Instead, it might be wiser to explore alternative options for generating income that can be sustained and turned into a successful and lucrative career.

Taking the lessons of past economic downturns, the old adage is certainly true, “necessity is the mother of invention.” If you take this old saying to heart, you too can find an inventive and creative source of income and success.

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