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College Students Shunning Entrepreneurship?

The main problem with big government isn’t that it hurts the economy. Sure, progressive policies demand high taxes, huge deficits and humungous debt, but you’ll find the real damage beyond the balance sheet. Big government stunts the soul.

Instead of seeing how high you can fly, big government teaches you it's better to just get by. Rather than create your own rules, big government demands you follow theirs in triplicate. In a nation where big government guarantees a comfortable living, why go big when you can just go home?

If the goal of a welfare state is creating dependency, it’s succeeding with much of the millennial generation. Many of today’s college students are shunning the very idea of entrepreneurship.

AfterCollege, an online career network for people finishing up school, surveyed 600 of its registered members from across the U.S. The report, issued jointly with Millennial Branding, had some disturbing results.

Asked if they are interested in starting a business in the next few years, more than 60 percent of college students said “no” while only 8 percent said they are “very” interested. Just one in five students wish their school offered courses in entrepreneurship.

The primary characteristic of entrepreneurs is an appetite for risk. Earlier, Millennial Branding found that only 28 percent of Gen Y respondents identified with being high risk, compared to 40 percent of Gen X and 43 percent of Baby Boomers who felt the same way.

Most current students questioned do accept internships, but very few get paid or get a job offer from the company. Instead of creating their own opportunity, the vast majority of millennials are waiting for the proverbial knock on their door.

What’s most concerning is that the poll only sampled students who registered for an online career network. Just imagine how low the numbers would be if all college seniors were asked.

Dan Schawbel, the 29-year-old founder of Millennial Branding, is rallying his generation to join him as an entrepreneur:

Whether businesses, students, or colleges are to blame is not clear, but Schawbel suggests students need to be more aggressive. Internships and résumés don’t turn into jobs anymore, he says. “Students have to be accountable for their careers, prepare for the job market as early as freshman year and start building their networks,” says the consultant.

The survey found that although nearly three-fourths of students feel college has prepared them for the working world, many also want colleges to offer networking opportunities, more focus on learning how to get jobs, and more career fairs and alumni support.

While entrepreneurs are a minority among today’s twentysomethings, this creates a perfect opportunity for those brave men and women willing to take a risk. As successful Boomers and Xers look for new businesses to fund, millennial entrepreneurs will have less competition and more pathways for success.

Instead of exchanging that diploma for a dreary corporate cubicle, the time could be right to create your own career destiny — and hire a lot of your friends in the process.

Follow Jon on Twitter at @ExJon.

stonestone's picture
stone stone

First of all, if the word:"Progressive" was meant to indicate "Liberals" well the two aren't necessarily the same. But the word does mean progress, which I assume is a good thing. Secondly, I am in my mid-30's, and I can tell you that if you had gone to college and come out first with the pop of the tech bubble, the inflation of the housing bubble, the pop of that housing bubble and the recession it created, you too wouldn't perhaps have as big of an appetite for big risk because it was the overabundance in those "big risks" I mentioned before that created the non-stop recessionary cycles we've been through. Lastly, "Big government" is not a term to be used exclusively with the left. The GOP has been the champions of big government for most of their existence and have also been the biggest spenders, of which you can easily see via some quick research. Yet these articles seemingly all heavily favor the GOP. Huh... Gee I wonder why very few people over the age of 45-50 really cares to vote for that party...