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Exploring the Intricate Interplay of Education, Income and Entrepreneurial Success


Apr 21, 2023
Exploring the Intricate Interplay of Education, Income and Entrepreneurial Success


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In today’s competitive business landscape, entrepreneurs need to arm themselves with as many tools as possible to ensure success. One such tool is education, which has been shown to correlate with various aspects of entrepreneurial success.

This article will explore the relationship between education and income, the likelihood of running a successful business while educated and the correlation between IQ (intelligence quotients) and education level.

Related: How Much Education Does an Entrepreneur Really Need to Succeed?

Income levels by education attained

Studies consistently show that individuals with higher levels of education tend to earn more over their lifetime. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, those with a bachelor’s degree earned a median weekly income of $1,248, while those with a high school diploma earned $746. Earnings increase further with advanced degrees, with master’s degree holders earning $1,497 per week and doctoral degree holders earning $1,883 per week.

These income disparities are due in part to the fact that individuals with higher levels of education have access to better job opportunities and are better equipped to negotiate higher salaries. Furthermore, employers are more likely to invest in educated employees, offering them higher wages and more opportunities for growth.

The likelihood of running a successful business while educated

While education does not guarantee entrepreneurial success, it does provide individuals with the knowledge and skills required to navigate the complex world of business. While it may not be possible to provide exact values or percentages, research has suggested that higher levels of education are positively correlated with business success. For example, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that businesses started by college graduates are more likely to succeed. Controlling for observable founder characteristics, ventures started by college graduates have lower hazard rates (that is, are more likely to succeed) and higher revenues than those started by non-college graduates.

Several factors contribute to the increased likelihood of success for educated entrepreneurs. First, they possess better problem-solving skills, which are crucial in addressing the myriad challenges that arise in business. Second, educated individuals have a greater understanding of the market, financial management and business strategy, allowing them to make informed decisions that can propel their ventures forward. Finally, education often fosters a strong network of connections, providing entrepreneurs with valuable resources and support.

The correlation between IQ and education level

There is a well-established correlation between IQ and education level. Research has shown that individuals with higher IQs are either more likely to attain higher levels of education or individuals who attain higher levels of education develop higher IQs. The study reports that for each additional year of education, IQ level increased by 1-5 points throughout the study population including over 600,000 participants. However, it is essential to note that this correlation does not imply causation — higher IQs do not cause higher education levels, nor do higher education levels cause higher IQs. There is a correlation, but both factors are likely influenced by a complex interplay of genetic and environmental circumstances.

For entrepreneurs, the relationship between IQ and education is particularly interesting, as it raises the question of whether a high IQ is necessary for entrepreneurial success. While there is evidence to suggest that individuals with higher IQs are more likely to succeed in the business world, it is important to remember that IQ is just one piece of the puzzle. Other factors, such as emotional intelligence, grit and adaptability, can also play a significant role in determining entrepreneurial success.

In conclusion, the relationship between education, income and entrepreneurial success is a complex and multifaceted one. While there is a strong correlation between education and income, as well as education and the likelihood of running a successful business, it is important to remember that these factors are not guarantees of success. Furthermore, the correlation between IQ and education is an interesting area of study, but it is crucial to recognize that there are many other factors that contribute to entrepreneurial success beyond IQ and education.

Related: Why Education Is Still the Key to Financial Success

Ultimately, entrepreneurs should view education as an essential tool in their arsenal — one that can provide them with the knowledge, skills and connections needed to excel in the business world. However, they must also recognize that success is not solely determined by education or intelligence, but also by a multitude of other factors, such as passion, determination, adaptability and resilience.

For those considering entrepreneurship, pursuing higher education can be a valuable investment that lays the groundwork for future success. However, it is crucial to approach entrepreneurship with a well-rounded mindset, understanding that a blend of skills, qualities and experiences will contribute to the overall success of a business venture.

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