Obviously the simple answer is “no,” because others have gone on to run highly successful businesses without a formal education. However, the fact still remains that those people tend to be the exception; not the rule.
Some industries not only highly benefit from formal education, but it can be required for licensing (medical and legal fields for example). Others don’t require a formal education to be an expert in the industry (such as craft-related businesses).
What I hear a lot of people say (usually kids who start businesses at home online, and who haven’t even finished high school yet) is that if so-and-so could do it without college (insert any ridiculously successful dropout entrepreneur here), so can anyone else. What they neglect completely is that the cases they cite are actually extremely rare.
Banking on being the exception to the rule is very likely a large contributing factor to the overwhelming number of small businesses that fail within their first one to three years.
I won’t argue that absolutely every entrepreneur should receive a formal education and work towards a degree. However, I’d say that doing so couldn’t possibly hurt them in any way (whether it’s an education in their niche or industry, or even a general business education to teach them about the day to day running of a successful business).
What are your thoughts on formal education for entrepreneurs?