Unthinkable today whatever the salaried profession, success without a diploma seems to be doomed to failure. However, the business world requires above all know-how and natural qualities, and exceptions are always possible. So do you need to be a graduate from the Grandes Ecoles to succeed in the business world or is experience alone enough to become an entrepreneur? Dynamics shows many examples of Leaders who have succeeded with or without a degree. Focus.
HEC, ESSEC, les Mines, Sciences Po, ENA, ESC, so many big names that arouse vocations and are intended for an elite. The biggest schools of business, management and management are indeed the future flagships of industry and the business world, and a majority of great leaders follow this similar path. The CEOs and managers of Cac 40 companies then graduate from the vast majority of prestigious schools. Under the impetus of Arnaud Lagardère, the current leader of the eponymous empire and a graduate of a Bac + 5 in general policy and organizational strategy, the greatest leaders of multinationals have followed a university course copy. He was the father of the last before him was also a graduate of a great school, the Supélec de Paris.
… and experience!
However, the business world requires above all natural qualities and a spirit of innovation that cannot be learned on the benches of the university. Passion, daring and vocation cannot be learned but are the source of several resounding successes. Microsoft, Oracle, Free, Virgin or Dell, all the founders of these renowned brands share a common denominator: success cannot be learned, it is won. Young graduates are in fact only 0.5% wanting to create a business after their studies and by far prefer wage-earning. These young executives then often have to repay large sums to make all their years of training profitable, and the random status of young company director does not seem to recover them.
Achievements without a degree
Particularly popular across the Atlantic, success without a diploma does not seem to pose a problem, unlike in European countries. Reputable American billionaires and renowned chefs have indeed succeeded without a diploma in their pocket and have experienced dazzling global success. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Ellison or even Richard Branson and Ralph Lauren all share one thing in common: not having graduated or having dropped out of school to devote themselves to their projects. In France, the director and founder of Iliad, the parent company of Free, Xavier Niel abandoned his studies to devote his body and soul to his entrepreneurial projects. This is how he became a millionaire at just 24 years old by going into telecoms and services. Alain Afflelou shares this course and the famous optician who created his company in 1978 and is on the run at the head of an empire which made a business of more than 750 million euros in 2015.
Exception to the rule, this French-style success does not, however, make us forget that according to INSEE statistics, 8.6% of women and only 13% of men are business creators without any diploma. They are respectively 51 and 39.9% to hold a diploma higher than the Bac to create their business.
54% of creators of micro-enterprises do not have a diploma or CAP/BEP/BAC level. When only business creation (excluding micro-enterprises) is considered, this figure is reduced to 44%. Business creators (excluding micro-enterprises) are more educated than micro-enterprise creators. A reality where daring is at the heart of creation.