I believe that on the whole most people wishing to start their own business feel disconnected to conventional further education. Much of the courses taught in traditional institutions have major gaps when it comes to both life skills, business survival and to entrepreneurship. Conventional further education seems to be diluted and detached from the real world of business and from major commerce. This leaves the majority of people, who in fact run most of the businesses in this country, or soon hope to, less likely to survive their first year. According to research conducted by Dunn & Bradstreet, there are hundreds of thousands of small businesses started each -year; minorities and women start over half. The emergence of women in entrepreneurship in America and indeed globally is perhaps the greatest advantage to our economy, and to the world’s economy. It is therefore important to the survival of these small businesses that we teach modem business practices and incorporates this into university and college curriculum.
My 30 plus years of further education within the fashion industry has been such that for the most part college curriculum does not change at the same pace as the industry. Tenured professors and instructors don’t have real the real world experience needed to instruct students today. We are a Global industry with a Global economy and this should be an important part of the curriculum. Often making any changes to a curriculum requires extra work and effort and this is often rather over looked than addressed.
It is my belief that you don’t need a four year college degree to learn the art of entrepreneurship. For most it is in their blood and for others it cannot be taught. However, for trades I really believe we have to return the old method of education through learning on the job rather than in a class room. The Germans still educate through apprenticeship, which is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a skill, e.g. patternmaking, draping, sewing, woodwork, and electrician. Short term training and retraining is the future for trade education…. Well that is my thoughts of fashion programs that turn out too many graduates with no job openings available to them. Most are left with large student loans and end up working in a retail store to pay them off.