Do Engineers Make Best Entrepreneurs?

By SiliconIndia   |   Tuesday, 30 August 2011, 09:54 Hrs   |    2 Comments
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Bangalore: Are technically savvy people better entrepreneurs? Does majoring in engineering, mathematics or science alone help you become a tech entrepreneur? Yes, there is a correlation between engineering and entrepreneurship as entrepreneurship is all about innovation and education in one of the above streams is prerequisite for innovation. However, game changer companies like Apple have proved that innovation can also be through the marriage of technology and liberal arts (literature, history, philosophy). This has created a room for debate not only between tech giants like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs but for students who want to be tech entrepreneurs.

Bill Gates, in a recent speech at the National Governors Association, argued that education budget needs to be focused on disciplines that produce the most jobs. He implied that investment on liberal arts needs to be reduced as it has no correlation with job creation.

 Are technically savvy people better entrepreneurs?

Vivek Wadhwa, Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University says, "It's commonly believed that engineers dominate Silicon Valley and that there is a correlation between the capacity for innovation and an education in mathematics and the sciences. Both assumptions are false."

Vivek with his research team did a survey with over 652 U.S.-born CEOs and heads of product engineering at 502 technology companies. 92 percent held bachelor's degrees, 47 percent held higher degrees and only 37 percent held degrees in engineering or computer technology. The rest have degrees in fields as diverse as business, accounting, finance, health care, and arts and the humanities. The above data were on the background of tech company founders - those who made the transition into entrepreneurship.

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