You Don't Need A Degree To Build A Successful Freelance Business

Higher education is important, but not always necessary to build a successful freelance business.

Higher education is important, but not always necessary to build a successful freelance business.

You Don’t Need A Degree To Build A Successful Freelance Business

I recently read an interesting article on LinkedIn’s Pulse that piqued my interest. The author, Zachary Slayback, a Business Development Director at Praxis, explained why many young adults today attend college after high school – and the most common reason many of these adults fork out thousands of dollars each year for a higher education. The way he wrote the article was quite inspirational and thought-provoking.

Zackary stated in his article that young people attend college because “they feel like they have to [as a way] to stay competitive in the world.” He points out in his article why young people should invest their time (and money) into gaining experience and learning new skills by investing in themselves first, instead of a college institution, through apprenticeships.

This got me thinking.

I wholeheartedly agree with Zackary and just about everything he mentions in his article! He states, “entrepreneurs and business owners take promising young people under their wings and give them the opportunity to prove themselves,” in the section where he discusses apprenticeships.

If you think about it, our freelance businesses can be considered a ‘paid apprenticeship’ of sorts. We learn business management skills, business communication skills, project management skills, marketing skills – the list goes on! That’s on top of improving our writing and other essential skills needed to grow our business! Plus, the fact that our livelihoods hang in the balance of our success and decision-making fuels our motivation to improve in these skills.

You can’t get a better experience from anywhere else! It’s like saying that just because Susie read the state-issued Driver’s manual and passed the written driver's test, she doesn’t need to take the road test because she has already proven that she has the knowledge to operate the vehicle safely and legally.

It just doesn’t work that way. I believe that hands-on experience and life lessons will always be more valuable, sought-after skills.

You don’t necessarily need a college degree or certification to produce high-quality blog posts, articles, or even press releases.

Many companies around the world that will happily hire a new freelance writer without formal education. Some may even approach you with an offer completely out of the scope of your standard services, fully aware that you are not highly skilled at that particular task and willing to help you learn the basics. Of course, these clients will likely expect a lower than the regular rate for the services provided, but you walk away with new skills added to your bag of tricks, an impressive new portfolio piece, and enough confidence to encourage you to learn even more about your newfound skills!

The experience you gained from that new gig is invaluable to you, your business, and your future clients!

I’ve always felt that a college education in certain fields was overrated. I remember when I was in my Sophomore, Junior, and Senior year in high school the “rumor” was that people would need a college degree to get a job “flipping burgers” at McDonalds. Of course, at first, I bought into that rumor – but as I entered adulthood, I quickly learned that it was nothing more than hype.

I am not saying that a college education should not be achieved, or that you should not advance your education. I am merely saying that it is not always a requirement. Freelance writers can make a good livable income with or without a degree or certification in public relations or journalism.

Your Turn!

What’s your opinion? Do you have a college education? Are you using the knowledge that you gained in college in your client work?