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Should we teach more entrepreneurship classes in high school?

Posting in Education

"Entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing subjects in today’s undergraduate curricula," according to the Kauffman Foundation. On college campuses in the United States, the number of courses on entrepreneurship have increased from 250 in 1985 to more than 5,000 by 2008 (PDF). But should the U.S. education system offer more of these courses earlier on in a student's academic life?

Bloomberg Businessweek points to a study from the nonprofit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship that seems to make the case. Over the last 25 years, the organization has taught classes in entrepreneurship to low-income U.S. high school students. The study surveyed a portion of the organization's 500,000 alumni and gathered these results:

  • 99 percent of the program's alumni over 25 have high school diplomas (the national average is 85 percent).
  • 90 percent of NFTE's alumni age 16-24 were enrolled in high school or college (national average is 60 percent).
  • 88 percent of alumni who graduated high school were employed compared to 69 percent nationwide.
  • 22 percent were self-employed compared with 11 percent of the U.S. population.
  • 73 percent of alumni who now own a business turned a profit

NFTE's conclusion from the results: "Entrepreneurship education is the fundamental tool for helping young people from low-income communities see a bigger future for themselves."

Read more: Bloomberg Businessweek, NFTE

Photo: Flickr/Tom Woodward

— By on September 12, 2013, 5:42 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure