Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Why it is still important to have a great diploma

Internet: a fantastic source of information
Nowadays, it is easy to access information. For a minor investment (an Internet connection) you can have access to a large amount of information, and sometimes of great quality, on any type of medium (video, sound, text).

To be honest with you, I deeply believe that thanks to Internet, anyone on this planet, with a little bit of motivation and cleverness, is able to know as much bout business as an MBA, can learn how to play guitar as good as any professional.

That is the reason why a lot of people, especially in the Internet entrepreneurship field, consider therefore that it is useless to attend a great university in order to succeed. Some of them, that attend some great business schools, like HEC in France, claim they have wasted their time for years because nothing of what they learnt in these schools is applicable to their start up.

The fantastic opportunity to expand your network
But I don't think this statement is true. What makes the value of prestigious programs like Stanford or Harvard are not only based on the education that you have but also about the environment they provide you. Indeed, those programs allow you to meet people, wether they are professors, professionals or students. It will help the student to shape his business network. Everybody knows how valuable some strong connections in a professional lifes are a key factor of success for your career, especially right now, as online communities and network platforms are transforming big time our way to interact with others.

Network and community websites are the hypest right now
The success of LinkedIn, Viadeo, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace or MSN Live is based on the fact the allow people to contact in a more efficient way. However, as you are starting your career, it is important to have a good core to develop around your network. And famous universities remain one of the best way to do it, as you will have the opportunity to connect with peers and highly respected professionals.
To sum up, the value of the diploma of a prestigious university is not simply in the education, but in the opportunities to set your professional network at an early age.