Demographics of the Self-Employed

Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation and A Whole New Mind, posted an interesting tid-bit from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy that I found interesting, as both a student of the social sciences and liberal arts, and someone who is always dreaming of a perfectly self-employed life.  (Of course, like any good dreamer, I only dream about the fun parts, and manage to completely avoid the downfalls of which I know there are many- my father has been self-employed for the better part of his life).

  • “The self-employed tend to have slightly lower grade point averages (GPAs) than their wage-and-salary peers.” The students with the best grades were more likely to seek work in the not-for-profit or government sector
  • Business and management majors were among the least likely to become self-employed.  The most likely folks to go it alone: Social science and “other” majors.
  • “Race, ethinicity and gender did not play a significant role in determining who would eventually become self-employed.” 

You can read the full Small Business Administration report here.  I like that this report gives creedance to the idea that you don’t have to be schooled in business to run your own.  Of course, you need to learn about all the aspects of running a business, but no matter what you studied in college (or trade school or high school or no school at all!), it’s entirely possible to showcase your talents through self-employment.

Oh, my dream home office!

2 replies on “Demographics of the Self-Employed”

  1. I think a lot of us (the self employed “us”) didn’t fit well in the educational machine. If we accept that part of the purpose of the educational system is to churn out good employees, it makes sense that people with a natural bent toward working for themselves might not do well in school.

    I am a high school dropout – I was bored stiff in school and hated every minute of it. Is it any wonder that I also disliked employment?

    I’ve been “free” fo a long. long time now.. :-)

  2. Thanks for the great comment! I agree, the traditional education system lends itself well to the traditional employment system, but not for folks who are geared towards free agency and independence. Nice website by the way, it looks like a great resource!

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