There’s an expectation of entrepreneurs in our culture. You’re creative, you’re savvy, you’re a great communicator – but in many people’s minds, entrepreneurs also hold some kind of advanced degree, most often an MBA. After all, how else would you have the skills and connections to succeed in a cutthroat professional world?
In reality, though, the majority of entrepreneurs never pursue a specific business degree, and some have no formal education past high school. Simply put, you don’t need a business degree to run a small business, but the bigger question is, should you consider one?
If you’ve already got your foot in the door, it can be hard to justify spending time and money on business coursework, but it is worth considering. Not only does learning have a value all its own, but when running a business, a degree or certification could give you an edge over the competition.
Should Entrepreneurs Pursue A Business Degree?
Business Education Offerings
Though the MBA is the most well-known business degree – the professional title for the industry – there are many different types of business education. Before leaping into a program or writing further schooling off entirely, take a moment to assess the field. You can pursue business education at any level, from an Associate’s Degree to a Doctorate, as well as through diploma and certificate programs that focus on specific skills. Even if you’re not interested in pursuing a degree, you might benefit from financial or marketing training available at the certificate level.
Know Your Strengths – And Weaknesses
One of the major advantages of pursuing some type of business education is that it can help you shore up weak spots in your knowledge. For example, if you’ve got a great product but you’re not confident in your marketing abilities, you might benefit from studying marketing and management.
In programs like IMBC’s Specialized Associate Degree in Business Administration, entrepreneurs have the opportunity to study the processes and theoretical issues that undergird successful marketing practices, study key accounting skills, and learn how to manage a team. Acknowledging the places where you can grow will help your business thrive in the long-term.
Business Administration Degree
Find Your Network
While many people pursue business education to build practical skills, others seek out institutional support because of the network. Even if you never intend to hire any employees, entrepreneurs need a community to help them fund their business, to collaborate with, and to grow because who you know is as important as what you do.
This is why graduates of many major MBAs are so successful – because they’re institutionally connected to other successful people.
Build Broad Skills
Pursuing a business degree, no matter the level can help you learn industry-specific skills, but as an entrepreneur, those aren’t always the most valuable. Sometimes what you really need to learn are the capacities that any sort of college education can teach – time management, resourcefulness, and persistence, among other skills.
You can learn these things studying literature or philosophy or ancient Greek, and they will transfer over into your professional life. Indeed, this is why liberal arts degrees are so highly regarded; they teach students how to think and reason, and you can never be too good at those things.
Don’t Put Your Business On Hold
If you do decide that you want to pursue additional training and education, rest assured that you don’t have to put your business entirely on hold. You can pursue a degree while running your business.
This can be challenging, but the key is to pace yourself. You don’t need to be a full-time student to benefit from additional education. In fact, what could be more advantageous than learning the newest strategies and applying them in real-time to an existing company?
Going back to school isn’t something you should undertake lightly, but as an entrepreneur, you already know how to buckle down and do the hard work. Additional schooling, then, is the icing on the cake of your success. You’ve got the raw talent, now hone your edge so that you can make it to the top.