It is commonly assumed a higher degree is required for working in any profession; however, entrepreneurship is unique in the way that it doesn’t necessarily require you to possess a degree to start or even to succeed. So, we consulted business owners on how vital a degree is when it comes to building your own business. Here are some insights from professional business owners;
Having a business degree can definitely help you achieve success in your business. The lessons learned in business classes are able to give a person in-depth knowledge and methods on how to effectively build a brand. It doesn’t necessarily mean that non-business degrees are detrimental to a business. There are many other means to learn how to handle a business. These come in the form of short courses, business books, and finding a mentor in the industry.
Emily Cooper, Founder, and General Director Oliver Wicks
No, it is not necessary to get a business degree to be successful in building your business. A majority of successful entrepreneurs did not earn a college or graduate school degree and many of them do not even have an undergraduate degree.
Balancing the rigor and opportunities offered by academia with the independence and urgency inherent in running one's own enterprise means finding higher education options that work for you while taking the lead on succeeding in your career.
Evaluate whether you will need high-level expertise related to your fields such as finance or sales-related industries which require more expertise than others such as hospitality, retail, or service industries where understanding human psychology can help you succeed just as well without this specialized knowledge.
Lucas Solomon, Financial Consultant Life Takes Visa
A business degree is not essential for building a successful business. You should have a proper understanding of business, finance, and management to start and run a business. These skills and knowledge to run a business do not necessarily come from an MBA degree. If you have an idea, strategy to turn it into a business and you can invest money or bring investors, then you do not need a degree.
Also, a business degree is not a guarantee that you will be a successful business owner. So, if you have money, invest it in your business idea rather than spending it on the degree.
George Belletty, Founder of Mango and Coffee
A business degree is not necessary for establishing a successful business, but it is incredibly valuable and in some instances, it may even appear necessary. A business degree does more than merely show you have knowledge about handling business. It acts as a credential for people with whom you could form business relationships who have no idea about who you are. It is possible to establish a successful business without a business degree, but you must have established great business plans and form great business relationships already to show that you are an expert on establishing successful businesses.
Darren Nix, Founder of Steadily Landlord Insurance
A business degree has many benefits. For one, it can provide valuable insight into the workings of a business, including dynamics such as cash flow management, profit and loss reporting, project management, and strategic thinking.
That said, I don't believe that one needs a business degree to build a successful business. Having a degree doesn't guarantee success, and not having one does not guarantee failure. Business success depends on many factors, including a person's skills and expertise, network, and business savvy, which cannot be taught in a classroom.
Paul French, Managing Director Intrinsic Search
I have had relative success in business, without a business degree. Even though having a business degree provides certain advantages, it also tends to make a business owner stick to certain conventions which hamper innovation.
A business degree makes one a better business manager, but it doesn't necessarily make one a better business owner. In my opinion, having a degree isn't really necessary for business success. The fact that a large number of established business leaders have no business degrees vindicates this position too.
That said, some of the skills learned in business management schools are crucial for business efficiency. People who went through a business degree tend to have more knowledge of certain business processes. The degree gives them an advantage in terms of knowing what to do with certain issues. If anything, my biggest challenges as a business owner in the first year of business came from lacking some business skills that are covered in a business degree.
Alina Clark, Co-Founder & Marketing Director at CocoDoc
There are no laws, rules, or regulations that require entrepreneurs or business owners to have an MBA or other business degree before starting a business. Actually, no formal or professional education is necessary to start your business.
Choosing to set up or launch your own business is a risk, where you might not see impressive returns for many years. However, business schools and colleges are increasingly a stomping ground for many entrepreneurs.
If you have startup aspirations, then you might have wondered, “do I really need a business degree?”
While earning your MBA or other business degree strengthens your business savvy and enhances prospects for success, you have to look at the other side of the equation.
Most entrepreneurs and business owners who start a business without a business degree cite many good reasons for doing so. For example, expensive college costs, such as tuition fees, are often at the top of the list.
Also, history and the media are replete with tales of many successful people that did not graduate from college yet made billions in their business. Some examples are Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and John Paul DeJoria.
Lack of time is another common reason for not pursuing a business education. This is because most entrepreneurs like to hit the ground running as soon as possible. For many, the idea of waiting four to five years before starting their business is intolerable.
Also, many business owners and entrepreneurs cite the formal and rigid educational structure as well as other negatives, like the impractical courses needed in many business degree programs.
A business degree produces graduates with a multi-faceted and well-rounded understanding of how businesses operate.
As a student, you will learn managerial control systems and marketing strategies and principles. You will also learn customer and supplier relations and supply chain measurement, as well as other concepts crucial to managing and expanding a business venture.
Bowen Khong, Founder & Head of Research ForexToStocks