Shark Tank’s Mr. Wonderful has a pretty interesting relationship with education. After graduating with degrees in psychology and environmental studies, he noticed that he lacked professional direction. At the urge of his step-father, he took his MBA, which helped him make his first million—and eventually billion—dollars. But how influential was his MBA degree in starting the television production company, Special Event Television? Apparently, it was very important, but probably not in the way you think.
Entrepreneurship: A Mindset, Not an Academic Discipline
Let’s address the elephant in the room: a bachelor’s degree in business administration (B.BA) or even a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) are documents that prepare you for business and nothing more. Business schools offer the knowledge you need to start and maintain a business but only in a general sense. A B.BA degree prepares you for business; it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be a success. So, even if you enroll in a world-class university and attend lectures and seminars by renowned business leaders, only you can determine what to do with the opportunities you’re given. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s the harsh truth.
An entrepreneur is someone who is more willing to work 80-hour weeks to build a business instead of working 40-hour weeks at an office. Neither of these is the wrong way of making a living, but entrepreneurs have to spend more of their personal time on bringing something they believe to life.
If you think that you have the entrepreneurial mindset within you, we urge you to continue reading.
What Do Business Schools Teach You?
Business school can provide future entrepreneurs with a wide range of tools to start their own business upon or even before graduating. If you’re thinking of enrolling in a bachelor’s program in business administration, there’s a lot you can learn about business practices in general.
Relevant topics include financial accounting, digital and global marketing, as well as basic principles in management. Think of these courses as tools—the more tools you have in your toolbox, the better equipped you’ll be to overcome all sorts of hurdles.
Why a Higher Education in Business is Necessary for Entrepreneurs
A degree in business isn’t mandatory to start your own business or even become one of the richest people on the planet. Not everyone is as brilliant as Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, and they’ll need all the help they can get before building a startup. Below, we’ll discuss five reasons why entrepreneurs should seriously consider pursuing higher education in business.
To understand the intricacies of business
It goes without saying that managing a business is a complicated job. Apart from the standard managerial tasks, business owners also have to come up with marketing tactics, file and pay taxes and keep up with sales demands. While technology has pretty much become commonplace in businesses, it has yet the ability to emulate human thought and devise complicated strategies in the hopes for making a business more efficient and competitive. Formal business education can prepare aspiring entrepreneurs for the hardships that they’ll inevitably encounter.
To understand business from a global perspective
Even though the physical distances between countries remain the same, technology has made it possible for employers to collaborate with overseas employees and clients. A successful business owner is someone who can communicate with peoples from all over the world in a diplomatic way. Since top-notch business schools attract students from numerous countries, there’s no better way to begin polishing your cross-border communication skills than by studying Business Communication and interacting with your peers.
To protect your business from uncertainties
Starting your own business isn’t as complicated as you think; the real challenge is maintaining it. For instance, nearly 100,000 companies had to close their doors due to the current pandemic. Did they have a plan B? What were their exit strategies? Was there a way to leverage their assets in order to keep their doors open for a bit longer? Aspiring entrepreneurs can learn different what-if and how to deal with worst-case scenarios.
To build alumni networks
Do you remember how we briefly touched on Mr. Wonderful’s MBA degree? He explained that the greatest benefit he got from school was establishing networks with his peers. In business school, you’ll spend the next three or four years studying alongside your money-driven peers who have dreams of becoming the next Warren Buffet or even the next Wolf of Wall Street. You’ll be in a unique position to befriend future venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, and entrepreneurs.
What If I Have a Non-B.BA Degree?
But what if you already have a bachelor’s degree? You can’t dedicate three or four more years in the classroom as you already have a family, a job, or even a business to run. Well, that’s where MBA programs come into play.
MBA programs are usually quite selective of who they admit, but they’ll accept graduates from all sorts of backgrounds, from psychology (as in the case of Mr. Wonderful) to hydroponics in agriculture. Some MBA programs offer evening and/or online classes for those who can’t “abandon” their real-world duties. Take a look at this link to see what benefits you can get from an online MBA program.
For those who want to switch careers, please note that MBA programs don’t teach the basics of business, management, accounting, and marketing, as a B.BA program does, but rather, they’re designed to polish your managerial skills through examining study cases, seeing business practitioners at work, and conducting research. Needless to say, non-business graduates will have a bit of catching up to do, but with prior work experience and/or tutoring, it shouldn’t be too hard to build a foundation.
Obtaining a business degree is one of the earliest steps of becoming a business owner. While a degree doesn’t guarantee entrepreneurial success, it equips you with the knowledge you need to start and maintain your own business. Whether you’re a fresh high school grad who has no idea what to do or you’re an engineer of 10-plus years looking to switch careers, getting a business degree can be the right step in the right direction.