If you are thinking of pursuing a more rewarding career or dreaming to be your own boss, you’ve probably thought of going back to the universities to do business. However, in this era, is it worth spending that time and money?
In this article, I’ll explore some of the common questions and find out if you should even get a business degree.
(1) How Much Time Are You Willing to Spend?
A typical business degree takes about 4 years (on campus), but this can vary according to the availability of classes, credit transfer system, and course requirements. Masters, on the other hand, would require another 2 years.
If you feel that 48 months is a lot of time commitment – it is. In the real business world, a hardworking small company would have tripled its profit and Starbucks would have opened 20 more franchises. A lot of things can happen within 4 (or 2) years than just sitting in the classrooms.
If this doesn’t sound practical, consider taking online business courses where they usually take less than 2 years to complete. Whether the degree is recognized or not is another matter altogether, but it will definitely give you more time flexibility.
(2) What Is Inside The Curriculum?
Before you get to learn about the actual business stuff, most degrees would require you to take remedial courses such as math or English to build up your skills. These courses could take up to 1-2 years of college, but they don’t actually count towards a degree. While they might sound important, they could be redundant and thus wasting student’s time.
At a closer look, you will find a lot of business courses in the early semesters offering classes like “The Fundamental of…”, “History of…”, “The Basics of…” and etc. These are good knowledge to have, but they can also be found in regular bookstores and most of the time, free online resources. Do you want to spend your time studying these OR would you rather go straight to the point?
Business by nature has a very dynamic ecosystem. It changes with the global socio-economic and political situations every year, if not every day. What’s offered in a rigid curriculum program might not show students the true challenges of the business world. So a bunch of theories without practical and up-to-date knowledge isn’t going to breed better business students either.
(3) Can a Classroom Teach You About Business?
If you are an entrepreneur at heart, the typical classroom setting is going to be your least favorite place. Can you relate to some of these traits?
- You have an idea that you are passionate about.
- You are not afraid to take risks or fail.
- You are always absorbing information and thinking about how to use them.
- You have more initiatives and determination than your peers.
- You are very adaptable to changes.
- You like to interact with different people to establish good networking.
For these characteristics to thrive, you need opportunities from the real world, not from a protected environment. You need some amount of ‘chaos’ to create something and in this case, a business.
Here’s a great interview describing this analogy by Jeremy Gutsche from TrendHunter (jump straight to 2.00 mins).
(4) Do You Know How Much It Costs for a Degree?
Generally, a business degree would cost somewhere around $9K/year in public colleges, while private colleges could reach up to $28K/year. If you are thinking about getting an MBA, the tuition fee is expected to be a whopping $60K/year!
And that’s not all. If the entire amount is financed in loans at a certain fixed interest rate, your total repayment is going to be even more. So right after graduation, you would already be in big debt.
In this state of the economy, that’s not a very smart move to plan for your personal finance. Debt can hinder many things and one of them is delaying your business startup. Therefore, a better alternative is to look for an education program such as online courses that can provide a lesser loan burden.
(5) Can You Start a Business Without a Degree?
Yes, of course, you can. Ever heard of these successful entrepreneurs who never made it to business schools?
- Richard Branson never even completed high school; he was dyslexic and didn’t do well in school.
- Steve Jobs dropped out of college; one of the reasons was because of the high tuition fee.
- Barbara Lynch, chef, and owner of one of the top restaurants in America, never studied business.
- Ree Drummond studied gerontology but ended up becoming a food blogger, working on her business from home.
Now, I don’t mean to say that you should become a dropout or abandon your current education. These individuals serve to remind us that you don’t really need a degree to start a business.
You can be a pizza boy, a shop assistant or even a nurse; as long as you can translate your work experience into some kind of service or products that people want to buy, I think you have got yourself a business plan.
“So, Should I Get a Business Degree?”
Well, if you see it as a stepping stone to enter the corporate world, then you’ll probably need it. However, if you don’t want to spend that kind of time and money in a rigid learning environment, a faster way is to create an online business. It’s easy, low-cost and certainly doesn’t require a business degree.
Of course, if you have no experience, you’ll need some training on how to run a web business. That’s where the Wealthy Affiliate programs come in. For starters, this is not your typical university.
- It will not make you broke (or go into debt).
- It does not offer any paper qualifications (if you are still expecting that).
- It allows you to learn at your own pace.
- It helps you to start a business (in anything that you want) from the very beginning.
- It gives you access to a like-minded community that aspires to become entrepreneurs.
This program has helped me start my own online business from scratch and that has been a huge turning point in my life. I hope it will do the same for you too. If you wish to find out more, check out my personal review about the awesome training platform here.
Do you have any thoughts or questions about this topic? Please leave them in the comment area below and I’ll get back to you.