Anyone who works in the entrepreneurial world has heard of the dropout-turned-billionaire trope. As a first-time entrepreneur, you may even think that forgoing your degree is a good idea.
After all, if geniuses like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates can do it, why not you?
This idea may work well as a plot point for a fictionalized movie. But it’s not a realistic pathway for most business starters.
Why? Because education is, and always will be, a solid foundation for success.
And with the ease of online schooling, why wouldn’t you invest in an MBA? You can build your company from the ground up while taking online business courses in your free time.
Keep reading for a detailed list of reasons aspiring entrepreneurs may benefit from an MBA.
1. Making Relevant Connections
An MBA program is a fantastic way to grow your network, and that’s something every entrepreneur wants to do.
Even if you complete your degree online, you have the opportunity to brush shoulders with similarly minded people—even if it’s only digitally.
You may not be on the hunt for a career opportunity. But that doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from a little networking.
Remember that the more you understand your chosen field, the more you are able to create a business that fits the needs of real clients.
As you navigate your program, proximity to other industry go-getters will allow you to broaden your perspective.
2. Obtaining Hands-On Experience
As a freshly-minted entrepreneur, you may be bursting with innovative ideas but lacking experience. An MBA will help you fill the gap.
MBAs have become a highly interactive program. You’d be hard-pressed to find an MBA program that doesn’t require you to gain hands-on experience.
Even online courses have high standards in this area. After all, a computer screen will only get you so far.
While books and classrooms are helpful, it’s the hands-on learning that will do a budding entrepreneur the most good.
Many programs will connect their students directly with local companies for projects and internships. This is a great way to learn the dos-and-don’ts you want to implement for your own business.
3. Building Your Skill Set
As a new entrepreneur, you may lean heavily on one particular skill. For example, you could have a gift with programming, finances, or creating innovative ideas.
But if you want your business to become successful, you’ll need to become well-rounded. An MBA will help you do that.
Most MBA programs will focus on four key skills:
- Financial literacy
- Interpersonal skills
- Operational principles
- Leadership best practices
If you are already financially literate, you may benefit from an emphasis on the other three principles. With an in-person or online program, you can pick an emphasis that will help you strengthen areas of weakness.
Additionally, your MBA program may help you develop problem-solving skills. That’s something that will come in handy as you navigate the highs and lows of business ownership.
4. Refining Your Business Idea
An MBA program can serve as a testing ground for all your great ideas. You can set up a mock business and discover the pros and cons of your methods and processes.
In this way, you’ll have the chance to take an idea and give it weight. Even the best ideas will flounder under poor management. An MBA will help you keep your business afloat.
Plus, you’ll have the chance to float your idea to your fellow students and colleagues. Any feedback you receive will be invaluable as it comes from industry peers.
This criticism can help you keep an open mind about your business approach.
5. Increasing Your Income
Most MBA grads will see an increase in income almost immediately after graduation. In fact, the median salary for MBA graduates is 75% higher than the salary for workers with only a bachelor’s degree.
Of course, most entrepreneurs are driven more by passion than by riches. But who among us wouldn’t like to make a little more money?
6. Following in the Shoes of Entrepreneurial Greats
There are some big names on the side of successful entrepreneurs who dropped out of school. But the number of successful entrepreneurs who did graduate with an MBA is far higher.
In fact, most of the “sharks” on Shark Tank have an MBA, including Kevin O’Leary and Sarah Apgar.
Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX and Tesla) and Michael Bloomberg (former NYC mayor and founder of Bloomberg L.P.) are a few other entrepreneurial greats who have an MBA.
So if you are on the fence about whether an MBA is worth the investment, remember that pursuing your degree will put you in the company of these kinds of success stories.
7. It’s Easier Now Than Ever
With the increasing number of online MBA programs, getting your degree is much easier than it used to be. Your chances of getting accepted to an online program might be much higher.
Plus, you won’t have to waste time on a commute, as you’ll be able to attend class from your home office or living room!
However, you should keep in mind that all MBA programs, in-person and online alike, require dedicated amounts of time.
Between classes, study sessions, group projects, and exams, you’ll need to make school time a priority. If your schedule is already full, you may not be able to make it work.
Create a Successful Business with the Help of an MBA
Choosing to get your MBA is choosing to put your best foot forward. And if you are passionate about an entrepreneurial career, a quality program will give you everything you need.
As you refine your business idea and obtain a well-rounded skill set, you’ll be glad you made the investment in an online MBA program.
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