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Do You Need a Business Degree to Succeed in Small Business?

You’ve probably grown up hearing stories about self-made millionaires and billionaires. Some entrepreneurs started their journeys in their own garages. And in a lot of the stories, those same entrepreneurs didn’t have a background in business. So, did they go against the grain? Or are business degrees a relic from decades past? Here are some of the most important considerations to keep in mind.

The Cost

The cost of school can be prohibitive in this day and age, but so can the cost of opening a small business. If you aren’t ready to invest financially in your future, you might not be truly passionate about your career choice. Success in business requires passion. You need to love what you do and want to fulfill a niche. So, if you’re balking at the idea of spending money, you might want to reevaluate your goals. What do you really want?

If you do want to pursue your degree, you’ll need to finance college. Most programs require you to pay tuition up front at the start of the semester. There are federal programs for financial aid, grants, and scholarships available. If you still have a financial need after you’ve maximized your federal aid, that’s okay. You can fund college classes by borrowing from a private lender. Private lenders may also offer more flexible interest rates and terms for repayment, especially if you have good credit already.

Can You Go Without?

Steve Jobs is often cited as one of the top entrepreneurs without a financial background. Elon Musk also taught himself the science behind his company’s patents. So, doesn’t that mean you should be able to teach yourself everything you need to know? Unfortunately, these success stories are the exception to the rule. Without a background in business, you don’t know key information about market research, niches, competition, supply and demand, or other economic factors. It’s also much harder to build a business plan without being taught how. In addition, a business or financial degree is crucial if you want to move beyond small business. Many people decide to start their own companies, which is great. But if you want to work with numbers for another person’s company, you’ll need to prove that you have what it takes.

Versatile Job Market

A degree in business administration will teach you much of what you need to run a small business. But it also makes you a versatile player in today’s job market. If you’re working while waiting for your business to take off, that’s a huge plus. You can use your degree to pursue industries like management, manufacturing, finance, teaching, publishing, sales, and administration. Some people might be able to apply their creativity and business acumen for a marketing or public relations position. No matter what kind of work you want to do, a business degree gives you the opportunity to find a well-paying way to do it. Many entrepreneurs start off as high-ranking corporate executives. Then as they become more experienced over time, they develop the plan for their own business.

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