Do You Actually Need a Business Degree?

bizThe business world is competitive and vast. There are hundreds of applicants vying for top business jobs with Fortune 500 companies. Likewise, there are thousands of entrepreneurs working to launch their small business or start up. The titles and positions within the business world are endless: CEO, CFO, accountant, manager, analyst, investment banker, recruiter, PR, HR, communications, advertising, lawyers, insurance advisers, etc. If you have your sights set on a career in the business world, do you actually need a degree in business?

Business Degrees by the Numbers

25% of owners in employer firms and 28% of owners in nonemployer firms have a high school education or less. 20% of owners in employer and nonemployer firms held a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree. 64% of business owners have some college education or completed a degree. 17% of owners have a graduate degree (master’s, doctorate, juris Doctor, or other professional degree). To summarize, the majority of business owners in America attended college at some point. Many did not study business.

A Business Degree

A business degree does not print money or automatically guarantee success in the real world. It does, however, demonstrate certain admirable qualities for applicants. Completing a bachelor’s degree takes several years. This demonstrates to employers that an applicant is able to commit to and complete a task. Furthermore, a college degree normally indicates that someone is able to read, write, and think critically. These are highly important skills in the business world. Additionally, there are many types of specialty business degrees (such as finance for investment banking) which develop the niche skills for successful employment in these specific sectors.

Advantages of a Business Degree

A business degree provides a certain pedigree to an individual. Big name companies seek applicants who have attended big name universities. Prestige and pedigree are often required in specific business sectors such as law or investment banking. A business degree allows some individuals to get their foot in the door — that is, the degree creates opportunities for success. Similarly, a business degree builds skills that will help an individual succeed.

Disadvantages of a Business Degree

College is expensive. If one is looking to start a small business, it is important for one to make correct financial choices from the beginning. In America, it costs over $15,000 a year to attend a public university and over $20,000 a year to attend a private university.  Would it be better to invest $60,000 in a business or education? This question should be considered very carefully, and the answer is different for each individual. College takes time. Would it be better to gain practical work experience and possibly a salary or receive an education? This is another question that must be answered on a case by case basis. Lost time is lost money.

In conclusion, the business world is huge and there are many opportunities for all types of people from varying backgrounds. If you have your sights set on a specific career in the business world, it will help to earn a degree in business. If there is a particular niche you are interested in, it is best to become educated and earn experience in that niche field. There is not one answer for everyone, but a business education can create certain opportunities for a successful career.