Some people want to become entrepreneurs from an early age, while others only decide on the entrepreneurial path later in life. Some people go to business school, enrol in an MBA programme, some read books on how to build a startup, while others just start, without any preparation. The question that arises quite often is whether you need a degree to start a business and how it can help.

In this article, you will learn about how having a degree might benefit your business and if you need to get one. For more insights from experienced entrepreneurs, sign up for our EWOR Platform and gain access to over 17 courses and a plethora of resources.

What Does the Position of an Entrepreneur Entail?

An entrepreneur is a person who builds their own business. You need to start with an idea, create a business plan, then find funding and a team of professionals. And all of that is just to get started. Once you’ve built your company, you will initiate and lead business activities, forecast business changes and identify business opportunities. 

While running a business, an entrepreneur assumes many roles. You will be responsible for planning, selling your services or products, and leading your team. You might also conduct interviews, market your products and advertise your company. No matter how good your employees are, you will most likely want to check how they’ve done their tasks. To do so, you need at least basic knowledge of different fields like marketing, branding, accounting, and customer support. Having communication and networking skills is also crucial for an entrepreneur. Moreover, you need to know how to manage time and money for the benefit of your company.

Statistics Behind Entrepreneurs

According to a survey conducted by QuickBooks, 46% of business owners don’t have a business degree. Another 32% claim that they only took business courses, and just 9% have a business degree. Only 3% of entrepreneurs decided to study even further and obtain a master’s degree or PhD.

Your confidence and belief in success play a major role in starting a business. The survey also found that 53% with a business degree felt more confident that they can build their own company, compared to 47% of people without a formal education.

However, getting a degree in business is not the only option for entrepreneurs who pursue higher education. Many other degrees can prove to be useful when building a company.

Great Degrees for Entrepreneurs

Aspiring entrepreneurs often wonder what degree they need to start a business, but the answer is not that simple. You can gain a lot of useful knowledge from any degree. Here are a few that can be helpful in building a company.

Finance

Knowing how to manage finances is key to starting your company. Entrepreneurs do not need to solve complicated maths equations, but they still need to pay their employees, produce financial statements, and pay rent. With a degree in finance, you will feel more comfortable with money management. You will know how to assess risks and predict any financial problems.

Communications

Launching a company also depends on your communication skills. You need to present your business plan, hire the right people and expand your network for the benefit of your company. Business owners need to know how to be persuasive and effective. Talking to your employees, clients and other professionals is vital for the well-being of your company. With a degree in communications, you will be more confident with speaking in public and learn the best tactics on how to present a great speech.

Marketing

Getting a degree in marketing is a great way to learn about the marketplace and how to develop a brand. These skills are invaluable for starting your business. Entrepreneurs often need to analyse market trends and find a target audience to promote their services or products. With a background in marketing, you will know how to attract customers and meet their needs.

Economics

A degree in economics is a great way to learn about how the economy operates. You will learn about supply chain, demand, and learn how to price your products or services. Taxes and various operating fees are something you will become more familiar with, which will benefit your business. You will also learn how to conduct efficient analyses to help you understand the market. 

Pros and Cons of Business-Related Degrees

A business degree is probably the most popular degree to pursue when thinking about starting a business. There are many specialities within business degrees. Usually, these programmes teach you about business plans, returns on investments and different business models. Many degrees also offer courses on entrepreneurship and give you theoretical background on how businesses work.

Getting a degree in business doesn’t guarantee success, but you will be aware of how things work and what pitfalls to avoid. A degree in entrepreneurship will teach you many valuable skills like strategy, leadership, design thinking, social entrepreneurship, social media marketing, entrepreneurial finances and business administration. Moreover, having a business degree gives you credibility. It can make searching for investors or business partners easier.  The connections you will forge in business school will expand your network. Many people who graduate will go on to bring their own business ideas to life. Your fellow students can become your lifelong friends or even your partners.

However, there are some cons to having a business degree. Usually, they are expensive and require much time to complete. The information you receive is usually theory with little practice. After graduation, a lot of students know the theory of how to start a business. But they struggle with building a company in real life, as they miss practical skills. As a result, you spend a lot of time in the classroom that could have been spent developing your business ideas and learning everything as you go.

How to Start Without a Degree?

If you decide that you don’t need a degree to become an entrepreneur, then there are many ways in which you can learn the necessary skills. Reading books on entrepreneurship and learning more about how others built their companies can be beneficial for your business.

To this end, online business courses are becoming more popular. They usually cover everything you need to know about being an entrepreneur, while saving you time and money. With the help of such courses, you can learn the basics and more within months, while a business degree will take years to finish.

EWOR is a great example of an online school that helps to prepare future entrepreneurs. It offers different programmes such as the EWOR Fellowship and EWOR Academy, so everyone can find what works best for them.

After you’ve learned about entrepreneurship, it is time to implement your dreams into life. Start with an idea and create a useful plan. Use networks to spread the word about your company and find potential investors or partners. Create a successful business model in order to build a company. Check out our article on How to Create a Business Model for a Startup to learn more about it. Once you’ve built your company, it is time to bring in the clients. Learn about your target audience and what goods or services they need. Review articles on how to build and maintain a great relationship with your clients with articles like How to Get Your First Clients as a Start-Up Founder.

So, Do Entrepreneurs Need a Degree to Succeed?

No. Many successful entrepreneurs don’t have a business degree, and it did not prevent their companies from thriving. However, obtaining knowledge about how to start a company and what mistakes to avoid is essential for any startup. Learning the necessary skills and expanding your network is something you can achieve without a degree. Remember that having a degree doesn’t guarantee success, but it provides you with the necessary background that can make it possible. 

About the author
EWOR Team

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