Considering Entrepreneurship? The Best Degrees to Help You Succeed Reply

Are you full of ideas for products and services that could make everyone’s lives easier? Do you love reading books about famous innovators who built their own companies? Do you have trouble just following the rules when you’re constantly thinking of ways to reinvent them and make them better? Are you disciplined and persistent? If so, then you might be suited to becoming an entrepreneur.

Not everyone is meant to live their lives as an employee. Entrepreneurship can be a great option for people who get bored of simply doing what they’re told and bringing home a paycheck. Although most startups don’t take off in the way companies like Facebook and Apple did, a few do–1.28% of startups become “unicorns” (less than 10 years old and valued at $1 billion or more)–creating the opportunity for uncapped income.

Where Do You Start?

Entrepreneurship is an extremely difficult career path to take, involving many challenges and failures along the way. Many people just don’t have what it takes. However, it’s also incredibly rewarding to build your own company from the ground up and see your business grow and change. If you think you might have the drive and persistence needed to build a business, then you’re probably wondering how to start. Not everyone who creates a successful company goes to college, but getting your degree can give you a leg up in the process by training you in critical thinking and giving you important skills you’ll need as an entrepreneur. Here are some of the best degrees to help you succeed as a self-employed business owner.

Business

Let’s start with the most obvious. If you’re thinking about starting a business, getting a bachelor’s degree in business will give you an overview of the way companies run, management skills, analysis and communications, and other skills needed to be successful in business. Some schools even offer degrees in entrepreneurship! With that said, a business degree is definitely not the only option for entrepreneurs, especially if you’re considering an MBA after you’ve completed your undergraduate degree–people from all different backgrounds excel in masters’ programs. Business degrees can be great for entrepreneurs, but it’s a good idea to explore other options as well.

Marketing, English, or Communications

No one is going to buy your product or service if you can’t communicate the value of what you’re selling and spread the word effectively. Having a background in marketing is very helpful, because you’ll know the principles of what works and what doesn’t in bringing in new business. English and communications are also good degree options for entrepreneurs, because they require critical thinking and writing skills, both of which are essential for entrepreneurial success. English is one of the most versatile degrees, as quality writing and strong analysis skills are great tools for entrepreneurs to have, no matter what kind of business they start.

Psychology

Being a business owner involves communicating with others on a regular basis. Knowing the psychology of why people do what they do can help you become a better communicator, negotiator, and leader. As an entrepreneur, you will need to be persuasive and sensitive to the needs of others–a degree in psychology will give you a deeper look into how people think and what motivates them.

Finance

The harsh reality is that 70% of small businesses fail within 10 years, and 82% of those failures are at least partially due to cash flow issues. The “lean startup” concept isn’t just trendy–it’s essential. Getting a degree in finance can be a good choice for entrepreneurs, because founders need to have in-depth knowledge and a realistic view of the finances involved with their business, including investment capital and money management. Yes, most founders won’t be fully managing the company’s money forever, but those with a finance degree will understand it and be wiser when it comes to expenditures–which could mean the difference between success and failure.

Beyond the Bachelor’s: Considering an MBA

If you’ve already got a bachelor’s degree and you’re interested in taking your business education to the next level with an MBA, you’ll be happy to know that MBAs come from all different backgrounds. If you’d like to pursue an MBA, the first step is to prepare for and take the GMAT test. Your results are good for five years, so if you want to get some experience in the business world, or even start working on your company, you won’t necessarily have to take it again to get into an MBA program. After you have your results, you can start applying to MBA programs of your choice. Each program has its own requirements, so do your research!

Entrepreneurship as a Career

Just because you hear stories about famous entrepreneurs who dropped out of school, that doesn’t mean that finishing college isn’t worthwhile for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is about trial and error, analysis, fortitude, and creativity–all skills that can be improved through earning a degree.


Ryan Ayers has been a consultant for over five years within multiple industries including information technology, medical devices and logistics. Many clients call him the BizTech Guru. He is a freelance writer on the side and lover of all things related to business, technology, innovation and the LA Clippers. Read more from Ryan: @TheBizTechGuru


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com.

Self-Discipline & Balance: How to Get Through an MBA Without Going Insane Reply

Procuring your MBA provides you with the opportunity to expand your personal skills set and to grow in your field. However, it also requires a significant amount of work. When you want to reduce the level of stress you feel, you can integrate some suggestions into your routine.

Ask for a Tutor

If you’re obtaining your MBA in marketing or another business-related degree, you might want to consider asking for a tutor. However, this person should be another student who already taken your course (or a similar subject) and performed well in it. Don’t be afraid to ask for transcripts if you’re hiring a private tutor!

Acknowledging that you don’t know everything and learning how to ask for help are two skills that can assist you in your career. Most colleges have tutoring services available. Sitting down to work one-on-one with a tutor can help you to absorb a concept that currently seems impossible to understand.

Pursue Social Opportunities

Dedicating all of your time to studying and completing assignments might land you with a perfect grade point average, but it might also make you regret how you spent your graduate-school days in the future. While you don’t need to go out every night of the week, look into organizations and clubs on campus that you can join. Building social bonds helps you to stay mentally and emotionally healthy, and you might even get the chance to build a study group or to network.

Care for Your Health

If you are constantly falling behind on sleep and not eating the right food, you are likely to experience exhaustion. This level of exhaustion can cause problems with school work, and you may even start to question if you even belong in the program. Getting in enough exercise can help to boot you physically and mentally as well. In fact, Ohio University reported that students with fitness memberships at university had 13 percent higher GPAs than those who didn’t have any.

Stay Ahead and Organized

When you leave major assignments until the night before they are do, you may like how the pressure motivates you to work harder. However, even the most skilled procrastinator in the world needs to do at least some advanced planning at some point in graduate school. Writing down each assignment in a planner helps to give you a sense of satisfaction when you get to check it off. In addition to that benefit, you can also visually see how much work you have to do on a specific day and plan ahead for busy weeks.

An MBA program can help you in the future. Before you start thinking too far in advance, take the time to better your situation now.


Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake. You can follow her on twitter and LinkedIn.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

5 Widely Accepted Myths about MBAs Reply

The Masters of Business Administration (MBA) is among the top post-baccalaureate degrees with high demands both in the corporate world and academia. However, there is so much buzz around it that you might wonder which of the unadventurous wisdom you read over the internet or hear from close friends is actually true—every source will tend to lead to a different direction. In connection to this, here are a few widely accepted myths about MBAs—and why they are misguided:

1. When Getting an MBA, You Must Be Prepared to Lose Out On Work-Life Balance

It all depends on you as an individual. If you want job with high remunerations and you are comfortable with working 14–16 hours a day, you are good candidate for an investment banking/consulting emphasis MBA. However, if you aren’t ready, you can opt not to apply for such jobs or firms. Every firm or job has a different quality of work and life, so it is upon you to choose what will work as you pursue your MBA.

2. All MBA Degrees Are Equal

Although it may sound obnoxious, the truth is, MBAs aren’t all equal! There are thousands of institutions offering MBA globally, but only a few are recognized in the industry. Again, besides accreditation, prestige, and cost, there are other key differentiating elements that distinguish one program from another.

3. Guaranteed Career Change

Having an MBA will not guarantee you a new career, but it will guarantee more options for a better direction for your current career. If you earn an online MBA in information technology, for instance, you can enjoy a higher salary and more job opportunities in the field of IT than someone without such a degree.

4. A Part-time MBA Takes Too Long to Complete

While a normal part-time MBA program will take you 3 years to complete instead of 2 years, there is usually lots of options for acceleration. If you are in a position to take additional classes, there are many programs that will allow you to graduate faster/early.

5. You Will Become a Marketing/Financial Expert

If you think that MBA programs are all about finance, marketing or human resource, then it is time to look around. You may be surprised to find that the manager at the famous clothing company in your city has an MBA in fashion management. Remember, management skills are needed in every field, so it is upon you to tap the right one with your MBA degree.

Conclusion

MBA programs have rapidly evolved over the recent past to adapt to the dynamic needs of the workplace environments. Accordingly, if you are considering pursuing an MBA program, endeavor to think about how you want to learn. Usually, knowing the answer to this vital question will help debunk the many myths in the industry allowing you to make the best investment for your future.


Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.

Should Startups Hire New MBA Grads? Reply

StartupNew Economy, New MBA

Back in the day, MBAs were sort of for losers. People who weren’t successful in their business pursuits went to business school to gain new schools with the hope of improving their business acumen. The logic was simple back then: if you were good at business, you stayed in business. But our economy has shifted and so have many business schools in terms of how their MBA programs are shaped and whom they accept into their programs.

Many business schools are now places for networking, innovation, and learning hard skills that serve core business functions (the stuff that hasn’t changed very much). In short, MBAs are walking out of their business schools more connected, more creative, and more prepared than the average individual with a few years of work experience but lacking an MBA. Many MBAs take the advantage of their time in school making connections and thinking broadly by creating startups of their own with their colleagues.

Getting wiseMBA

The beauty of the new frontier for MBA students is that they are primed for innovation as they leave the incredibly formative experience that is graduate school. Increasingly, entrepreneurship is one of the most appealing concentrations for students in business school. Nothing spells new horizons like putting in your few years at some firm, becoming a student again, then stepping back into the world of work. MBA students are eager to apply their learning and leverage their newfound connections on behalf of whatever project will help them make their mark. And we are beginning to see startups catch on.

Startups are hungry for that balance of innovative energy alongside hard skills that keep the company’s wheels turning on a daily basis. They need a constant infusion of fresh thinking along with the ability to execute on those bright ideas. In so doing, startups operate with some degree of consistent churn among their employees, which can be seen as a strong quality assuming that the company is still meeting its internal goals.

No longer risk-averse

Whether it is a generational shift or a product of business schools shifting their admissions and programmatic priorities, today’s typical MBA student is no longer as risk averse as MBA students in past years. Indeed, MBA students are arguably going to business school to mitigate the risks in our hyper-competitive economy. They are quite literally building the networks and acquiring the skills they believe they will need to survive in the business world precisely because they wish to advance in that world. To them, not improving their standing with MBA is an even greater risk than leaving the security of their pre-MBA job.

This is an ideal reality for startups. As they themselves get smarter about risks–in order to reduce the remarkably high failure rate for startups–they find themselves with a fresh crop of MBA students to draw from, year to year, to fuel their potential success. Alongside this trend, we have business schools and MBA students themselves working hard to make MBA degrees as valuable as possible in our modern economy given its ever-shifting context. An ideal match if there ever was one.


About Vera Marie Reed

Vera Marie Reed is an ex-elementary school teacher turned freelance writer from Glendale, California. She is now a stay at home mother to her two young daughters and enjoys writing about education and parenting issues. She hopes one day to write and illustrate a series of children’s books. Follow her on Twitter at @VMReed.


All views and opinions of guest authors are theirs alone and are not representative of the views of Petersons.com or its parent company Nelnet.