MBA or Your Own Business: Where Should You Invest Your Money?

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( — March 26, 2020) — Some people will say that having an MBA is essential if you are thinking about starting your own company, while others think it’s not necessary. For many, it wasn’t – look at how many wildly successful entrepreneurs didn’t even get a college degree at all, let alone an MBA. 

Many aspiring entrepreneurs feel that an MBA will help them fill in any gaps in their knowledge and put them in a better position to build and successfully run their dream business, while others believe that a unique idea alone is all it’s going to take. But if you’re the former, there are many different ideas and opinions to take into account when it comes to deciding if pursuing an MBA will be the most valuable decision for you. 

On the one hand, there are plenty of undeniable benefits that come with getting an MBA as an entrepreneur. But on the other hand, today’s connected, digital world can provide you with various alternatives that will do the job just fine if all you want is to learn more about the various facets of running your own company. 

What are the pros?

Meet Talented People, Grow Your Network and Build Connections

The degree alone isn’t the only valuable thing you’ll gain from attending business school. Whether you study your masters of business administration on-campus or online, you’ll have the chance to meet many talented, clever people in both your professors and your peers. Many MBA students already have significant business knowledge and experience through employment or entrepreneurship and you can build connections that might benefit your business in the future. 

  • You can start building your professional network from the ground up during college so that when you eventually start your business, you’ll have a lot of people you can potentially turn to for help, advice or even funding. 
  • Studying for an MBA can provide you with your first significant networking opportunity. 
  • You’ll learn a huge amount of crucial information from both your professors and other students that can help you get ahead as early as possible. 

You’ll Grow Both Professionally and Personally

Another pro that can’t be denied about getting an MBA is that it can certainly help you grow as a person and even discover new passions, interests, skills, and strengths that you did not know you had. The learning process can be extremely transformative for many people. You might:

  • Discover that you’ve got a knack with numbers you never realized you had. 
  • Find a new love for marketing and advertising. 
  • Discover a new passion or interest that changes the game for you and transforms your business idea completely. 
  • If you want to start a business but you’re not sure what kind of business to choose, you might learn something during studying that gives you the answer. 

So, Should You Spend Your Money on an MBA, or Building Your Business?

It’s the big question – where’s best to invest your money? An MBA can be very costly, but then again, so can building a business. On the upside, if you invest your money in an MBA, you do have a level of certainty that you’ll never have when starting your own company. 

The average cost of an MBA today is around $60k, so consider whether you’re prepared to get student loans – or able to fund it yourself, or whether you’d rather invest that money into your business idea. If you still like the idea of getting an MBA but are put off by the price, try searching for online MBA programs. Not all of them are cheaper, but some are due to the lower cost to the university, allowing them to pass the savings on to students. 

Are There Any Alternatives?

If you want to say that you’ve got an MBA, the only way you’re going to do that is by going and getting an MBA. However, if it’s just the benefits and the knowledge that you are looking for, there are plenty of ways to do this without going to college. 

Udemy, for example, provides a wide range of affordable online courses that allow you to focus your learning on the specific types of business functions you want to learn about, like accounting or marketing. 

If you’re on the fence, it might be worth taking a couple of free or cheap courses first, before deciding whether that’s enough for you or whether you still want to invest in an MBA. After all, once you’ve graduated, you’ve always got one of the most sought-after qualifications worldwide, even if your business fails. 

To get an MBA or not? It all depends on what you want from it.