Is An MBA Essential for Entrepreneurs?

For many aspiring entrepreneurs, business school a little boost that is just what their independent business plans needed to get off the ground.

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Pursuing a degree in a field is the surest way to get a job in it. At least, that’s what conventional wisdom holds to be true. And in general, the conventional wisdom is right: Would-be engineers would do well to get an engineering degree, and would-be researchers should pursue a PhD.

According to the pattern, would-be business people should get a business degree. But with the growing tendency of people to start their own businesses rather than slavishly pursue career advancement as an employee the relevance of the MBA — generally considered the only business degree that matters — has come into question.

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While one can make a strong case that a degree in business is not essential for entrepreneurs the degree and the experience it affords offers distinct advantages that those seeking to start their own business can leverage to excel in today’s cut-throat business environment.

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While one can make a strong case that a degree in business is not essential for entrepreneurs the degree and the experience it affords offers distinct advantages that those seeking to start their own business can leverage to excel in today’s cut-throat business environment.

 

Studying Success Minimizes Failure

Simon Crompton, freelance Journalist and Entrepreneur
Simon Crompton, freelance Journalist and Entrepreneur

There’s no such thing as a fail-safe business plan. If there were, someone would have found it, and business school wouldn’t exist. However, there is such a thing as a business plan destined to fail, however, and the difference between the two aren’t always obvious. It requires concentration and careful calculation, like those playing table games.

One of the things MBA students spend quite a bit of time with are case studies. Ever since Harvard Business School began challenging its students to solve “some of the most difficult situations in business history” as an integral part of their coursework, b-schools haven’t even tried to resort to other methods. Putting students in such difficult simulated situations helps them internalize the often subtle differences between the right choice and a catastrophic one.

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To Build a House, Start With the Foundation

Before business schools get started with such challenges, however, they make sure students are well-versed in the basic language and practices of the business world. As an example, the core curriculum at Harvard includes accounting, marketing, financial recording and reporting, leadership skills, and operations management.

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