Do you need a degree to start a business?
Setting out to start your own business is an exciting adventure, no matter how old you are. Whether you’re fresh out of school or ready to create something for yourself after decades in your industry, it’s something anyone can do with enough spirit.
But you can’t help but wonder if other people might have a leg-up over you. In this case, we’re talking about people with university degrees. They had access to a wealth of information and life lessons you haven’t. So it might make you wonder if you need a degree to succeed at business.
It definitely isn’t a necessity. Just ask the likes of Alan Sugar, Karen Brady, or Richard Branson. In fact, here’s an entire list of entrepreneurs without a degree. But we can’t deny the benefits a degree can have for new business owners. So let’s look at the pros and cons and see what we discover.
Why you DO need a degree
University is an opportunity to learn. Whatever your chosen subject, it opens your eyes to a new way of thinking. It teaches you to be analytical, logical, and open to new concepts. This broadening of the mind can never be a bad thing, even if you don’t choose to stay in the same field as your degree.
Beyond that, university is full of opportunities to develop soft skills that are useful as a business owner. With so many clubs and societies to join, you could find yourself as part of the organisational team, helping grow your society. This develops your sales, marketing and social skills – all incredibly useful for business owners.
Take creator of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg, for instance. He dropped out of Harvard and never earned his degree, but being there in the first place gave him the opportunity and inspiration to develop his social network. In short, the lessons university teaches you will be useful throughout the rest of your life.
Why you DON’T need a degree
You don’t need a degree to start a business because there simply isn’t any one way to start one. There are no hard rules, and history is littered with people who made their fortune straight out of school.
It isn’t about education and book learning; it’s about acquiring knowledge. Knowledge that you can learn in other ways. If you know what you want your business to be, you can try to earn some experience in the field first. Do some volunteer work or an apprenticeship to learn the basic skills you’ll need.
There are plenty of business lessons you have to learn on the job. Mistakes will happen and you will have to roll with them and learn from them. If you feel you need to supplement your knowledge, you can find business classes you can do on the side. There are also lots of resources out there to help you.
The one thing you do need to start a business is tenacity. Without the drive to make a success of yourself, you won’t make it. When you start a business, you have to be prepared to put in endless hours and a lot of hard work. But, in the end, it will all be worth it. Don’t spend time worrying about whether you need a degree or not. Use your time to plan your new business.
If you ever need business advice, you can get in touch with the friendly experts at Big Hand. In the meantime, look at some of our other business tips on our blog, such as our recent piece on starting a business in a pandemic. When you’re ready, give us a call on 0161 327 2911.