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Do you need a business degree to start a business? [LevelUp]

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Maybe you have had many goals for your future, and life did not go as planned. Perhaps you wanted to become a successful entrepreneur with the right skill base, but you could not achieve it. Imagine you want to explore new opportunities in the business world to become a successful entrepreneur, but you do not have a business degree. Does this matter? Do you need a business degree to start a business?

This is a common issue that most people who want to become entrepreneurs would have. 

Do you need a business degree to start a business?

Many businesses are run by successful entrepreneurs in the business world who never achieved a degree. It needs a set of solid skills and competencies to explore possibilities in the business world. A business degree would greatly help develop the required skills but not guarantee business success.

The answer to this is not straightforward. Some of them are even dropouts from colleges and universities. Few of the well-renowned business tycoons are Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs. These businessmen have proved the norm of having a degree to become an entrepreneur wrong.

If you are wondering whether you need a business degree or not to start a business, the answer would be a ‘no.’ you don’t need to gain a business degree to start and grow a successful business. You can self-learn, self-explore, and gain hands-on experience to achieve business success.

What is the need for a business degree to start a business?

The degree would support any individual to expand their knowledge and develop their skill base. In return, it will help the business owner apply those skills to make your business a success. 

Look at this google trends result. It shows that over time the interest in business degrees in America is gradually increasing.

A business degree mainly focuses on constant learning and applying key concepts across various industries and fields. Some of them are entrepreneurship, human resource management, marketing, accounting, etc. It also helps you develop your soft skills such as leadership, teamwork, presentation skills, public speaking, etc. 

Developing skills and competencies through continuing education is the key to success.

All of these together will help you to be prepared to enter the corporate world successfully. Is entrepreneurship and achievement of a business degree interconnected? Is it mandatory to have a business degree to start a business? A business degree is capable of giving you multiple business opportunities and career paths.

Here are some of the reasons why you should need a business degree to become a successful entrepreneur. 

Related Article: What can I do with a bachelor’s in business?: Jobs for Business Majors.

  1. Developing skills and competencies required to become a successful entrepreneur

Just think of any well-renowned successful business. There is one or more highly skilled and competent individuals driving the business towards success. Let’s say you have a highly talented set of employees to drive your business. But it is essential that the leader in the organization is also yourself to develop the knowledge and skills.

Becoming an entrepreneur who runs your own business requires a wide range of skills. A successful entrepreneur needs to lead, communicate, strategize effectively. Some of the necessary skills are below.

  • Analytical thinking 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Leadership skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Strategic decision making
  • Presentation skills
  • Creative thinking 
  • Effective communication skills 
  • Time management 
  • Effective networking and many more 

Gaining a business degree will be the most significant milestone of your life that will help you build the required knowledge, competencies, and skill base. Furthermore, you need to gain a large number of industry-specific skills before entering into a business.

These skills will be required when you write the first business plan to the point where you launch and run the business. 

A business degree will usually cover a wide range of fields that will help you explore new business opportunities in any area you are interested in.

Business majors obtain the opportunity to develop both quantitative and qualitative research skills during the program. So this will help them to develop ideas based on the information they possess. The program would also cover key areas such as marketing, human resource management, operations management, etc.

A business degree will help anyone to gain theoretical knowledge blended with practical application in real-life scenarios. Some universities also provide the opportunity for students to specialize in a field of their choice.

Business majors who want to start their own business can choose an area in line with their business idea.

  1. A business degree will help you to attain your long-term goals as an entrepreneur.

A degree may look like massive investment in terms of cost and time. When considering the financial burden, letting go of a degree will seem like a better option.

However, in your journey towards becoming a successful entrepreneur, there are multiple milestones you need to achieve.

Studies of the Bureau of Labor Statistics depict that more than 20% of entrepreneurial businesses fail during the first year of implementation. They have also found out that more than 50% of businesses fail before the fifth year.

Hence it is evident that there are certain weak areas that many entrepreneurs need to develop before starting their own business. Rather than preparing the business plan and applying for a loan, you will also have to invest time in the following areas. 

  • Finding the required capital
  • Finalizing the strategic location and production facility of the new business.
  • Business registration 
  • The legal aspect of launching a new business
  • Deciding an internal business structure 
  • Completing value chain activities of the business 

A business degree will support you to achieve the areas described above by providing structured assistance throughout the program. 

  1. A business degree will be able to give your entrepreneurship dream a smooth start 

The experience that you gain outside a lecture hall can indeed give you a real-life experience.

However, what you learn and how you learn during a degree program can be vastly different. You will be supervised by many industry tycoons and professionals when you are pursuing a degree. They would have years of industry experience, success, and failure stories of their lives to share with you.

Business majors will seek advice from them on the potential challenges and opportunities they would face when building their own business. The critical courses included in the degree may also lay the foundation of the essential skills. The students will be able to transform these skills to real-world challenges of your business. 

  1. A business degree will provide you with a wide range of networking opportunities. 

A strong support network is vital for anyone starting a new business. So this network will consist of individuals with years of experience in different fields.

The initial months of starting a new business will require a lot of strategic decisions. The support from industry professionals will be of immense help to the entrepreneur at this stage.

An extensive alumni connection can be an asset to anyone who is planning to start a new business. Alumni who have become successful in the business world will provide you with guidance and support for a successful start. Also, they can advise you about gathering the required resources and competencies for getting off the ground. 

  1. A business degree will help you to have a successful start in the business 

You can have a business that offers a fantastic product or a service that meets customers’ expectations.

But what if your business is running at a loss with regards to the operations aspect?

What if your business is not making the profits you expected?

You can be a great marketer, salesperson, or strategic thinker. But if you do not run the business efficiently using business management fundamentals, your business can become a failure.

This is where a business degree would come into play.

Following a degree in Business Administration will help you gain exposure to the basics of business management. Apart from that, you will also develop the required soft skills to run a business successfully. The knowledge and skills will help you face better with confidence while overlooking every aspect of the business. 

  1. It helps to build a professional image for your business

When you earn a business degree, it will help you establish a strong professional image of yourself and the business in your customers’ eyes.

When your customers are aware that you have the required academic and professional qualifications to run the business, it will be beneficial in the long run. 

Examples of successful business tycoons who was dropped out of college 

Do you need a business degree to start a business?

For some people, gaining a business degree is about obtaining the required skills and knowledge to become successful.

However, some people believe that it is not mandatory to have a degree to start and grow a business. They think that you can start a business at any age of your choice with any education level.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to this statement. Below are some examples of visionary leaders who became successful after being dropped out of college. 

  • Bill Gates
  • Steve Jobs 
  • Mark Zuckerberg 
  • Larry Ellison 
  • Jack Dorsey 
  • Richard Branson 
  • Rachael Ray
  • John Mackey 
  • Michael Dell 

Is a business degree required to start a business? 

Technically the answer would be a ‘no.’ But it does not depict that you should not obtain a degree.

An entrepreneur usually has a large number of roles to play in a business. Also, there are a large number of successful business tycoons who have succeeded immensely without having a degree.

Most of them only had an innovative idea which they brought to life through endless commitment and dedication. Some people may not be able to invest in a degree due to the high cost. Some may not want to spend a few years of their time learning in a university.

A degree will not equip an individual with all the required skills to become a successful entrepreneur. It will only allow you to develop your knowledge and skills while being effective and efficient.

An entrepreneur can consider as a person who usually decides his destiny.

Even though a business degree gives multiple benefits to starting a business, it does not guarantee its long-term success. 

However, if you are getting into a highly complex and technical industry, a degree will be used. Lack of knowledge about managing a business will be a risk and a challenge when starting a new business.

Let’s say you successfully commenced the business for a specified period. Even in that case, it expects that you gain some knowledge and skills regarding entrepreneurship. 

How to start a business without a degree? The startup!

If you are planning to start a business without a degree, there are several things that you need to achieve. Some of them are as below. 

  • Gaining real-life experience 

Let’s say you are not financially stable to pursue a degree or have any other reason not to follow higher education. One of the things that could help you to start a business is hands-on experience.

Experience can be a useful tool that will help you understand if you are going in the right direction. It will help you to be prepared to start a business of your own. It will also give you a valuable opportunity to utilize your skills and further develop them.

The more experience you have, the more confidence you will gain to become an entrepreneur. Hence, if you plan to start a business without a degree, one of the things you need to focus on is gaining experience in the relevant industry.

Moreover, you can get involved in volunteer work for field projects to get exposure to multiple aspects of business management. Apprenticeships and internships in different organizations that can give you diverse exposures can also be useful to anyone without a degree.  

  • Become an expert in what you do 

The business world is a place with millions of opportunities. There are opportunities that businesses can capture in every industry, field, and environment. If you are an expert in what you do and are thorough with your business plan, you are a winner.

Business experts win the market as well as customers. They get to the top of the business world by providing the best products and services. 

  • Continuous learning 

You can always engage in constant learning to expand your knowledge and current skill base. This will make you better at what you do.

You will develop your existing skills while developing new competencies.

Continuous learning will help immensely when you start a new business, as it will help to show your value in the business world.

  • Network as much as possible 

You do not need a business degree to create a strong network with people. Connect as much as you can with people inside and outside of your field.

There can be a lot of potential within every connection you make. Upon starting your business, start connecting with your network. They will be able to provide you guidance through their own experience. 

  • Have a clear idea about your vision and mission

It would help if you had a clear idea about your vision and mission before starting a business. When you know about your strengths and weaknesses, it will help you to manage work better.

  • Enhance your knowledge and skills through self-exploration

Take on every opportunity and challenge ahead of you. Learn continuously and always pick yourself back up whenever you feel weak and down.

Do you have a real reason to start a business without a degree?

This is one of the most common and important questions one should ask before starting a business without a degree.


It would be best if you critically analyzed the value of invest four to five years in college. If you believe that you can do better by starting your own business, you can achieve your goal. But the decision needs to be taken with care as it will be one of the most significant turning points of your life. 


Are you wondering whether you need a business degree to start a business? Technically, the answer will be a ‘no.’ A degree is not mandatory to start a business. However, a degree could give you multiple benefits to help you start and grow your own business.

Moreover, it is essential to note that whether you need a business degree may vary depending on your situation. Your situation may vary based on your educational background, prior experience, and your future goals.

You can become an entrepreneur without a degree. But a business major will have more excellent knowledge and a skill base that will help you succeed better in your business in the long run.

There are instances where businesses fail due to a lack of experience and knowledge. On the other hand, many well-renowned businessmen without a degree have reached the peak of success in the business world. 

There is no right and wrong answer to whether you need a business degree or not to start a business. Sky’s the limit if you build the right skills and knowledge and have a passion for becoming successful in life. 

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