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If you aspire to run your own business, you may think you don’t need a college degree. After all, you’re going to be the boss. However, for most careers that require a degree, having a college education is important for training to do your job. When you’re self-employed, it’s even more important.
The Value of an Education
What really matters isn’t the degree itself, but the education you receive. Without thorough knowledge of the field in which you work, you’re likely to find yourself blundering through problems rather than having the skills to solve them – and that could cost you your business.
Some information can be learned through independent study, but not everything can. The work strategies you come up with on your own might not be the most efficient or successful – but without an education, you will never know what mistakes you’re making or how to improve your work.
An education isn’t limited to what you learn in the classroom. Employers value practical skills, which is why internships and clinical experiences are important in so many fields of study. Learning how to apply the information you read is essential. Would you want your health in the hands of a self-taught doctor or your house built by a construction worker who has only ever read about, rather than practiced, carpentry?
Achieving your dream of being your own boss will probably take some time. For one thing, no clients would choose a new person with no experience or education over firms where the workers have already proven themselves in school and in real-life experience. You need proof, other than your own opinion, that you’re capable of the work. Starting a business can also take a good deal of money – and it may take you a lot of time and work to obtain that funding.
Preparation for a License or Certification
In careers that require a license or certification, a degree is often mandatory. You may not have a potential employer saying that you can’t do the job because you don’t have a degree, but that doesn’t mean the state government won’t make the same decision.
Knowing the right contacts in your industry can help you succeed. You might not realize it, but earning your degree gives you plenty of networking opportunities. You can form bonds will fellow students, keep in contact with instructors and internship supervisors and look for mentors.
Learning Skills to Manage a Business
If your reason for wanting to be your own boss is because you think your job will be easier, you might be underestimating the difficulty of entrepreneurship. Self-employment comes with plenty of challenges, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.
The quantity of work – and your income – can be unpredictable, especially at first. You don’t have luxuries like paid time off, retirement plans and group health insurance coverage. You are responsible for the business, which can mean working long hours. You also have to do all of the work of setting up and managing the company, from attaining the money to fund the business to purchasing equipment needed to do the work, from attracting your first clients to handling the company’s finances.
To juggle all of these duties successfully, you’re going to need to know the basics of business management. While you’re earning a degree – even in a non-business field – is a great time to take courses in basic business, accounting, finance and management. When you’re self-employed, having a strong education is essential for success.