Why Entrepreneurs Can’t Afford to Miss Out on the MBA Boom

The value of an MBA has been steadily increasing since 2012, with 75 percent of companies around the world planning on hiring MBA-holders throughout 2013. This information is based on findings from the GMAC 2013 Corporate Recruiters Survey, which also cited an increase in hiring trends among less traditional industries like energy/utilities and health care/pharmaceuticals. Although hiring trends might be noteworthy for candidates seeking traditional career paths, entrepreneurs might be asking how this changed standard benefits them.

Networking Opportunities

Too little focus is placed on the networking potential of college. As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult to get your foot in the door in the industry because there are much less organic connections to make in a solo business endeavor. Attending a formal institution would put you in touch with the best and the brightest — possibly even future business partners. Alliant International University offers excellent networking resources for students, including professional training programs and community engagement organizations. Beyond the classroom, these opportunities can give you real world outlets for applying your talent.

Up-to-Date Education

The business world is fueled by innovation, which is largely why it’s constantly evolving. When I say “business world,” I’m referring largely to your competition. When the competition begins to arm themselves with MBAs, it’s your duty as a competitor to keep up in order to maintain your brand’s appeal. Study the competition thoroughly to determine what kinds of technology and strategies they’re currently working with. Use this information to tailor your education to the latest resources, so your business can continue to deliver up to the customer’s standards.

Startup Help

The actual process of starting your own business can be stressful, which is why it’s always better to have support. Beyond receiving the educational tools you need to succeed, many MBA programs also offer strong programs catered specifically to entrepreneurs.

For example, at Booth’s Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship, MBA students can access mentors and personalized advice for their unique business plan. The program also invites successful entrepreneurs and investors to periodically meet with promising students to help them gain a head start. For many entrepreneurs, the startup period can make or break your business. But with the support of your school and their provided resources, risk is significantly limited.

Better Pay

Earning an MBA will require a great deal of hard work and sacrifice, so any business-minded person would be the first to ask “is it worth it?” According to Indeed.com, the average annual salary for an MBA-holder is $93,000, which is more than $20,000 higher than bachelor’s degree holders and more than $10,000 higher than master’s degree holders. Although the payback can be pretty sweet with an MBA, make sure to carefully monitor your investment.

Many MBA programs offer grants and scholarships for students seeking degrees. For example, the University of California-Berkeley offers the Gloria W. Appel Award for Outstanding Leadership in Entrepreneurship for second year MBA candidates who have exhibited exceptional performance in the school’s entrepreneur program.

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