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Thread: Value of a business degree?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Lily flower's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Default Value of a business degree?

    One of our children shows a great deal of aptitude for business, but has some severe learning disabilities.

    I am wondering if he would be better off just starting his own business, instead of going to college. I know that college would be a great struggle for him.

    How crucial is a business degree? We have a couple of friends who own their own businesses and it seems that they would have done just as well without a degree. Another friend we know went back to school in his 30's, because he couldn't advance in his company without a degree.

    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array
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    Sep 2011


    If your child wants to start a business and does not want to work for a cutthroat, major-player financial firm than they should skip the business degree. Save, save, save! Liquid capital is what gets any good idea off the ground, and the more startup capital they have in the bank the less they have to scrounge around and rely on investors/relatives. A business degree is great if you want to do it all yourself but it makes more sense to just pay someone to do your taxes and accounting if it is not a strong suit and keep a lawyer on retainer. They could be making money and building their business for the next 6 years instead of doing homework and learning about economics and how to read pie-charts. I say 6 years because a 4 year degree in business is about as valuable as a 4 year degree in psych. Lots of people have them but most of the jobs are going to those with advanced degrees or good networking.
    Also, all the above advice really depends on what kind of business they are considering starting. And if they don't know, tell them to start saving EVERYTHING and get that capital working for them now, not later. It will make a huge difference when it comes time to have the great idea and present a business plan.
    Good luck

    Edit: I want to add that having a degree, almost any degree, is better than no degree if the business does not succeed. A 4 year degree is the new high-school diploma - especially in a recession/depression. And networking is more important now than ever. So it can't hurt to encourage them to at least take a couple classes in the evenings at the local community college. In ten years if the business folds they will not be stuck wishing they had started college a decade ago, they will have or be close to having a useable degree without dedicating all their time for several years in a row to getting one.
    I hope that makes sense, I am writing in a hurry (I should be studying for an exam).

  3. #3


    I would say: let him start little businesses to see if he can get one of them to succeed. Businesses fail often, but serial entrepreneurs seem to know how to survive the failures and keep going.

    Academic style learning is not suited for everyone (I would even say it is a stretch for most people, but that is another topic).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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