Millennial with a Startup Idea? Here’s Why You Need an MBA

According to First Citizens Bank Small Business Forecast, 48 percent of millennials want to start their own businesses. If you’re one of them, you need an MBA. Why?

Because going to business school can help you get ahead in the business world. For every legendary business genius who started a company worth billions after dropping out of undergrad, there are a dozen other corporate executives who buckled down, studied hard and earned a graduate degree in business administration.

Whether you’re a young entrepreneur or just aspiring to be one, earning an MBA will give you valuable international experience, help you expand your professional network, teach you the finer points of business strategy and finance and help you develop management, delegation and collaboration skills.

Learn Business Strategy and Finance

Without an effective business strategy, it’s a toss-up whether your business will succeed. Sure, some entrepreneurs ultimately do fine without a formal education in finance, economics and business strategy, but others fail — and once you’ve got one failed business under your belt, it’s that much harder to find funding for another venture. Even if you did manage to succeed without a formal education in business, your lack of training could cause you to make costly mistakes that could keep your company from reaching its full potential — and you’ll spend your life wondering how much more successful your business could have been if you weren’t just flying by the seat of your pants.

Going to business schools helps you understand what makes a business succeed and what makes it fail. You’ll pour over countless case studies that will teach what pitfalls to avoid and what tactics will help you grow your business sustainably. You’ll learn how to grapple with financial statements, how to tackle marketing, how to deal with corporate operations and more.

Get International Experience

If you hope to grow your startup into a mega-corporation, you’re going to need some understanding of how business is conducted on an international level — this is valuable even if you end up going to work for someone else. These days, more than half of the world’s MBA students make the decision to study outside their home countries. Sixty-six percent of international business students aspire to study in the United States. This means going back to school for an MBA will expose you to people from around the globe, to their cultures, attitudes and ways of thinking. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how to relate to others personally and professionally.

Grow Your Professional Network

One of the biggest benefits of an online MBA for millennials is the opportunity it presents to grow your professional network. You’ll forge valuable relationships with mentors, professors and classmates that will evolve into lifelong friendships. Because online MBA programs are open to students from around the world, you’ll make new friends and form connections with classmates and peers from cultures and countries you never thought possible. As your company grows and your career progresses, the connections you make in business school will open doors for you in ways you simply can’t predict now.

Develop Management Skills

Most MBA programs heavily emphasize leadership, management and collaboration skills because these skills are vital to success in business. You’ll work closely with classmates and peers in your cohort, and along the way, you’ll learn how to lead from a place of vision and integrity. You’ll learn how to surround yourself with professionals who are excellent at their jobs, so you can delegate to trustworthy team members — and thanks to the professional network you’re forming, when you’re ready to start your company, you’ll have a pool of potential partners and job candidates to choose from. Being a good manager and collaborating well isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t come naturally, and that’s why taking the time to learn and develop these skills is the best thing you can do for yourself.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re a millennial, starting your own company could be the straightest, shortest path to achieving your dreams. Going back to school for an MBA might seem like an expensive and time-consuming distraction from your startup idea, but it isn’t. In fact, earning an MBA can help seal the deal on your success by giving you the skills you need to become the business leader you’ve always dreamed of being.