Should you Invest in Additional Education as a Small Business Owner?

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The choice between investing in education and becoming a small business owner is frequently a real one that must be faced by those whose assets dictate one path or the other. At least in the beginning of running a business, one may be forced to allocate their assets into one project or the other. However, after a business crosses a certain threshold of profitability, the equation changes once more. Small business owners once again must determine if pursuing a degree is worth investing in, or if they should continue to run their business without going back to school. In order to make it easier for small business owners weighing their options to decide, we have organized a few telling questions that can help them evaluate whether or not a higher level of education is something they should consider investing in.

Would a higher level of education allow you to practice a deeper specialization? For some small business owners, going to school is the best way to increase the potential of their business to grow by getting another level of certification in their field. Common professions that require additional schooling include medical and care businesses, electrician and IT services and legal businesses. If going back to school will allow you to increase the profitability and demand of your business, it is logical that you would want to pursue additional education.

Are you seeking a degree to move into another field? It is frequently the case that small business owners will want to get degrees in order to pursue dreams in a field that is unrelated to their business. In this case, if they are serious about changing fields, some additional education can help them break in and allow them time to become familiar with key aspects of their chosen field.

Do you feel you need a degree to appear legitimate? If you are growing your business without plans to switch fields any time soon, but you want a degree on your resume regardless, then you should evaluate what you really stand to gain from going back to school. Depending on the program that you join, pursuing a degree can be a potentially very expensive endeavor. If you feel like you need a degree to appear as a “legitimate” business person. consider how many people have become business icons without secondary diplomas. If the only reason you are looking at more education is because you feel like it is expected, you may want to reconsider the expense.

Do you want a degree in order to learn more about management? If you are running your business, but decide that you could use some more expertise and skill in management, you might want to look at going back to school in order to pick up some more skills. It is frequently the case that small business owners want to learn some more involved management and organizational techniques in order to to take their business to the next level. If this is the case, a diploma might be for you, but first, consider visiting local business development centers and industry events. These might provide you with a source of information and mentoring without the associated costs of a degree.

Photo Credit to Nazareth College on Flickr

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