What Degree do you Need to be a Business Owner?

Business Owner

Some people simply aren’t meant to work for other people. They do their best work when they are the business owner. It gives them a sense of freedom to run the business that they see fit. One of the bigger questions that people often wonder is “What type of degree do I need to have to become a business owner?” The truth is, for most businesses, you don’t have to have one. The reality is, you should.Many notable entrepreneurs never earned a college degree. Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln are two historical examples, but they lived at different times with different career options. David Geffen, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg – who respectively co-founded DreamWorks, Apple, and Facebook – are three modern examples.

Business Owner

What is the trend?

Business people without a college degree are not the norm among business owners today. Most have at least some college education.
In fact, a survey of business owners showed that 64 percent had at least some college when they started their businesses. Nearly one-quarter of them had a bachelor’s degree, and 17 percent had a master’s degree or greater. Less than one in four entrepreneurs reported their highest level of education as a high school diploma.
Despite the statistics, most people know at least one successful entrepreneur who did not combine a business degree and business ownership. For such people, a degree was not a prerequisite for business success. However, having a degree can make business owners more successful in the long run, even if starting their business did not require one.

Constraints of a college degree:

Most entrepreneurs who start a business without a degree cite several reasons for doing so. Expensive college costs are usually at the top of the list. Time is another common reason. Some business owners cite the formal educational structure and other negatives, such as the impractical courses required in many degree programs.
These are valid reasons, and many entrepreneurs have success without a degree. For this reason, it is hard to argue that a business degree and business ownership are interdependent. However, there are many good reasons to pursue a college degree and bolster business success.

A Business Degree?

A career change is a good reason to pursue a college degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Many students in executive MBA (EMBA) programs are full-time professionals who are switching careers. College courses teach knowledge and skills that can help professionals transition into a new career. They also give entrepreneurs another business perspective.
Credibility is an important benefit of a business degree, and it can be particularly helpful when business owners hire employees, form partnerships or ask investors for money. Connections are another benefit; college connections can be a vital part of an entrepreneur’s professional and social networks.


If you’re planning on opening a business related to a specific industry, then pursuing a major — in your chosen field may be the best choice. For instance, if you’re interested in opening a computer repair business, then pursuing a major in computer science may be more critical than a degree in business, as the technical training will provide you with the expertise you need to be credible to potential customers. Likewise, if you’re thinking of opening up a restaurant but only have experience waiting on customers, you may need to pursue training at a culinary school. After all, you could outsource your marketing needs to an advertising agency and find a Certified Public Accountant to help you with your finances, but if you don’t know the ins and outs of a motherboard your business may falter.