We Don’t Need No Education — Or Do We?

BUILDING A STARTUP IS PAINFUL AND DIFFICULT. Aurelia, RJ & Natasha are ready to help. Every week they share key insights to aid your journey to building the next Unicorn company.

Pink Floyd had some strong opinions on education, but they also never founded a start up. You certainly don’t want to be a brick in the wall, but do you need an MBA? RJ addresses whether it’s necessary in today’s business environment, and walks you through the pros and cons.

The short and simple answer is: Unless you are getting in a Top 10 MBA school, it’s not worth it regardless of your career aspirations.
There are clearly realized pros and cons for this question. It depends on what your career aspirations are and how well the pros and cons align with them.
For this question’s sake, here is a general list of pros and cons to consider before deciding:
1) Networking and Connections: You will have a chance to work and learn with some of the brightest minds (like yourself) who already have made a mark in business world. There is a good chance these same people will go on to have a bigger impact as future C-level executives in business world.
2) Gaining a wealth of business specific knowledge: Some people have a knack for understanding business concepts without formal training. However, those are exception rather than the rules. The value of such education is that it will provide you with great understanding of business fundamentals and concepts. You will learn how to apply these concepts in the most efficient and time sensitive manner, which is very important as you command future Fortune 1000 companies with massive budgets and large departments.
3) Improving your financial success: There is no 100% guarantee that you will end up with [an] exponential amount of success as an entrepreneur or employee with an MBA. However, repeated studies have shown that people with [a] MBA tend to attract better job offers and higher salaries.
1) Financial risk vs. reward: The tuition charged is quite substantial. There is a good chance you will end up taking [out] student loans. In a best-case scenario you will end up with a career or business that is financially rewarding, which will justify the cost. However, there are enough people who have made the investment without getting the desired end result to warrant a cautious approach.
2) Other Options — Getting an MBA in today’s environment is not the only way to succeed. There are plenty of free resources available to gain all the valuable information and resources to become financially successful. MBA program is a tool for success, but not the only tool in the toolbox.
3) Quality of MBA Programs — As I mentioned earlier, unless you are getting an MBA from a Top 25 or even better a Top 10 school, do not even bother. That is if you decide to pursue an MBA. There are far too many MBA programs available that simply offer little of value. Not everyone will get accepted to the best programs and often have to settle for the second string, which often falls short of delivering what’s promised.
The desire to be an entrepreneur is among the most rewarding and challenging endeavors a person can pursue. If they believe an MBA program is necessary to achieve success, they have to look at an MBA as one of the options, not the only option. It’s great to have that educational training, but the end has to justify the means

RJ develops strategic partnerships between entrepreneurs and investors at all levels. As a proven been-there-done-that entrepreneur, tweet RJ about nanotech and your investment related questions at@RJ_CLU

Whether you have an MBA or not, you will be facing a host of challenges as a start up entrepreneur. One of the inevitable issues you need to prepare yourself for is working through team disputes. Natasha offers a short and sweet take on how to turn team conflict into a positive learning experience.

Aside from engaging in feats of strength, most team disputes can be settled by sitting down and having a conversation with the respective parties. The most likely culprit for the dispute is a misunderstanding — being able to vocalize what’s bothering each side can actually serve as a great learning experience where bottlenecks or inefficiencies in internal project management or processes may be highlighted and can be fixed.

Natasha Petrukhin engages with local, national and international communities to identify promising ideas and entrepreneurs. Tweet Natasha to discuss a shared love for dumplings and your startup quandaries that keep you awake at night: @tashnosh

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