Going Back to School as a Business Owner: 5 Things You Need to Know
The market presents the perfect opportunities for businesses of different scales to grow rapidly. More business owners are working towards expanding their organizations and tapping into new markets. The opportunity for rapid growth means there are a lot of things you need to do as a business owner, especially if you want to fully capitalize on that opportunity.
However, more business owners are also actively returning to school to pursue a higher degree in a specific field. There are a lot of reasons why you would want to go back to school and pursue a higher degree as a business owner. You can, for instance, expand your skills as a tech entrepreneur by pursuing an electrical and computer engineering master’s degree. Before you do, however, there are five things you need to know first.
If you are looking for ways to earn a higher degree without abandoning your business ventures, online programs are the options to look into. Reputable universities like Kettering University are making their online courses available to more students. This makes finding a suitable program to enroll to easier.
Online courses are also easier to find thanks to the wealth of options to choose from. You no longer have to settle for programs from schools near you either, since you can earn a degree from top names like Kettering without having to commute or attend classes.
Going online comes with one added benefit: the courses are designed to be very flexible. You can study at your own time and even complete the course at a pace that you are comfortable with the most. That actually brings us to our next point, which is….
Flexibility Requires Discipline
As mentioned before, today’s best online courses are designed to be incredibly flexible. You don’t have to commute or attend classes – or even relocate to another city just to attend a specific school – and can instead study from anywhere and at any time. The online learning platforms are more advanced too, giving you access to all of the resources you need to complete the course.
However, the extra flexibility offered by today’s top online programs also comes with extra challenges. You have no strict schedules to follow, so you need to be meticulous with your time allocation and management. Since you are also running a business, there will be times when you have to choose between school and work.
A good rule of thumb to follow is to allocate a certain portion of your day for studying. Ideally, you want to spend at least an hour every day – or several hours week, spread across two or three days – to go through course materials, work on assignments, and stay ahead of the course. With time for school allocated, all you have to do next is stick to the schedules no matter what.
There Are Requirements
The same flexibility also comes with boundaries. Just because you are enrolling in an online course, doesn’t mean you can simply enroll into any program you want. There are still requirements to meet and standards to uphold.
Online university programs are accredited, so you can expect the classes and course requirements to be relatively similar to those of equivalent offline courses. The only difference lies in the way the courses are delivered to students.
This also means you have to pass exams and complete your thesis in order to earn the degree you are pursuing, including the electrical and computer engineering master’s degree mentioned earlier. While you can complete the course at your own pace, you have to invest enough time and energy towards earning the degree itself.
It’s a Good Investment
Don’t let the investment scare you from pursuing a higher degree as a business owner though; I can say, from personal experience, that it is a fantastic investment to make. The skills and insights you will be able to absorb while taking the course are invaluable in today’s market. In fact, this is another key advantage of earning a degree online.
The courses available from top universities are up to date and relevant. They are designed to stay aligned with market (and industry) needs. The knowledge and skills you get while completing the program are the knowledge and skills you can use in your business.
Another reason why an online degree can be considered as a great investment is the high return on investment, or ROI. Yes, you still have tuition and other fees to pay in order to take the course, but you are paying substantially less than you would when taking a comparable brick-and-mortar course. On average, online degrees are 40% more affordable than offline degrees.
More Useful Than You Think
I was just as skeptical and reluctant when I made the decision to earn a master’s degree. It was a surprise to know that many of my fellow business owners who took the same path were just as reluctant. That said, the experience (and everything I picked up along the way) has been incredibly valuable; every business owner who pursued a higher degree would agree.
Going back to school is a great opportunity to sharpen your skills and expertise as a business owner. You can pursue a degree in the specific field you are in to gain insights, more knowledge, and technical know-how. There are research papers and sources of knowledge that you can access as an online student too.
But online programs go beyond that. As an online student, you still have the opportunity to connect with lecturers and fellow students, turning the pursuit for a higher degree into a great opportunity for expanding your network on a professional level. Many of the lecturers are actually industry experts, which makes the whole idea of earning a higher degree more appealing.
So, should you go back to school as a business owner? The simple answer is YES. There are more ways to earn a higher degree today and the experience – the adventure – of doing so will make you a better business owner in so many ways.