Do You Really Need a Degree to Succeed in Online Business?
The short answer is no. A degree is not required in the least for any success with your own business. That said, a degree of course can really help in your career, since not having a degree when applying for jobs does put you at a disadvantage, especially if you’re in an industry where a relevant degree is a significant help (computer science graduates for example).
But let’s now specifically focus on degrees and self employment.
What is a Degree Good For, Really?
Let’s start with a simple question – what’s the point of a degree?
Well, it’s three years of (mostly) fun, of course. It allows you to avoid starting work for a while. Plus, you learn a lot, just not always a lot of practical things!
But it does look good on your CV as it shows your intelligence and ability to work hard. Plus, many if not most people going for the position you’re interested in also have a degree, so by not having one you’re immediately at a disadvantage.
And some degrees are very practical, which is great if you’re going into that industry. As touched upon, a Computer Science degree would be hugely beneficial if you’re thinking of becoming a freelance programmer or want to start a software company, for example.
But with an online business? Well, the real knowledge of successfully running such a business comes from doing it, or learning from those who successfully do it. And that’s not professors at universities!
People running successful online businesses do share their knowledge through books, coaching, courses, consulting, and mentoring. And learning from others can be a great shortcut. Trial and error is very important, but can be the long way round if someone’s already been there and done that…
Can Every Skill Really be Taught?
Successfully running an online business is an acquired skill, and that can only be achieved by doing it. So if you’re risk averse (also known as being sensible), you may want to learn as much as possible in a full time position before taking the plunge into self employment. Plus, learning from multiple people in your job who have a ton of experience, is not something that can be replicated when working by yourself!
So one approach is to get a degree related to online business, for example marketing. And perhaps mixing in some computer science if possible since technical knowledge is very helpful too with anything internet related.
Alternatively – can you learn everything you need to from self study? Well, many people have done just that. They studied and practiced in the evenings and weekends, ran side projects at home, and learnt as they went. A riskier strategy, but it may be required if you can’t get full time work in online marketing.
Or How About Taking a Course?
What about taking evening classes, or a course specifically in online business? Well, more often than not, such classes and courses are either out of date or too broad to be really helpful. Again, the best knowledge comes from trial and error, either yours, or soaking up the experience of an acquaintance or colleague. It’s a harsh saying, but it might be worth remembering that those who can’t do, teach.
So the short answer to all this is you don’t need a degree if you’re able to learn new subjects effectively studying by yourself. But on the other hand, if you prefer to take a job to learn everything you can about online business, before making the move to work for yourself, a relevant degree will certainly help you get work in the field.