The sad loss of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs in 2011 sparked a wave of attention focused on his extraordinary life as a visionary entrepreneur. Many detailed obituaries and biographical articles made mention of the fact that Steve Jobs dropped out of Reed College in Portland, Oregon after just one semester. Jobs, however, continued learning by auditing courses he deemed interesting and helpful to his career; such as calligraphy, a subject he credited when he implemented font aesthetics on the graphical user interface of early Macintosh Computers.
Jobs never stopped learning. In his youth, he left the suburban comforts of the American West Coast for India, where he would spend a few months learning spiritual matters. Back home in California and working at Atari, Jobs continued learning and innovating on his own. It is clear that he was not only a genius, but also an avid autodidact. His approach to lifelong learning is, without a doubt, one of the most important foundations of his incredible entrepreneurial success.
A great number of books concerning the legacy left by Steve Jobs in the business world will be published for years to come, and many of them will surely touch upon his business acumen and leadership, but if there is something every business owner and entrepreneur should emulate from Jobs is his penchant for learning. Running one of the most successful and influential technology companies in the world must have consumed Jobs’ life, yet he somehow always found time to learn something new, even if he never formally returned to college.
Getting a business degree is one of the best things an entrepreneur can do to augment his or her commercial success. The value of education is indisputable, particularly in the business world. Attending classes at a community college or university are great opportunities for networking, and there is also the legitimacy factor: the owner of a small architectural firm, for example, will be a lot more credible to clients and investors if he or she has a degree in Architecture.
Launching a new business can be a learning experience, and the opportunities for learning new things continue as the company matures, but such experiences are often limited to the scope of the business. Quite a few entrepreneurs who wonder why their businesses fail to expand rarely stop to think how education can help them grow. Strategies for entering new markets and adapting to the globalization paradigm are subjects typically covered in a college business curriculum.
Business Degree Advantages for Entrepreneurs
Education has been one of the greatest initiatives undertaken by President Barack Obama’s administration to stimulate the sluggish United States economy. To this extent, it is easy to see that underwriters evaluating an application for an SBA loan will consider a degree an important asset. The personnel plan and executive team portions of the business plan that is submitted along with the loan application will certainly look better with at least one college degree, particularly when the managing team does not have too much experience. Startup businesses tend to have little experience, and the absence of a degree would be detrimental to financing approval.
Online Business Degrees
Entrepreneurs who are busy running an existing company, or working their way to forming a new enterprise, can take advantage of several online education options available. Business owners who are building up their ideas and taking online courses at the same time tend to be more open-minded and resourceful when it comes to business development. Entrepreneurs who go to school and simultaneously ply their trade have an added advantage of being able to apply what they learn in the virtual classroom to the real world.
Before starting your new business, consider options to further your education either formally or informally. You will not only benefit your business acumen but it may open other opportunities that may have not been possible otherwise.
Author Casey Sutherland is a careers counselor and suggests if you have a love for all things business, you may want to check out the best online business degree schools. Choose careers from Accounting to Market Research Analyst, and see the latest Business School Rankings.