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Jon Outland

Is Grad School Right for Fueling Your Entrepreneurial Spirit?

So, the big question is – should an entrepreneur return to college for more advanced business education? The answer is uniquely personal for each comp

Starting your very own business shouldn’t just be a distant dream – make it  a reality. The interest in entrepreneurship in the U.S. continues to grow as many undergrads seek to define work on their own terms and see their ideas come to life. 

Today, 63% of 20-somethings are interested in starting their own businesses. Millennials and other business-goers are looking at employment through a different lens. Many innovative workers have developed initiatives to balance work life and personal life. Some of their visions have evolved into unique businesses and advancements. Some have revolutionized the world as we know it.

There is a Mark Twain quote that describes why entrepreneurship plucks at our mind and allures us into taking risks and going on life-changing adventures. Twain simply wrote, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

The tenacious surge of new startups, unique business models and creative work environments are paving the way for more favorable employment. For these reasons and more, some company owners are starting to see additional business education as a possible “missing piece of the puzzle” for a stronger and more improved company. This puzzle piece also might help owners venture to be bold, original and successful, not to mention lucrative. Others simply might just be wondering if more advanced skills could help them take their business to the next level.

So, the big question is – should an entrepreneur return to college for more advanced business education? The answer is uniquely personal for each company and business leader, but there are three fundamental reasons that business owners may want to consider taking the leap into graduate school.

1) Fill in the Gaps: Entrepreneurs wear several different hats that cover a wide variety of business domains. These metaphorical hats can range extensively from different business fields, such as marketing, accounting, operations and sales. When a single individual covers so much ground, they often know “just enough” to do what is needed. Going back to school can help owners gain a larger perspective on areas at the periphery of their knowledge – or help them learn to complete tasks they didn’t feel ready for.

2) Advanced Skills: Many owners want to expand their knowledge so they can be more effective in their roles. Business owners see a direct link between their understanding and proficiency, as well as their ability to grow their business. More advanced skills may allow entrepreneurs the opportunity to take the next steps in areas like marketing or operations. These steps might also allow owners to reduce their dependence on outside consultants.

3) Going in a Different Direction: Entrepreneurs often identify new lines of business that they could expand into. Others may determine that changing markets will force their business to evolve. Going to graduate school may give them the opportunity to branch out into a new area or skill set. This may give them greater options in the direction or focus their business can take.



* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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