Online courses have proven themselves to be revolutionary in more ways than one, affecting various fields and segments in both professional and academic education. They have been by far one of the best uses of modern internet-based communication, enabling students and teachers to bridge geographical, social, and economic gaps.
However, does the same apply to budding entrepreneurs? Can they really benefit from online education programs, or is that an area more suited to academics?
Tackling the Question Head On: Why Online Programs are Perfect for Entrepreneurs
One of the primary reasons that internet based education programs have been revolutionary is because they allow skilled professionals already working in their field to become even more skilled without needing to take breaks from their current job.
In other words, while traditional, advanced education puts working professionals temporarily out of a job, under debt due to student loans, and makes them lose at least a year of work experience, online programs allow them to maintain a full-time job, gain experience, and cut down on the expenses of going back to school by a huge margin.
The thing is that when you are looking to increase your chances of entrepreneurial success by getting some relevant education under your belt, how does any of that not help you?
Visit the Southern Cross University website at https://online.scu.edu.au/, where they are offering 100% online, international, Master’s degree courses, graduation programs, and other specialized certification courses spread across multiple fields including IT, healthcare, legal studies, project management, and business management. They even have accelerated learning programs for entrepreneurs to quickly educate themselves about a specific segment of the field that they need to know more about.
You could be holding a job and getting the business education you need to launch a start-up simultaneously from one of the top universities in Australia. On the other hand, you may very well be running a small business of your own already and studying up during off-hours. It would let you further expand the company’s horizons beyond its current capacity with the precision that only comes with advanced business training.
Studying Entrepreneurship Shouldn’t Cost More than the Expenses of Starting a New Business
Ironically enough, business education often costs more than what it would cost to setup a small, localized business! This is particularly true if you are not in Australia, US, Canada, UK or other developed nations with universities that grant internationally valid certificates.
The total expense of moving to another country on student visa, paying the course fees, arranging for accommodation, regular commuting, and other associated costs of living is also nothing short of astronomical for the majority of the population.
Spending all that money would make more sense if the student wants to start working and living in that very nation, but if all of this is meant for coming back and starting an entrepreneurial venture in one’s own country, online education is just a cheaper and more sensible route to take from every perspective.
The aspiring business leader could very well be investing the money saved by studying online in the start-up’s trust fund to give the venture a better chance of success.
Do You Really Need a College Degree to Succeed in Business?
The opinion on whether or not you actually need a college degree to be successful in launching a business is divided, but the hard fact is that there are certainly advantages in having one. To make the argument more poignant, let’s summarize the benefits in specific:
- College closes knowledge gaps that would inevitably be there otherwise
- Higher education in a relevant field updates the knowledge base with invaluable information
- It helps the development of advanced soft skills and can hone them to perfection
- Certification adds credibility to you as a business leader, and clients will often find them impressive
- A competitor is sure to have a college degree, so they will have an advantage and knowledge that you don’t
- Going to college automatically means making business connections for the future
It is to be noted that much of the debate becomes a moot point in this day and age of online education. When there is no reason for you to shift to a new location, give up on your present job, or be in debt without a source of income, why shouldn’t an aspiring entrepreneur take advantage of having an international degree, business contacts, and skills to back them up?
Which Courses Should You be Eyeing and Why?
Now, this is where things get a lot more interesting and confusing because there are so many to choose from. Aside from the traditional MBA, there are various other avenues that an entrepreneur should also explore before signing up for a degree course online.
The following are not the only options by any means, but they should give you an idea of how the vast opportunities are if one is willing to properly explore the world of online education.
Business Education: Beyond the MBA
The traditional MBA is not your only or necessarily best option. There is also Specialized Master’s in Business, MSc in Finance, Master’s in Entrepreneurship, Master’s in International Business, Master’s in Management, and quite a few others to choose from.
Artificial Intelligence: Introductory Courses
Will a short crash course on the use of AI in business teach you how to create an artificially intelligent and constantly learning software program of your own? Not unless you already have vast experience with software engineering! However, what it will teach you about is the importance of AI in modern business and how to utilize the available resources to your advantage as a business leader.
How about a Simple Learning Course for Learning New Things?
There’s an old saying that states that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but many old dogs will do anything if given the right motivation. While it can be exceptionally difficult to get back to education after years of not being into the habit, it is not impossible. This is where learning courses come in and make you a better student than before.
These are cheap and take only about 12 – 20 hours for most people to complete, so consider taking one of these before starting on a serious educational path again. Not only are thy helpful in getting you back into the mind-set necessary for going back to education, most people who take such courses and complete them with due diligence report a better ability to absorb new concepts, retain knowledge, and become a faster learner than they were before.
Largely, though, your choice of courses should depend on what kind of business it is that you are planning to start. Of course, a general business degree could be helpful in many ways, but more often than not, a specialization course on the side could also be helpful.
For example, an online MBA could be completed in just a year under accelerated programs, but it would still take a year at the very least. So, while you are getting your MBA online, why not explore a few crash courses more suited to what you will be working in?
It could be a small course in IT management or maybe a simple introduction to basic coding principles in Python. Or learning another language is never a bad idea, especially if you may need to deal with international clients, suppliers, or other contacts soon. The opportunities are there thanks to the internet. You just need to figure out which of them will get you closer to your goals and dreams faster.