Should Millennial Entrepreneurs Pursue An MBA?

Many people have debated whether a college education is necessary to be a success. The education industry is changing and also reforming the beliefs that many once had about college.

On average, millennials are taking six years to get their bachelor’s degree instead of four years. What does that mean for MBA students?

Many people believe that an MBA can be a good requisite for entrepreneurs. However, most of us know that many people have become amazing entrepreneurs without an MBA degree.

So, the question remains: Should millennial entrepreneurs pursue an MBA?

Successful entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Jay-Z have proved that an MBA is not necessary. Bill Gates is a billionaire and Jay-Z is $450 million away from billionaire status. There are also dozens of multi-millionaires who have become successful without the help of an MBA.

Some people would agree that a student’s success is dependent on the prestige of the business school. Unfortunately, the top business schools are often the most expensive, costing about $100,000 for the degree program.

In a Business Insider article, Apu Gupta (Co-Founder of Curalate and Wharton MBA graduate) claims that true entrepreneurship cannot be learned in the classroom.

“I think the notion that you can go to business school to learn to be an entrepreneur is a misnomer. I have always found it odd that people go to business school to study entrepreneurship. If you want to study entrepreneurship, you need to go and be an entrepreneur.”

Erika Andersen (Forbes blogger and author of Growing Great Employees) advises getting an MBA if you do not feel confident in running a business. Shai Reshef, a social entrepreneur and the founding president of University of The People (the first U.S. accredited tuition-free university), agrees with Erika.

“As an entrepreneur at the intersection of education and technology, it took me a long time to learn what I needed and encountered many mistakes along the way,” says the University of The People founder.

An MBA can make some people better entrepreneurs, especially if they do not have the business framework beforehand. The University of The People currently has a baccaulerate program in business administration and plans to offer an MBA degree in the future. However, most people want a solution now. So, is there an alternative?

Recently, the University of Illinois made their MBA courses available for free through the online education platform, Coursera. It can be a great opportunity for people to earn some credentials, which may be helpful as entrepreneurs.

Students who are interested in getting the actual MBA degree need to apply for admission and pay about $20,000 in tuition. Paying $20,000 is quite a deal when you consider the average cost of an MBA.

Unfortunately, some people cannot even afford $20,000. Hope is not lost for them. In fact, there are free and lower cost options that one can utilize as a good substitute for an MBA.

Coursera provides a variety of select courses from other prestigious universities. Coursera is just one example of platforms that offer massive open online courses (also known as MOOCs). EDx and Udacity are some other platforms that offer massive open online courses.

While some people are not naturally tenacious or business minded, it does not mean that they cannot be successful entrepreneurs. In fact, they may be the perfect candidate for an MBA program.

Since the Great Recession, I have helped over 2,000 people reach the finish line in their careers. I tell all of my followers the same thing. There is nothing wrong with obtaining more education. Just avoid paying for it, if possible.

This article originally appeared in The Huffington Post.