Should Female Entrepreneurs Obtain MBAs?

The MBA has become a touchy subject with a lot of young entrepreneurs figuring out the next step in life. This article may have put it best, theorizing that the MBA is "losing its magic." Specifically, the reference was to the notion that an advanced degree in business would (magically) lead to better career opportunities; the more you study, the more you eventually earn.

That idea has been proven false in recent years. We've reached a point at which only the very best MBA programs can virtually guarantee a high return on investment. However, as alluded to in the aforementioned article, there are plenty of reasons beyond "magical" career opportunities that might still motivate a student to pursue an MBA. These include acquiring new skills, enjoying a learning opportunity, and networking.

But what about where entrepreneurs are concerned? Or, specifically, young women entrepreneurs, of which there are more and more these days? For people who fit this description, the conventional perks of the MBA may indeed be obsolete. There are, however,  some other benefits that make it worthwhile to at least consider the degree.

  • Exposure To "Bro" Culture - This isn't the most scientific benefit, but it's one that was mentioned in a Forbes write-up of reasons women should get the MBA, and it does make sense. There's a certain hyper-masculine, fraternity-like "bro" culture in business school and in business environments, and the process of obtaining an MBA can expose a female entrepreneur to that culture. Simply put, it's good practice for navigating a professional landscape that can be somewhat obnoxious, and you won't find the practice elsewhere.
  • Learning To Focus On Results - It's an interesting point made in the same Forbes write-up cited above with regard to bro culture. The idea is that in the high-speed, competitive environment of business school, you'll learn that "done is better than perfect." That may sound like a lazy lesson, but the world of business is results-driven. Perfection is great, but only as icing on the cake of a completed effort. This is a vital lesson for any entrepreneur, given that any start-up can fizzle out as a result of the futile chase for perfection.
  • Outlining Your Experiences and Goals - There is a surprising task that a number of ambitious entrepreneurs won't necessarily take the time to do without school structure. It's emphasized by one coaching platform, where numerous testimonials from MBA students refer to a self-reflection process. They discuss how they learned to analyze their own experiences, articulate their strengths and weaknesses, and outline their goals moving forward. This sort of process is just easier to come by in an educational environment, and it can be invaluable in helping you decide what kind of entrepreneur you want to be—and how you'll get there.
  • Receiving the Classroom Specifics - MBA conversations have become so focused on intangible benefits and return-on-investment that you can actually easily forget that you'll be taking classes. You may learn anything from how to balance a budget to how to structure a payroll, among other tasks. These are things that even driven, brilliant entrepreneurs can't simply understand through intuition or instinct, and while they can be learned independently, business school is there for a reason.

There are negatives of the MBA as well, to be sure. But these benefits can be of great assistance to any woman seeking to become an entrepreneur.