Should you invest in an MBA or some other professional studies to boost your skills? Business owners share their views on what tertiary education has meant to them.
Tech gurus such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg are well known for having achieved great commercial success despite dropping out of university.
Entrepreneur Jack Delosa has previously told My Business he believes institutional education is “outdated and ineffective”, which he says is the reason he launched The Entourage as a community hub for start-ups.
“Business education – and even education and entrepreneurship – was so outdated and ineffective and slowly driven that people like me tended to opt out,” he says.
“There’s all of these practical skills that absolutely can be taught: it’s no different to learning accounting or learning marketing. They are all practical skills, they are just not adequately addressed in traditional universities.”
However, not everyone agrees with this sentiment, with many pointing to skills in leadership, analysis and decision-making as key components they have developed through formal education programs like an MBA.
“I always thought [leading] the business was probably a bit beyond what I could do. There were probably two questions I wanted to answer by doing [an] MBA: is it something I … could do, and was is it something I wanted to do?” explains Angus Kennard, the third-generation CEO of Kennards Hire, who took the reins in October 2016.
“If I look at myself two years ago, I don’t think I’d have been able to do the job, but now I’m engaged and excited in the position.”
When asked on the My Business Podcast about the value he found in completing an MBA, Angus replies that critical thinking is a core component of what he has learnt.
“I think it gives you a different way of thinking, a different way of approaching problems, especially around leadership and how you deal with people,” he says.
“I think subconsciously I probably draw on things every day. It just becomes a part of what you do and what you are.”
Is tertiary education valuable in your business? Tell us your thoughts below!
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.