Is a Business Degree Right for You?

master's degree

In the fall of 2016, an estimated 20.5 million students enrolled in college. And while the college-age population is rising, more 18 to 24-year-olds are enrolled than ever before, much of the student population is entering directly from high school. You might be asking yourself, is a business degree right for me? Here are a few things you should consider before buying textbooks.


A four-year undergraduate degree costs between $9,650 and $33,480, according to data found from the College Board Survey of Colleges. Tuition and fees for an in-state school average $9,650, while students who travel out of state for an education can expect to pay $24,930 at a four-year public university. Tuition to a private non-profit university is by far the most costly, at $33,480.

Prospective students should know that there are other opportunities for education available. Online resources like Khan Academy offer free online courses that cover dozens of subjects that teach marketable skills from computing and coding to economics and entrepreneurship.


Not everyone has the time to go to school for four years. Whether you have kids, a current job that demands your time or other responsibilities that may pull you out of the classroom, it’s not uncommon for life’s circumstances to interfere with a traditional college education.

However, today’s classrooms are evolving. More and more universities are offering online courses that can be completed on a student’s own time. There are still deadlines, but students have the flexibility to get their work done and study on their own time without having to worry about commuting to campus, finding a babysitter or reaching a work schedule.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that business-related careers rank high when it comes to America’s top paying jobs. For example, some of the highest paying careers in business-related fields include chief executives, who rake in median pay of $165,080 every 12 months, engineering and architectural managers who earn $119,260 annually and IT systems managers who take home $115,780 each year.

Traditional education plays a large role in the amount of money you take home. But it’s not always the one deciding factor. Many successful entrepreneurs have set out on their own paths or dropped out of college, yet still managed to achieve success. Some examples include Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Mark Cuban. Even the founder of Coca-Cola, Charles Culpepper and Walt Disney pursued opportunities that strayed from a traditional college degree. This goes to show that a person can achieve success in business, even without a business degree.

Staying Competitive

Cost, time and return all play a role when deciding whether a traditional college education is the right option for you. Whatever your circumstances may be, you should always aim to keep your doors open. You can do this by volunteering, joining networking events, taking free online classes to learn a new skill, keeping your resume polished and even picking up a side hustle.

Figure out what you like to do. For example, you could be your own boss and make a little extra with Amway. The direct selling business provides people from across the globe with their own business opportunity. Amway cites that 3 million people have set out on their own entrepreneurial path using their business model as a platform. Do some research. Find a side hustle that is a good fit. You might learn something new, make a connection or hone your business skills, all while earning a paycheck.