Do You Need a Graduate Degree Before You Launch Your Startup?

The short but misleading answer to this question is no. It’s misleading because technically if you are launching your own business, there’s no educational requirement or any other kind of requirement. Anyone can launch a startup anytime without any preparation. A better question might be, will getting a graduate degree increase the likelihood of success of a startup? Now we’re getting somewhere, but the answer is still that it depends. Let’s take a closer look at some of the factors you should consider.

Graduate Degree Before You Launch Your Startup


On the one hand, graduate school can be expensive, and you might wonder if you should be putting all of that money toward your business. On the other hand, graduate school can offer plenty of advantages that could increase the likelihood of your success. In addition, keep in mind that as was the case with your undergraduate degree, there are plenty of resources you can use to pay for college. In fact, taking out a student loan from a private lender could be a good deal if you’ve got a credit history now, which probably wasn’t the case when you were an undergraduate. You can cover the cost of the next step with student loans from private lenders that offer favorable interest rates if your credit score is strong.

Your Industry

Are you going to graduate school to get an MBA, or are you seeking further expertise in the field that will be the focus of your startup? Are you already involved in the communications sector but desire a more advanced understanding of things like enterprise communication solutions and modern corporate strategies? We’ll discuss the MBA below, but in terms of your startup, the first question to answer is whether you need certain credentials that include a master’s degree.

For example, if you want to run your own private practice as a social worker or have your own architectural firm, you may need a master’s. You should check your state as well as federal requirements for your field. In some other areas, you may struggle to be competitive without a masters. You might also need a graduate degree if you are moving into a new line of work. Do your research and find out if this is the best route for you based on your plans.

Getting an MBA

Getting an MBA is something else entirely. If you plan to be a consultant, an MBA may enhance your marketability in the corporate world or as an independent contractor. An MBA can also teach you how to be an entrepreneur and run your own business. While you might be able to pick up this information in a more piecemeal way, it will require a lot of self-motivation, and it will not come with the resources that you get along with an MBA.

The networking that you are able to do when you work on an MBA is one of its most valuable features, but there are also the resources available in the form of your professors’ expertise. You can test out some of your ideas in your classes and even work on aspects of the business formation as part of your coursework. In addition, if you’d like to work at a day job while you get your startup going, an MBA can open more doors for you.