This article is contributed by Samantha Gray.
There are plenty of entrepreneurs out there who have made their way to the top without a college education, and that is something worth applauding. However, there is also a lot to be said for taking the time to grow personally and academically before trying your hand at entering the business world.
Although both approaches can work, the right college degree program can provide a wealth of knowledge and experience that can stay with you and inspire your business interactions forever, especially in a global context. Here are a few of the top reasons why any globally-minded entrepreneur should consider a degree:
1. Historical Awareness
Any bachelor’s degree will have some sort of history requirement, and all business students should take advantage of the opportunity to capitalize on that. There is nothing that gives you greater understanding of the present than fully studying the past. Business leaders with a firm understanding of how global civilizations have become what they are today will have a leg up on developing plans for the future and communicating and acting in the most historically aware manner.
2. Research Intelligence
If you choose a degree plan that offers a good amount of research-intensive humanities, such as sociology, psychology and anthropology, on top of business courses that require research, like economic and statistics, you will be perfectly primed to engage in conversation and criticism about the newest business research. Once you do some digging into how research findings can be spun and reported and how varying research techniques can produce varying results, you will be able to critically analyze research findings and decide for yourself whether they hold water. This is a huge advantage to have over business competitors who simply latch on to the newest research buzz.
3. Cultural Prowess
In today’s global business markets, the ability to make connections and work well with people from other backgrounds is not just handy, it’s an absolute necessity. Business leaders who speak second and third languages and who can readily adapt to different styles of communication and business customs will succeed over those who lack these traits. A college degree provides an opportunity to greatly broaden your horizons. There are chances to study abroad, or simply meet people in your classes with completely different cultural backgrounds from your own. In getting a higher education, many people are able to expose themselves to cultures that they would never have experienced otherwise.
All these skills, and more, can come together to advance anyone’s business mindset and capacity to think and function in global terms. Even though the value of a degree is different for everyone, there are definite reasons why a college degree can bring huge benefits to a business career in a global world.
Image Credit: courtesy of jeremy.wilburn via Flickr