Does a business degree teach you to be an employee? - TwoWheelForum: Motorcycle and Sportbike forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
 
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Does a business degree teach you to be an employee?

I've been thinking about this one lately. If you get a degree in business, what does it teach you to do? The way I see it is that it teaches you to do one facet of business, but no useful skill/product/service that you can apply general business knowledge to. Academic studies and the real world are two totally different things, so if you think you can get a degree in marketing and get a job doing marketing, I bet you will be in for a surprise when you try to get a job. So why not just start a business doing marketing? Sure, if you have the time and money to build a marketing company from the ground up, but then most clients, same as companies, want you to have experience before they commit to paying you for a service that you don't have much accomplishment in. Finance? Most people would say to go be a stock broker, but who wants to employ a kid straight out of school to work with millions of dollars of YOUR money? And who wants to take a chance on a kid with most likely very few years or no years of sales experience? Stock broking is little more than sales these days for anybody that doesn't know.

Anyway, this is getting long, so I'll tie it up here. I have a degree in business and I'm finding that it is totally useless and the only accomplishment is that it has prepared me to be an employee. Being an employee is something that I used to accept as being the final destination, the older I get the more I want to own my own business as many have probably desired as well. The problem is that I can't find any marketable skills that I can apply to a business of my own! I know a lot about cars, but starting a shop that modifies cars is a risky endeavor since it's so competitive. I could find a company to manufacture parts that I design, but typically it's all been done before and again margins are very tight because of how competitive it is.

So anyway, does anybody have thoughts on the merit of a degree in business?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 04:20 PM
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 06:01 PM
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Get your MBA, otherwise us engineers make fun of you business types.

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 06:26 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm glad you mentioned the MBA. ANYBODY can get an MBA, it doesn't even matter if you have an undergraduate degree in business. If you can't pass the entry tests to prove proficiency in certain areas of business, then you take a class to teach you what you need to know before continuing. It's not 3-4 years of classes, it's at most 1 year of part time class work. Do you think you could get a Masters in Engineering without first getting an undergraduate degree in engineering? Would there only be a year worth of basic classes to take to prepare you for a Masters in Engineering? I honestly haven't done the research to know, but somehow I highly doubt it.

A friend of mine has a degree in Industrial Engineering and recently got an MBA in 2 years from Xavier in Cincinnati, OH. He had to take all of the basic business classes to get up to speed, it still only took 2 years.



A business degree isn't quite universal from what I've found, but if you manage to gain experience in another area of business while on the job, then you don't need a separate degree to move into that area. For the most part, certain jobs usually say, "Must have a degree in Accounting or Finance" or whatever the case may be. 95% of the time they want a degree and experience, and more often I'm noticing that you need an MBA and experience. The problem is getting the EXPERIENCE!!!

The "entry level" jobs in business that I'm finding don't even require a degree and have no guarantee that you will ever do anything pertaining to your degree once you graduate from "head envelope licker" or whatever entry level job you got. I looked into entry level engineering jobs just for comparison and there were noticably more entry level jobs that require a degree in a certain area of engineering and NO experience.

What I'm gathering from this is that in business experience is way more important in GETTING the job, but you need the degree to advance above a certain level someday.

I'll close with a quote from Bill Gates of Microsoft fame,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Gates
Let me put it this way. say you added two years to my life and let me go to business school. (He dropped out of Harvard after less than 2 years for anybody that doesn't know) I don't think I would have done a better job at Microsoft. Let's look around these shevles and see if there are any business books. Oops. We didn't need any.
If the richest man in the world can get there learing while he builds his business then I don't think business is a good major. Afterall he was a billionaire after 12 years of owning Microsoft! And if you ever need advice on how to start up or run a business, there are no shortage of consultants to give you pointers along the way.

I can EASILY testify that I have learned more about business in the 2 years since graduating from reading books than I ever learned while in school. I've learned more about LIFE in the last 2 years than I did in ALL my years in school. I THINK reading books about business areas that interest you and applying them to ANY job that you happen to have, will be more valuable than 4 years of business education at any school. It is my belief that our current education system is WAY out of date and in despirate need of overhaul. It just so happens that I remember reading an article about a new style of education being applied at a school in Boston, MA that is funded and influenced by Bill Gates. From reading about his childhood, it's no wonder that he was very successful in life. I wish my parents had done a few things more like that. Overall, though, I'm happy with my parents performance as parents. I admit to being one hell of a problem to raise so it's partly or mostly my own fault and I certainly wasn't ready for college when I went, but I was pretty much forced into that one. Option 1: college and we pay for most of it. Option 2: You are on your own from this day forth until you decide to go to college. OF COURSE I took the college route!
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 06:33 PM
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It doesn't mater what endeavor you chouse to try for your business. Its all risky.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 06:36 PM
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Yeah, I am debating going back for night school to get my MBA because they want engineers to have that background if you want to go into management to replace middle management that usually doesn't know the tech side of the business like an engineer.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 06:42 PM
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I don't think you can ever get to many entails to back you up as long as you aren't over qualified.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeps84
It doesn't mater what endeavor you chouse to try for your business. Its all risky.
What is riskier? Working for somebody else believing that your efforts are worth more money not knowing if they will downsize and eliminate you for somebody that costs less to employ and does the same work, or working out a thorough business plan that could launch you into financial realms your current job may never achieve? Anything can happen working it an "at will" environment, and employees are expendable. What is more rewarding? Working your ass off hoping to get a raise and keep your job while making the owner of the company richer and making his shareholders happy, or working your ass off for yourself in your own business to make YOU richer? I admit finding a business idea isn't easy, otherwise I would be telling you about how I did it already and I'm rich beyond my wildest employee dreams. I am disillusioned with the business field and I'm focusing on sales jobs in which my pay is directly related to how well I do my job every pay period. This way I make more money than I may otherwise be able to, and this money I will invest like crazy to get to the point that I either have enough money to live on as a fulltime investor, or come up with a business idea that I want to tackle. I specialized in investing in college and I no doubt will use it a lot in my life, but I could have learned all the same knowledge from books and in fact I AM still getting great amounts of knowledge from books I read in my spare time.

VolEngineer, if going into management is what you want and an MBA is what they want to qualify you, then that is your path. But, if you wanted to start your own engineering firm, the degree is obviously not necessary unless you believe it is.

Last edited by Beau; 11-06-2005 at 06:55 PM.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeps84
I don't think you can ever get to many entails to back you up as long as you aren't over qualified.
And if you do become overqualified then you get laid off. Too much knowledge isn't rewarded either, too much tenure isn't either unless you are a professor. There will always be somebody younger and less expensive to employ right on your heels. Business politics are a bitch.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 07:04 PM
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I've been on both sides of the fence. I worked my way up as far as I wanted to go with a company with classes and allot of ass kissing. I had a serious off job injury. Then a Younger man took the job for 1/2 the money.

After all that I changed my whole career. Now I work for my self. It is PITA sometimes but well worth it.

I will tell you that it scared the he!! out of me to do it. Now I just wonder why I didn't do it sooner.

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Curiosity drove me to see if you listed your occupation in your profile earlier, so you drive trucks on contract now or something? It sounds like you agree, though, that working for yourself is much better than being an employee.

By my calculations, I can survive on $500,000 invested in stocks and never work again. I've educated myself about the real estate market since graduation and now I am in awe of how much money is available for the taking. It's WAY more like stocks than I ever imagined. Investing has always captivated me, so maybe my "business" is just to become an investor. But, first I need the money so I need a job that pays well. Sales looks like my best option for now.

[EDIT] You are probably thinking I should be a stock broker after reading that since it involves investing and sales. The thing is that other sales jobs can pay a lot more in the first 4-5 years and have lower entry barriers. Who knows, maybe I will ultimately end up as a broker, it's still an option and no doubt a good one.

Last edited by Beau; 11-06-2005 at 07:46 PM.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 07:47 PM
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-06-2005, 08:44 PM
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i ride something with 2 wheels... and study books....who said anything about money? (college student)



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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 01:37 AM
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Yes, I'm a lowly Truck Driver and before that. I was just a lowly Grounds Supper. I started that job as a minimal wage labor and worked my way up with hours of class and hard work. I was content with what I was doing and the money. I wasnt intrested in an office job. (Next move up)

Then when the blessing in discuses came. I changed direction completely. Well almost completely. In times of need. I fell back on what I knew. I was driving Dump Trucks before I even had a license to drive a car. I worked for a couple of big companies driving and a small company that showed me it could be done. I took what I learned working for them, emptied the bank account and bought my own truck.

Now I have to find my own loads, negotiate my prices, pay my own taxes, retirement, insurance and allot of other BS. Its all worked out so far and I'm surviving even with the outrageous fuel prices.

The only real investments I have are the normal CD's, IRA bla bla bla. I'm not getting rich no time fast but, I make a comfortable living. It doesn't really mater if you work for your self or somebody else. You will always have somebody to report to. Even if its the customer that is paying for your services. They are still the Boss. You just get to decide how to get the job done.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
 
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jeeps,

I think what you've done is great. You took something know and turned it into a business. What I've learned in the past year or so is that you can make almost anything into a profitable business if you have the balls to do it. I wish my parents had been more supportive of my love of cars and motorcycles, but to them the only way to make something of myself was to go to college and put cars on hold. Somehow, someway, I could have made a business out of it. And that was way back when imports were just gaining popularity, so who KNOWS what kind of company I could have founded making little trinkets and cold air induction kits or the stupid foam socks that claim to prevent sucking water into your intake or the Tornado! It doesn't take a big idea, just a catchy one that sells millions to make a great profit. I can still do something with cars, but now I don't have the luxery of living at home for free while I learn the ropes. Of course I won't let that stop me.
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 01:18 PM
 
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A business degree will barely get you an interview with me...It doesn't tell me you know how to do anything...an accounting degree or finance degree with a CPA or CMA tells me you have a skill and can do something. Generalized degrees give you generalized skills...you need to get a degree in something that will get you a career. Real Estate is good... one of the most consistent ways to accumulate wealth in the world is through real estate. Plus, you own your own business. Arms dealing is in the top 5, but it has high entry barriers...
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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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I've been reading a lot of books about real estate lately and I have learned a lot about how to make money with it, but I don't want to be a real estate agent. If I could find another type of job in real estate without needing money to begin with, I would jump on the opportunity. Whatever I end up doing, investing in real estate will be my main investment.
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 09:58 PM
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Real-estate is a right time right place deal. It can be as risky as a junk bond.
Anybody interested in it should really study the market before buying just to flip.

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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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I don't know about your area, but Florida's RE market seems to be slowing down a lot lately. Prices are still rising, lots of houses are still selling, but it's slowing down from the studies I've read. I'm more of a buy, hold, rent out the house kind of RE investor. If I had money to invest that is.
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 11-07-2005, 10:48 PM
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Its a Sellers market here. Every thing is way over priced and still selling. IMO
The only good deals are foreclosures and auctions. They usually are snatched up before the public even knows about them.

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