Why it’s time to say goodbye to the MBA

How can we educate the next generation of entrepreneurs? For many, the answer lies away from the classroom and costly qualifications…

Say goodbye to the MBA.

After years of dominance for the Master of Business Administration degree, it’s done for. It’s over. And yes, I’m calling it now.

When you look at the stats, it’s easy to see why. The average MBA costs $100,000 - $200,000 when you consider potential lost wages. Almost more importantly, it takes at a minimum, two years to complete.

Read: Six questions that need answering about the future of education

And, when it’s all said & done, when you’re finished with your degree, you have a piece of paper. Not experience, not a functioning business or a bunch of hard-earned lessons. Just a piece of paper. That’s great - and was probably a much better deal when it was half the cost and the job prospects were better, but nowadays the landscape has changed.

If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a bevy of entrepreneurial opportunities you can throw yourself into that are a much better (and safer), long term bet.

You can join an accelerator

Y Combinator will give start-ups up to $120k for ones they invest in. Techstars will give you 18k. And there are dozens of other options out there as well. These accelerators are focused on doing just that - accelerating the business process. Not by teaching more theory, or running through business plans, but by actually DOING entrepreneurship.

By getting dirty, facing the terror and actually trying to create something from nothing, build something that people will pay for and build a company.

You can become an apprentice

Want a much cheaper way to learn a craft than spending two years in an MBA? Take six months and work for free for someone elseYour base costs will be the same as your education costs (actually probably cheaper, minus tuition).

Read: Teaching girls to code with a bracelet

Not to mention, you can learn directly from an entrepreneur in the trenches themselves rather than spending time learning from a professor about theories.

You can learn skills, make yourself valuable and contribute meaningfully while keeping a low cost baseline. You can learn as much in six months doing entrepreneurship as you would in two years in a classroom.

You can bootstrap it yourself

Tech used to be expensive - so much so that you couldn’t start a business without a bank loan or a rich uncle. Not anymore. The cost of tech is falling drastically and the rate of innovation is picking up considerably.

If you have questions on how to do something or fix a problem, you can listen to podcasts, read tutorials, ask other entrepreneurs, go to conferences or join a mastermind and get information in a ton of different ways that cost dramatically less than the price of an MBA.

The big takeaway

When you look back to the guys building the big, influential and game changing companies - it’s not the guys who studied the most, it’s not the ones who had the most prestigious education, but it’s the ones that decided to build something right then and there. With the skills they had wherever they were - in their garage, dorm room or parents basement.

If we want to educate the next generation of entrepreneurs, the best way to do it is to get them started. Now.

This is a guest blog and may not represent the views of Virgin.com. Please see virgin.com/terms for more details. Thumbnail from gettyimages.

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