Is It Worth Hiring Degree Educated Staff for a Startup?

online-business-degreeIn the early days of your startup, you might not need any staff. It will be just you and a lot of hours spent networking and brand building. As time goes on, however, and the business begins to grow, you will need to take on extra staff to help you expand. After all, one man or woman cannot be all things to all people. The question here is how well educated do your employees need to be?

There is a lot of discussion online about whether it is worth having a degree. A degree education is expensive and although you can save money by studying for an online MBA degree, you are still likely to end up with a significant debt to service.

In some instances, it is worth getting into debt, since an online masters of business administration will open a lot of doors in the business world, but given the choice between two candidates, one of whom has a degree and the other doesn’t, you need to figure out which one is right for your business?

Experience vs. Education

It’s a tough call, but in most cases, experience is more important than qualifications. Larger employers tend to filter out candidates based on simple things like education and qualifications. It’s an easy way of cutting down 200 candidates to a more manageable 50. However, formal education won’t be enough to help you run a startup. Instead, you need people with the right experience to help you grow the business.

Real world experience is crucial for a startup. Since you will probably be learning as you go, it makes sense to hire people who have more experience than you do in certain key areas. For example, if you have no experience of SEO or marketing, look for someone who has several years’ worth under his or her belt. With their assistance, you can build a great SEO and marketing strategy, which will push your new startup to the next level.

Look at the Whole Person

Education tells you whether the person is bright, but it doesn’t tell you whether they have a good work ethic. Anyone can attend college and study for a general degree in communications, but not everyone has what it takes to achieve an MBA. The difference is work ethic and ambition. Since startups need people who are willing to work extra hours and pour their heart and soul into making the business a success, look for candidates who can show they have what it takes to go the extra mile.

A Strong Work Ethic

People who have worked internships and have a range of voluntary positions on their resume are a good choice. This type of experience shows that the person is willing to put themselves out there and work for free, just to gain valuable experience.

A college education is not the bottom line when recruiting for a startup. Look outside of the resume and make a judgement based on the person standing in front of you. Above all, the right experience matters more than a piece of paper.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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