Becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is no easy feat.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this particular postgraduate degree typically takes approximately four years to complete. And that’s after earning a minimum of 90 undergraduate semester hours, if not a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as biology or physics.
That’s why earning an additional degree in business isn’t always an easy decision, especially if your ultimate goal is to help patients achieve higher levels of musculoskeletal health. So, what are the pros and cons of taking this approach?
Pros of earning a business degree
One of the main reasons to pursue a business degree as a DC is that it can help you learn the skills necessary to creating a successful practice. By learning more about effective marketing techniques, proper accounting and bookkeeping processes, and human resources management, you gain knowledge that can help you build and grow a high-revenue chiropractic business.
Even if you plan on hiring someone to help you with these functions, the more you know about them yourself, the easier it is for you to monitor whether your business is being handled appropriately. At a minimum, it enables you to have an intelligent conversation with the person responsible for these duties because you know enough about the processes and procedures to know what types of questions to ask and what job functions need to be covered.
Earning a business degree can also help you hone your skills related to critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and logical thinking, and this can make you more effective at dealing with common business-related issues. For instance, if you notice that your marketing efforts aren’t increasing your patient list as much as you’d like, you can use what you’ve learned in your marketing classes to try other viable options.
Or, if you need to purchase a new record management system, you can use the information obtained in your business classes to help you select the best one.
With all of these pros, why would you want to think twice about earning a business degree? There are a few reasons.
Business degree cons
First and foremost, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in business means that you’ll have to spend more time in school. If you’re trying to run your practice at the same time, this means taking your nights, weekends, and holidays and using them to obtain your mandated credits. This translates into less time with family and friends, possibly even taking your lunches and breaks to complete your studies.
If you take your classes online, you can potentially minimize the amount of time you have to put in because you won’t have to travel to and from campus. However, if you want your business degree from a local college or university, then you might not be able to negate appearing in the classroom, increasing your time commitment even more.
And if you’re waiting to practice chiropractic until after you earn your business degree, you’re going to be delayed in the pursuit of your career for another two to four years (two years for an associate’s degree or four years for a bachelor’s). When you’re excited and ready to get started, this can be a less-than-appealing option.
In addition to requiring more time in school, earning a business degree also means additional educational costs. In 2018, this expense ranges from $9,970 per year at a typical 4-year public institution to $34,740 per year at a private, non-profit college or university. If you don’t have access to these levels of funds, this may reduce your ability to earn your business degree without creating a financial hardship on you and/or your family.
Questions to ask yourself
If you’re still unsure whether you should pursue a business degree in addition to becoming a DC, here are a few questions that can help you arrive at the best decision for you:
- Does your schedule allow you to take classes in your off time? If not, can you reduce your workload to a part-time status to help minimize the impact?
- Is your family supportive of this goal, giving you the time and space necessary to complete your coursework?
- Are you ready to spend your free time on classwork as opposed to relaxing with family and friends?
- Does your budget enable you to earn your business degree while still maintaining your other financial obligations?
- Do you think that earning a business degree is worth the time and effort required? Will you get the return on investment you want, in terms of both time and expense?
After asking yourself these questions, if you still want to pursue a business degree, then it is likely the best decision based on your interest and goals. On the other hand, if answering these questions makes you feel even more apprehensive about signing up for classes, then it may not be the best option for you at this point in time.