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Billionaire to young people interested in business: 'Get your MBA'

For many young professionals, including recent graduates from the class of 2017, summer is a perfect time to hunker down and decide what career move to make next.

That may mean figuring out what type of job you want, finding a summer internship, taking the next step at your company, switching jobs or pursuing an advanced degree.

If you're debating whether or not to get a Master of Business Administration, billionaire Tilman Fertitta has some advice for you.

"Let me just say this," the hospitality mogul says, speaking in a 2016 interview with CNBC, "God gave me a gift of understanding business.

"But if God didn't give you that gift and you want to be an entrepreneur and you want to be a business person, go get your MBA," says Fertitta, CEO of Fertitta Entertainment, the company behind Morton's The Steakhouse, Bubba Gump Shrimp and Golden Nugget casinos.

Going back to school can be a difficult decision. Getting an MBA can come with a steep price tag. Tuition at top schools can reach north of $60,000 per year in addition to lost wages while away from the workforce. Only about 11 percent of people age 25 to 34 end up getting an advanced degree, according to a 2016 U.S. Census report.

Tilman Fertitta
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tilman Fertitta

But, according to Fertitta, the benefits outweigh the costs.

"[I] don't even care if you major in business and finance, you just don't get a grasp of the problems and the experience unless you get your master's," he says about undergraduate school. "And that's just from dealing with people over the years that were young, that had an MBA or didn't have an MBA that I could personally communicate with."

The self-made business titan says it's all about knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

"I know that I can't play a musical instrument. I know that I can't change an oil filter on a car. But you can bring me any kind of business issue or problem, and I will detect it and tell you what the problem is and the solution within a few minutes," the billionaire says.

If know you have a knack for business, Fertitta says, "Don't worry about it."

Of course, be sure to make your own decision. Research if you really do need a graduate degree for your ideal job. Talk to people in the industry you're interested in. And figure out if getting another degree is financially realistic.

"I'm for somebody who knows they didn't get the gift to try to get their MBA. But if they know they got the gift, don't worry about it, just get your four-year degree," he says.

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