Do you have dreams of founding your own company and working for yourself? If so, pursuing an entrepreneurship degree may be the right choice for you. Entrepreneurship involves turning a great idea into a business and filling a need in the marketplace. Entrepreneurs organize and operate these businesses, often taking on greater-than-normal financial risks in order to do so. If you are keen on the idea of becoming your own boss, learn more about entrepreneurship programs.
What You Learn in Entrepreneurship Programs
Having a degree is not required to become an entrepreneur. After all, many successful entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates and Richard Branson, have little to no formal education. However, taking entrepreneurship courses can help you gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to start and run a business. Entrepreneurship schools cover a wide range of business topics, including finance, economics, ethics, marketing, and management. Entrepreneurship classes that students may be required to take include the following:
- Developing a business plan
- Introduction to entrepreneurship
- Business management
- Marketing and sales plan
- Entrepreneurial finance
- Legal issues and ethics
- Entrepreneurship mindset
Entrepreneurship students typically learn how to operate a business. They may also learn how to develop professional sales presentations and put together business, sales, and marketing plans. In addition, entrepreneurship students may develop basic accounting and computer skills as well as leadership and problem-solving skills.
What Types of Entrepreneurship Degrees Are Available?
Degrees in entrepreneurship are offered at the associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level. Many entrepreneurship training programs also allow you to earn your degree entirely online. Associate’s degree programs usually take two years to complete, while bachelor’s degrees can typically be finished in four years.
Master’s degree programs take one to two years to complete, and can be offered as a Master of Science or Master of Arts degree or as a concentration for a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Doctoral degree programs can usually be completed in three to five years, and are offered as a concentration for a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA), as well as a major for Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs. The amount of time it takes to earn a degree in entrepreneurship will vary depending on whether you study part-time or full-time.
The admissions requirements for undergraduate programs in entrepreneurship are typically a high school diploma or GED, minimum required high school GPA, and test scores. Master’s and doctorate degree programs generally require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, a minimum required undergraduate GPA, minimum required GRE/GMAT scores, relevant work experience, and letters of recommendation. Doctoral degrees in entrepreneurship are suited to people who want to work in research or academia.
Entrepreneurial Career Path
As would be expected, a number of entrepreneurship graduates go on to start their own businesses. However, entrepreneurship graduates also qualify for many different business jobs. If you do not feel quite ready to start your own business after graduation and would like to get some work experience under your belt first, you could pursue one of the following job opportunities:
- Human resources manager
- Business manager
- Management consultant
- Marketing research analyst
- Non-profit fundraiser
- Business reporter
- Project manager
The salaries of entrepreneurs vary widely, and the income is not always stable. That being said, entrepreneurs enjoy unlimited earning potential. According to Forbes, the mean income for entrepreneurs is almost 50% greater than for employees. Furthermore, entrepreneurs who choose to pursue employment after graduation may have access to many lucrative job opportunities. For example form the above list, management consultants earned a median annual wage of $78,600 in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Entrepreneurship is a risky yet promising path. Although launching your own business is not an endeavor for the faint of heart, the rewards are great. What’s more, studying entrepreneurship equips you with an array of valuable business skills that would make you an asset to virtually any company. If you would like to take the plunge by hanging out your own shingle, explore entrepreneurship degree programs now.