You don’t need a degree to become an entrepreneur — that is one of the true benefits of entrepreneurship. Anyone, anywhere, with a valid business idea can launch a company and have the opportunity to find success.
However, being successful in entrepreneurship is not guaranteed, and the more you can do to equip yourself with valuable knowledge and skills before you launch your small business, the more likely you are to succeed. To that end, you should seriously consider earning at least a bachelor’s degree before you begin your entrepreneurial career. Here are a few of the most impactful business degrees for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Believe it or not, there are degree programs dedicated to teaching students how to succeed as entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship degrees typically provide instruction in business operations as well as ideation, product and service development, and business financing — all uncommon knowledge and skill sets that will be undeniably useful as you build and launch your startup.
However, before you immediately enroll in an entrepreneurship program, you might consider that if your business is successful, you won’t be an entrepreneur forever. A growing business shifts your role into that of business leader, which requires a much different set of skills. Thus, it tends to be wiser for more entrepreneurs to pursue a degree in a field that will have lasting benefits, such as…
Getting a bachelor’s in business administration provides a foundation of business knowledge and skill that tends to be widely applicable and thus valuable for all sorts of business careers, entrepreneurship included. In a business administration program, you will learn the essential components required for running a business: accounting and finance, project management, information technology, human resources and marketing — and more. While you can integrate entrepreneurship courses into this program, you will gain so many more useful skills for helping a business thrive and grow as it sees success, which is truly what is required for making your entrepreneurial dreams come true.
The ultimate goal of a business is to make money, and to make money, you need to understand the principles of business finance. Therefore, having a finance degree could be incredibly valuable to your entrepreneurial goals. Unlike accounting, which focuses on the day-to-day flow of cash in and out of an organization, finance concentrates on the broader management of business assets and liabilities. Equipped with a finance degree, you might be able to make better decisions regarding startup funding and spending to ensure stronger and more stable growth into the future.
If you want an even broader view of financial matters to bolster your entrepreneurship, you might invest in an economics degree. Economists study financial systems as well as the human behavior that can influence those systems. Having a firm understanding of economics can help you as an entrepreneur by providing more skill in market research and analysis, which will allow you to identify forces that could bolster or threaten your business ideas and plans. What’s more, an economics degree could be useful as your startup sees success and you look to expand into new regions and markets.
As the saying goes, everything is marketing. Every detail of how your business operates will help or hinder its success in that it will affect how your consumer audience perceives your brand. Thus, having experience in the field of marketing could help you strategize and act with your brand’s long-term reputation in mind. A dedicated degree will help you learn the hard and soft skills of marketing, to include demographic data analysis and creative campaign design. With the right marketing, your startup can breeze past the startup phase and grow into a thriving organization with customer engagement and support.
Communication is not merely the most important skill for an entrepreneur — it is easily the most important skill for any professional in any field or career position. Communications degrees provide students with the knowledge and skill to effectively and efficiently transfer information in any setting. Often, communications degree programs overlap with journalism, mass communication, public relations and corporate communications fields. As an entrepreneur, you will be communicating with a vast and diverse crowd, from investors, lenders and venture capitalists to employees and business partners to masses of consumers. Knowing how to communicate in such differing environments is key to having your messages understood and valued by those who can make your entrepreneurial dreams come true.
You might think of yourself as an entrepreneur today, and you can consider identifying as such as you pursue the knowledge and skill you need to find entrepreneurial success. A college degree could be the missing piece in your entrepreneurship strategy, and it never hurts to have more knowledge and skill to support your dreams.