What Are the Best Degrees for Entrepreneurs?

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Do you have a deep passion for an idea, goal, or business? Can you push through challenges and use every resource you can find to bring a dream to fruition? If so, you might be ready for a career as an entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is someone who creates and runs a business. To realize their business idea or goal, they create a firm. They bear most of the risks, but they also enjoy the rewards. The process of setting up a business is entrepreneurship.

Students with entrepreneurial aspirations can sharpen their skills by earning the right degree. The best choice depends on:

  • What you’re interested in
  • Your aptitude and ability
  • Your preferred industry

Since the field is vast, there are many useful degrees for entrepreneurs. While some entrepreneurs hold business degrees, others earn different degrees.

What is the Best Degree for an Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs do more than business-related tasks. They tend to be creative and thoughtful, thinking of new ideas and business ventures. The best degrees for entrepreneurs make room for creativity and imagination. They blend business with critical thinking and innovation with leadership.

The degree you earn should spark creativity. It should also give room for your interests and passions. While business may be the right major for you, others might prefer to take a humanities approach.

If you want to start your own business, take a look at some of these top degrees for entrepreneurs.

Business Related Degrees and Programs

1. Entrepreneurship Degree

Entrepreneurship degrees come in different forms. As an undergrad, you can earn a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree in entrepreneurship. At the graduate level, you can earn a Master of Science, a Master of Arts, or an MBA. For the MBA degree, you can pick up an entrepreneurship concentration.

The type of degree you choose depends on your qualifications and how much time you want to spend in school. No matter what your education level, your journey starts by taking entrepreneurship courses. It’s in these courses that you study the basics. Classes in undergraduate programs cover topics like:

  • Capital management
  • Global business
  • Product development

These courses have a common goal. They prepare you to make informed decisions for running your business. But they also cover topics from many different areas of business. You take courses in the following:

  • Accounting
  • Financial statements
  • Human resources
  • Innovative marketing
  • Sales
  • Social media branding

It’s important for entrepreneurs to know the operations of business, from HR to sales. That’s why this is one of the best business degrees for entrepreneurs.

2. General Business Degree

Business degrees provide students with a broad education in business. An MBA or BBA degree gives you a solid foundation in business and finance. But it also provides knowledge in other areas. In a BBA program, students learn the basics in:

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Marketing

Some business programs let you pick up a concentration or specialization. By doing so, you gain more knowledge in an area of interest. As a business major, you can take courses in accounting or strategic finance. You can even explore non-business subjects like computer science or psychology.

3. Economics Degree

Many consider economics a best degree for entrepreneurs. It gives you in-depth study on supply and demand. It also exposes you to other related areas of business, such as:

  • Government regulations in the business world
  • Market analysis
  • Production
  • Unemployment

People with an economics degree gain a broad overview of the economy. This helps budding entrepreneurs know how businesses influence society. It also helps them spot emerging trends.

4. Accounting and Finance Degree

If you’re wondering what to major in to be an entrepreneur, consider an accounting or finance degree. These business degrees give you a strong foundation in math. But not just any math. You study business-related mathematics.

This type of math helps entrepreneurs:

  • Balance accounting sheets
  • Manage budgets
  • Predict future earnings
  • Research stock market trends

If math isn’t your thing, you can take classes to strengthen your weak spots as you earn a finance degree. And when it’s time to apply for a business loan or attract internal and external stakeholders, you’ll woo them with your knowledge. You’ll also be able to make informed decisions about investing in new business or ideas.

5. Public Relations and Marketing Degree

Students learn useful business skills while earning public relations or marketing degrees. Remember, if no one hears about your product or service, then it doesn’t matter if it’s the best in the world. Your business is at risk of going broke.

That’s why future entrepreneurs choose to major in marketing and public relations. These programs focus on contemporary branding and marketing strategies. They help students learn how to brand a product and reveal it to the business world.

A marketing program teaches students how to keep a company running smoothly. They learn how to attract customers and keep them. As a marketing degree major, you take classes in many different areas.

Classes you take
  • Consumer behavior
  • Marketing management
  • Marketing strategy
  • Sales management

As a PR major, you learn to use communication strategies to help shape your business brand and image. You also learn how to convey communication to your target market. PR and marketing are some of the best majors for entrepreneurs. And if you love the communications classes you take, consider picking up a communications degree with your general business degree.

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Non-Business Degrees

Entrepreneurs are businesspeople. They understand that the flow of goods and services runs the economy and impacts your target market. To help you launch a business, enrolling in a degree program helps.
But the best degrees for entrepreneurs are not always business degrees. Many business degrees do offer foundational principles needed for business operations. But any degree can prepare you to become an entrepreneur.
Read on to find out what other degrees can help you in your business ventures.

1. English Degree

English degrees teach you how to write and communicate in a concise way. With your own business, you advertise and market your goods and services. As an English major, you have a leg up because you’ve learned how to communicate effectively. And if you know how to create content that sells, you’re already winning in business.

The most successful business leaders of the future know how to speak and write. That’s why the best degree for starting your own business is English.

During the beginning stages of a business, money is tight. You don’t always have the funds to hire a communications team or PR specialist. If you can write your own content and make it shine, you will gain a competitive edge that carries your business.

2. Psychology Degree

In search of the best degree to start your own business? How about psychology?

Psychology gives you an in-depth look at the human psyche and behavior patterns. Psychology majors learn why people make the decisions they do. But how does this relate to business?

If you know why people buy the products and services they do, you can better position your business. The buying process provides useful information for entrepreneurs. This information helps you create marketing materials that appeal to different people.

3. Computer Science or Engineering Degree

Do you dream of developing innovative computer systems or programs? You might want to major in computer science. You can always take classes or pick up a minor in business.
A computer science degree goes with any subject. But it works well with a business program. A computer science degree is also great for students with tech startup dreams. If you want to major in computer science to build a strong technology foundation, earn a concentration. By getting a concentration in entrepreneurship, you will have knowledge in both computer science and business.

4. Other Entrepreneur Degrees

The best degree for entrepreneur ventures, as stated above, isn’t always business-related. But your choice depends a lot on your interests.

If you’d like to invent new medical technology, a background in biology or a biomedical engineering degree might help. Want to launch your own accounting, investment, or law firm? You’ll need knowledge in these areas.

Some successful entrepreneurs have even majored in creative writing, English, or history. They’ve earned a communications degree or environmental science degree to launch successful businesses. The point is that they are passionate about these subjects.

To succeed in business, you need passion. So why not study what you’re passionate about? If you’re interested in subjects beyond business, study them.

Let your interests guide you in your studies and career goals.

 

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Traditional Business Degrees vs. Online Degrees

A global pandemic. New technology. These have both changed how people receive their education. But should budding entrepreneurs earn a bachelor’s degree online?

Entrepreneurs come up with new business ideas and put them to the test. They are always working and creating. So, wouldn’t it be nice to devote more time to your creative ventures?

An online bachelor’s degree is the best business degree for entrepreneurs. It doesn’t demand you quit working to attend class. It also gives you more free time as you explore your interests or work on your passion project.

Currently, you can study any discipline online. You can even find the best degrees for entrepreneurs online. From a BBA to an MBA, there are many online options from accredited colleges and universities.

MBA Program

The most popular entrepreneurship degree program is the MBA. This degree gives you advanced study in business. It builds on an undergraduate business program like a BBA. In an online MBA program, you take classes in all areas of business.

Classes you take

  • Business communication
  • Business ethics
  • Business strategy
  • Human resources
  • Organizational strategy

Project Management Program

Another popular business degree for entrepreneurs is project management. This degree prepares you for leadership roles. It is multidisciplinary, which gives you a broad foundation for business. Project management programs offer useful courses that cover different business practices.

Classes you take

  • Accounting
  • Business and economics
  • How to build marketing strategies
  • Information systems

You can find project management programs online.

Organizational Leadership Program

Organizational leadership is another common undergraduate degree for aspiring entrepreneurs. This online degree program gives you a wide range of business management skills. Students learn unique business tools.

Classes you take

  • Business analysis
  • Human resources
  • Project coordination
  • Sales and marketing
  • Supply chains and logistics

You also learn about organizational psychology. This helps you understand human interactions in the workplace. It also helps you identify how these interactions impact your business.

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Professional Degrees for Entrepreneurs

Many entrepreneurs are self-employed. They own their own businesses and work for themselves. But what if you want a professional career? Can you still be an entrepreneur and a doctor or a lawyer, too?

The answer is yes. Many doctors or lawyers work for themselves. They are self-employed professionals with specialized degrees. They may start their career working for an organization before striking out on their own. Here’s a look at two professional degrees for entrepreneurs.

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)

An MD is the degree needed to be a doctor. Doctors work in different areas of practice such as:

  • Family medicine
  • Geriatrics
  • Pediatrics
  • Women’s health

Self-employed professionals with an MD also work in other healthcare jobs such as:

  • Chiropractors
  • Naturopath doctors
  • Physical therapists
  • Research scientists

These professionals gravitate toward health care because they love helping people. But their entrepreneurial spirit inspires them to open their own clinic or practice.

Juris Doctor degrees (J.D.)

A JD prepares you for careers in law. Most lawyers have this degree. But you can also land careers as legal writers or consultants.

These professionals have excellent critical-thinking skills and a deep knowledge of the law. Like self-employed physicians, you can specialize in an area of law. Specialties include:

  • Bankruptcy
  • Business law
  • Estates
  • Family law
  • Trusts
  • Wills

But not all graduate-level programs make room for a double major. Lawyers with entrepreneurial aspirations can earn a business degree. They can also take business classes while completing pre-law requirements.

Some schools offer a joint MBA and law degree program. You earn these two graduate degrees back-to-back. For example, you can complete a law school program that lets you stack on an MBA. Most of these programs take between three and five years to complete.

The route to entrepreneurship requires planning and dedication. But those who embark on this career track often find that they’re rewarded for their work.

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Effects of the Gig Economy

Decades ago, when people graduated from high school, they got a job and stuck with it. They stayed at the job until retirement. People fortunate enough to land a job worked 20-40 years before retiring. In other words, they worked at these jobs for life.

But today this process is less common. Economic uncertainty and the rise of the entrepreneurial spirit caused gig economy to replace the old career-for-life model. In the new business model, people no longer expect to work at the same company for 20 years. They may not even work at the same company for 20 weeks.

Instead, they work short gigs. What is a short gig? It’s a contribution you make to a specific project. For example, designing a website or writing web content. These projects last for a few days or a few months. At the end of the project, gig workers leave the company they’ve been working for and find another gig.

Gig workers and freelancers

Most gig workers are freelancers and contractors. An Intuit study predicted 43% of American workers would be gig workers by 2020. Did this happen? Not even close. The percentage is much higher. It continues to rise as workers take on more than one job to supplement their income.

Freelancers, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs hold several jobs or gigs at a time. This increases the percentage of gig workers.

Final Words on the Top Degrees for Entrepreneurs

An entrepreneur career is liberating and exciting. It drives you to be your own boss. It also ignites a passion for your industry. You can do great things while enjoying the freedom of working for yourself. But you must learn to cope with the many challenges that threaten the existence of your business.

How to prepare yourself for an entrepreneurial career

The biggest way to prepare yourself as an entrepreneur is to earn a degree. You find entrepreneurship degree programs at the undergraduate or graduate levels. They provide budding entrepreneurs the vital startup skill to:

  • Adapt to issues and challenges
  • Make successful business decisions
  • Market and manage their company

Many business owners and entrepreneurs turn a passion into a viable business. For example, if your interests are in art, you can study both art and business. Self-employed people can turn their passions into a solid business venture.

It’s important to note that many people who are self-employed are part of the gig economy. Some choose gigs because they love being self-employed. Others move into gig work because of factors out of their control. But with business training, your risks decrease.

The most successful gigger and business owner has earned a degree in entrepreneurship. Having this degree makes all the difference in an entrepreneur’s success.

BDP Staff
May 2022

Related:

5 Great Online Degrees for Business Owners
30 Best Online Bachelor’s in Advertising and Public Relations
Top 30 Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration (BBA)
30 Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s in Business Administration at Private Colleges
Ultimate Guide to Business Degrees and Careers

This concludes our article on what is the top degree path to become an entrepreneur.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief