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What is Entrepreneurship?
Majoring in entrepreneurship can lead to a wide variety of career opportunities in Wyoming. While this degree is most appropriate for individuals interested in starting their own businesses, it can lead to many traditional employment options as well. The knowledge and skills obtained while studying this subject are easily transferred and applied to almost any profession and industry. While higher education is not technically required in order to create and manage businesses, obtaining a degree can lead to greater success. Those with a strong foundational understanding of important topics are often better prepared to overcome the various challenges and stresses associated with being a business owner.
Entrepreneur is a fairly broad term, although it typically refers to people who create and manage their own businesses. As these professionals can establish companies and organizations of varying size in almost any industry, opportunities can be numerous. They often enjoy a lot of freedom, establishing their own schedules, responsibilities, and pay. Owners can also choose the type of work they perform, where they are located, and who they work with.
The type of tasks performed by entrepreneurs generally depends on the level of participation they choose to have in their businesses. The most involved owners oversee all operations, from developing policies and reviewing financial activities to working a till and handling customer service issues. Entrepreneurs who take on less active roles, however, may do as little as review progress reports and/or approve budget requests. Ultimately, the amount of involvement and scope of responsibilities varies based on personal preference. While daily responsibilities will vary, all entrepreneurs must follow local, state, and national laws and regulations pertaining to their businesses. The most successful business owners possess strong work ethics, as well as skills in communication, critical thinking, customer service, finance, leadership, planning, and problem-solving.
While the personal and professional independence and autonomy associated with being an entrepreneur is highly appealing to some, it is daunting to others. Establishing a new company can be risky, especially when investing significant time and resources into the venture. Other potential drawbacks include the heightened stress of knowing income is directly linked to business performance. This can be particularly problematic when ventures stagnate or fail. Unfortunately, many businesses do fail within only a few years of being created. As a result, entrepreneurs must carefully assess their abilities and the viability of their ideas.
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Online Entrepreneurship Education in Wyoming
The outlook for entrepreneurs is generally promising. There are many opportunities for new businesses to thrive, but prospective owners must also take care when choosing their ventures. Some company types fair better than others. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most profitable sectors are healthcare and social assistance. Businesses with the lowest rates of survival in the United States are often related to construction.
Entrepreneurs also have decent earning potential, although pay will ultimately depend on the industry chosen and overall business success. According to PayScale, hourly rates for self-employed professionals range from $11.40 to $81.74. The average base salary for small business owners is $63.658, which is well above the annual mean wage of $52,110 in Wyoming as of May 2021.
Professional and business services is the fifth largest industry in Wyoming, accounting for $6.4 billion of the state’s revenue each year. As previously mentioned, however, graduates will also be able to find work in other top sectors. Other viable opportunities that may be available to entrepreneurship graduates in Wyoming include working for educational services, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, real estate, retail, construction, wholesale, entertainment, finance, and insurance.
Academic programs related to entrepreneurship and business are offered by colleges and universities throughout the nation. While online learning makes it easy to enroll and study from nearly anywhere in the world with internet access, prospective students who plan to work in Wyoming should give preference to schools located in the state. While generally a good idea, this is particularly important for those intending to start their own businesses. Local institutions will be most familiar with the laws and regulations for companies and organizations established in Wyoming. This means instruction will be more relevant and directly applicable after graduation.
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While a degree in entrepreneurship is not required to open a business in Wyoming, obtaining one can be very beneficial. Generally, any level of higher education will set you apart from professionals who lack it, whether you intend to start your own venture or work for someone else. This can lead to more opportunities and higher pay.
Entrepreneurship degrees can be found at every academic level – associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate. Some colleges and universities may also have relevant undergraduate and graduate certificate programs available. This major is not offered at every academic institution, however. As a result, it may be necessary to select a related area of study instead, such as business and business administration.
Online Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship (AS)
Associate degree programs in business and entrepreneurship generally consist of 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. This is an undergraduate degree, which means that students take both general liberal arts and major-specific classes. In addition to basic communication, mathematics, and sociology topics, those enrolled can expect instruction that broadly examines relevant business topics. Common areas of study include accounting, marketing, business law, and business ethics. Additionally, there may be opportunities to learn about various software programs used to create spreadsheets, presentations, and written documents.
This is an ideal degree for individuals seeking to gain the minimum skills needed to open, manage, and grow businesses quickly. Graduates may also qualify for jobs as retail managers, office managers, general sales managers, business analysts, and business consultants.
Graduates also tend to possess a strong foundation for future learning and, as a result, sometimes choose to enroll in bachelor’s degree programs instead of seeking professional employment right away. This is a good money-saving tactic, as community colleges often charge lower tuition rates than traditional four-year institutions. Students can then transfer the credits they earned while attaining their associate degrees and have them applied towards their new programs. Most colleges and universities accept up to 60 or 90 academic credits from properly accredited institutions. This is typically equivalent to two years of a four-year degree, which means those with associate degrees have already met approximately half the requirements needed to graduate.
Online Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship (BS)
Bachelor’s degree programs in business and entrepreneurship generally consist of 120 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students four years to complete. This is also an undergraduate degree, which means that students are still responsible for taking both general liberal arts and major-specific classes. In addition to basic communication, mathematics, and sociology topics, those enrolled can expect instruction that pertains to low-risk startups, entrepreneurial finance, and consulting. Those enrolled can also expect to develop skills in leadership, organization, and problem-solving.
This type of degree is ideal for those who intent to establish their own businesses. Graduates typically possess great professional independence and strong work ethics, which makes them capable of becoming successful private business owners. It’s also possible to find professional employment with companies and organizations seeking workers with knowledge and skills in business and finance.
Graduates may also decide to pursue further education by enrolling in master’s degree programs. Every colleges and university is different, but most require applicants to have bachelor’s degrees in entrepreneurship or a related subject, as well as minimum grade point averages (GPAs) and Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) test scores.
Online Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship (MS)
An online master's degree in entrepreneurship generally consists between 30 and 60 credit hours of coursework that takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. Curriculums at this level no longer require general liberal arts classes, although specific undergraduate prerequisites may need to be met prior to admittance. Instead, students should expect to receive instruction in topics solely related to business. While requirements very, those enrolled also often spend time learning about financial management and strategic marketing. Some colleges and universities offer opportunities for those enrolled to select concentrations or specialty areas of study that further direct coursework.
This type of degree is ideal for individuals wishing to further develop their knowledge and skills in business creation and management. While graduates may qualify for various kinds of employment, many choose to apply what they learn to the development of their own businesses.
Another viable degree options available is the Master of Business Administration (MBA). As the most popular graduate degree in the United States, the MBA offers many professional benefits. Students enrolled typically work to hone skills in strategy, marketing, global business, and supply chain management, all of which are useful when starting a business or applying for professional employment. Notably, graduates often qualify for senior-level and management positions.
Online PhD Degree in Entrepreneurship (PhD)
Doctorate and PhD programs in business and entrepreneurship generally consist of between 90 and 120 credit hours that take full-time students four to seven years to complete. Curriculums vary, but most programs are designed to teach students about various research methods, economics, and multivariate data analysis. Those enrolled can expect to spend the first few years receiving direct instruction from professors. The final years or study, however, are generally comprised of independent research and writing. Most colleges and universities require prospective graduates to present their findings in the form of written dissertations.
This is a terminal degree, meaning it is the highest level of education available in the field. While it can lead to high-level employment opportunities as directors of operations or chief operating officers, it’s rarely needed for entrepreneurs opening their own businesses. Those interested in research and postsecondary education positions may also find this degree beneficial.
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Become an Entrepreneur in Wyoming
As previously mentioned, there are many different professional opportunities available to entrepreneurs in Wyoming. If this is a career you are interested in, your first step should be identifying your ultimate goals. Determining whether you want to open your own business or find related employment working for someone else can dictate your next moves. Once you know your preferences, it will be easier to find and select the most appropriate degree program. You will also be able to identify what training and experience requirements must be met.
Once you have obtained a degree in entrepreneurship, it may be beneficial to pursue one or more professional certifications applicable to the field. While there are few credentials related directly to being an entrepreneur, many business certifications can enhance career prospects for current and prospective owners, as well as those seeking employment with other companies and organizations. Notably, few employers require certifications during the hiring process, but they do often give preference to candidates who possess them. Additionally, obtaining these credentials can lead to more promotional opportunities and higher pay potential.
There are many business certifications available in the United States and aboard. It’s often most beneficial to pursue credentials that apply to your chosen industry.
Some prominent options include:
- Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
- Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP)
- Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP)
- Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM)
- Certified Logistics, Transportation and Distribution (CLTD)
- Certified Professional Logistician (CPL)
- Certified Professional Contract Manager (CPCM)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
If you are planning to start your own business in Wyoming, it’s vital that you become familiar with the state’s laws and regulations. This process is overseen by the Wyoming Secretary of State Business Division. While there are many third-party companies offering assistance, the most reliable and helpful resources are available on the division’s official website.
Every company and organization is different, which means you will need to start by determining your entity type. You will also need to select a company name and establish a registered agent, which ensures important correspondence reaches you in a timely manner. After that, it’s time to complete and submit the correct forms. Wyoming makes this easy, as most necessary documentation is available in both paper and online formats. Choosing to file your business information online ensures your account is active as soon as the application is completed. Filing paper forms, however, may require up to 15 business days of processing time. Additionally, if applicable, workers’ compensation documentation should be filed with the Department of Workforce Services. Once established, annual reports about your business are due every year on the first day of the month in opened.
It's worth noting that starting a business in Wyoming is a relatively inexpensive endeavor. The filing fees for most entities are $100, but non-profit corporations only pay $50. You will, however, need to pay state sales and use taxes through the Department of Revenue.
Potential Careers for Entrepreneurship Graduates
- Business Owner
Small business owners are generally responsible for establishing, maintaining, and growing their companies. While it is possible to take less active roles in the process, most oversee daily operations, direct production, supervise personnel, develop new policies, and direct financial activities. They may, however, delegate some or all of these tasks to others under their employ instead. According to PayScale, small business owners make an average base salary of $63,000 per year.
- Business Analyst
Business analysts are responsible for ensuring that their assigned departments are functioning properly. These professionals often perform a wide variety of tasks such as performing employee assessments, processing requests, and certifying that worker needs are sufficiently met. They may also be expected to create, implement, and evaluate business metrics. According to PayScale, business analysts make an average base salary of $61,850 per year.
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- Business Consultant
Business consultants are responsible for creating business models designed to increase profitability by improving customer outreach and/or identifying potential vendors for future product contracts. These professionals often assess current company procedures and then provide a list of suggestions to stakeholders. They may also be tasked with helping to identify and execute various infrastructural changes. According to PayScale, business consultants make an average base salary of $75,100 per year.
- General Sales Manager
General sales managers are responsible for overseeing the performance of sales departments assigned to them by employers. These professionals generally complete numerous associated tasks such as hiring and training employees, assisting sales teams, ensuring targets are met, compiling revenue data, and presenting relevant information to upper management. They may also be expected to perform some general marketing duties. According to PayScale, general sales managers make an average base salary of $65,700 per year.
- Marketing Manager
Marketing managers are responsible for developing and overseeing advertising campaigns for their employers. These professionals often focus their attention on single products, full product lines, whole brands, or entire companies. This often entails conducting market research studies and presenting their findings to employers. Once campaigns are established, they spend most of their time monitoring program performance and coordinating enhancements with product managers. According to PayScale, marketing managers make an average base salary of $66,300 per year.
- Office Manager
Office managers are responsible for ensuring that all operations run smoothly in specific sections of the companies they work for. These professionals are generally in charge of various office activities and projects, as well as supervising employees and implementing new policies. They may also be tasked with other assignments as needed and should be prepared to provide updates for high-level executives. According to PayScale, office managers make an average hourly rate of $18.28, which is an estimated base salary of $49,300 per year.
- Retail Manager
Retail managers are responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the store or stores they are assigned. These professionals complete numerous tasks such as managing store inventories, tracking company goals, and assisting with annual budget planning. They are also expected to coordinate the employee onboarding processes, as well as address any customer service issues that arise. According to PayScale, retail managers make an average base salary of $48,000 per year.
- Web Developer
Web developers are responsible for building websites and access databases. They create these platforms using code, designing projects so that they may be easily accessed and used by others. These professionals may be tasked with testing new software to ensure it is suitable before company-wide installation and, in some cases, might create, modify, and debut software in order to enhance productivity, marketability, and/or efficiency. According to PayScale, web developers make an average base salary of $60,100 per year.