It doesn’t take much to be an Entrepreneur, but one thing every entrepreneur should have is knowledge. Once you have learned your craft and earned your degree, you will have the skills needed to head for success. Entrepreneurs typically start and run their own business after getting a great idea. Some of these ventures take off and grow into multi-level industries, but unfortunately, most will fail within 18 months of start-up. That is the main reason why a degree should be obtained first, before taking on such a big risk. If you are smart, driven, creative, brave, headstrong, patient, and a gambler, then entrepreneurship may be the right career choice for you.
Components of a Successful Career In Entrepreneurship
If you believe that you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur then start with the first component in the list; get an entrepreneur degree. Other components consist of recognizing good opportunities when you see them and weeding out the bad ideas from the good. Once you have the good ideas set apart from the rest, you must create business plans to develop and make them successfully work to turn a profit. Success also involves self-motivation and the confidence to indulge in new initiatives and take the challenge head on to beat your competitors. More components needed for success are:
Once you hold an entrepreneurship degree, you can jump into line for many rewarding careers in business, as your coursework will help you understand business and strategy fundamentals that can be applied to running your own business or someone else’s. With the entrepreneur degree, you will gain enough insight to design and market products and services, recognize new business opportunities, and create and run a business from the ground up. You can also further your education and get a master’s in business.
Typical Entrepreneurship Degree Requirements
Although the Entrepreneur degree requirements can vary widely between programs, schools, and states, most require a GPA of at least 2.5 to 3.0 and a variety of coursework that teaches you about startup investments, business plans, e-commerce, entrepreneurship programs, and more. In addition, you will also be required to master the tools needed to help your business grow. Many bachelors’ programs in entrepreneurship will allow you to earn your degree with a focus on certain areas such as hospitality, healthcare, or business management but entrepreneurship can also be the focus or concentration of a bachelors’ in a business degree program that combines general education courses with business fundamentals.
Although there are no certifications required for a degree in entrepreneurship, you can get a “Certificate of Entrepreneurship” if you choose to take the one-year course to earn it. All that you will need to gain this certification is 30 credit points, then you can later continue to earn a higher-level degree that usually takes another year.
The one-year certificate program usually consists of coursework relating to business startups and operations. If you enroll in this program, you will learn: how to identify the target market, manage start-up financials, network with mentors and other students, manipulate various business models, enhance written and verbal communication, and other fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
Academic Standards for an Entrepreneurship Degree
Academic standards are not specified for entrepreneurs, but it would be in your best interest to have a strong background in securing financial support and business maneuvers. An entrepreneurship major may involve management, taxes, finances, and other business principles.
Contrary to popular belief, most entrepreneurs are well educated. In fact, a study was done to find the anatomy of an entrepreneur, where 549 founders of successful businesses in high-growth industries were surveyed, and what they found was quite surprising. More than 90% of entrepreneurs are well educated, where 95.1% have a bachelor’s degree and 47% held degrees that were even more advanced.
Exam/Experience Needed for an Entrepreneurship Degree
Some business colleges will not accept students in their bachelor’s degree entrepreneurship programs until they have achieved either sophomore or junior status, as well as satisfied core educational requirements. Students will have hands-on training that will account for some experience, which is crucial before jumping into risky business ventures. Fortunately, there are usually several options available while earning your degree that involve hands-on training, so that you can learn first-hand while watching experts at work. By the time you are ready to graduate you will be confident of developing your own business plans and seeing them through.
Important Questions to Ask
How long does it take to earn an Entrepreneurship bachelor's degree online?
Typically, you will need to earn 120 credits to get an entrepreneurship bachelor’s degree, and you can obtain 30 credits per year by studying full-time. Therefore, it would take a total of four years to complete the course. However, there are some options to help you earn your degree sooner. Some schools offer accelerated entrepreneurship programs where you can reduce that time by about 30%. There is also year-round learning available at various colleges and universities, or another option is transferring credits you received from AP courses in High School to reduce the credits still required.
How much does an Entrepreneurship bachelor’s degree cost?
For a full four-year bachelor’s entrepreneurship degree, it will cost anywhere from $28,000 to $94,000 in total tuition. Even at full price of $94,000, it is a great investment choice since you will make the full four-year tuition cost back in around one year, when you start your own business, and with the skills you will learn, you are bound to be successful. A study conducted by American Express found that the majority of entrepreneurs pay themselves an annual salary of around $70,000 a year.
Other costs may include textbooks, organizational dues, materials, technology costs and don’t forget to factor in housing. According to the College Board, average room and board (on campus) can set you back anywhere from $10,800 to $12,200 per year. To cut costs, some students will room together off-campus in a nearby apartment. Then there are those who will seek out part-time jobs to help pay for college while others will spend their time searching and applying for scholarships and grant programs.
Entrepreneurship Bachelor's Degree Coursework
The following contains some coursework examples that may be included in your degree program
The Entrepreneur Mindset
Product & Service Development
Does the school have the major(s) you’re considering?
Your major determines what area you will specialize in upon graduating and therefore, what careers you may approach. There is no rush though; as some schools allow you to wait until your sophomore or junior year before deciding on what you want to major in.
Although, it is good to have an idea of what careers you might want to pursue, since not all schools have the same majors and you don’t want to attend one that doesn’t have yours. Hence, some careers are location-specific, meaning if you want to get into politics you would probably consider a school in Washington, D.C., or if you were thinking of becoming an astronaut, you would head for Houston, TX, and a Wall Street tycoon wannabe would seek a New York-based college or University to complete their studies.
How many students graduate “on time,” in four years?
According to The National Center for Education Statistics, 6 years is now the average time it takes for individuals to get a college degree.
The reason for this is that many students are taking courses they don’t even need to graduate, which means it’s taking more time than necessary for them to get their degree and move on to a good paying job. For instance, all you need to obtain your degree is 120 credits when most students will graduate with 134. Also, of those pursuing a bachelor’s degree at public universities, only 35% of students will actually complete the program in 4 years, in private universities the four-year graduation rate is 53%.
What kind of accreditation does the program hold? How is it regarded in the field?
We can think of accreditation as a form of endorsement by a reputable association that stamps their approval on a college or university for quality educational program operations that meet their guidelines and high standards.
Of the two accreditation types; regional and national – regional is the most recognized in the US. Typically, regionally accredited colleges are state-owned, academically oriented, and non-profit schools where nationally accredited institutions are generally for-profit and career-oriented. In addition, regionally accredited colleges and universities are able to trade off earned credits with other regionally accredited institutions, where non-regional credits may or may not be accepted.
Some programs require a culminating project or thesis that will demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained from your studies. In addition, students may be required to have hands-on experience, which you can get by completing an internship either at a local or national organization.
Whether you're a savvy computer geek or new to PC technology, there is some technology, software, and skills that every entrepreneur will have to master in order to gain success, the following included:
Email / Communication Programs
Out-Sourcing Support Software or Websites
Basic Accounting Software (Invoicing and Bookkeeping)
CMS (Customer Management Software)
Associates in Entrepreneurship
Cost Range from $5,000 to $19,000
Students seeking to obtain an associate degree in entrepreneurship will learn a wide array of valuable skills in business operations and management fundamentals with a strong focus on business startups. Moreover, most curricula include mock business plans and internship program completion for practical experience that will lay the foundation for founding your future business.
Whereas this degree may be enough to get you off on the right foot if you want to start your own business, or to give you a boost if you plan to complete your bachelor’s degree later, it will not give you the skills to run someone else’s business, as a bachelors or masters could.
Associate’s degree sample courses
Principles of Small Businesses
Entrepreneur Computer Applications
Small Business Accounting
Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship
Cost Range from $40,088 to $160,352
Students interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship would usually have to earn a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus in entrepreneurship. Business startups, manufacturing, risk analysis, and marketing elements will be included in the curricula and you will be provided with hands-on training for practice and experience.
A bachelor’s is absolutely essential if you plan to continue your education with a master’s degree, though if that is your plan, you could earn your bachelors in a related field and get a masters in business with a concentration in entrepreneurship.
Bachelor’s degree sample courses
The Entrepreneurial Mindset
Concentrations In most programs, you can choose entrepreneurship as your minor or as a concentration of a general business degree.
Possible concentrations that may be available include: Entrepreneurial Management, Leadership, Social Entrepreneurship, Operations Management, and Innovation.
Master’s in Entrepreneurship
Cost Range from $30,000 to $120,000
If you are a student interested in earning a graduate degree in entrepreneurship, you can apply to an MBA program with a focus or concentration on entrepreneurship. The degree program will emphasize adaptability, the value of change, business planning, research, startups, and expansion.
Master’s degree sample courses
Finance and Accounting
Writing and Composition
Public Speaking and Presentations
Quantitative Investment Analysis
Human Resource Management
Concentrations Like the bachelor’s degree program, you would most likely have to choose entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial studies as a concentration with an MBA in general business.
As you can see from the chart below, there is a significant difference in annual salaries with higher-level degrees as well as a rise in tuition costs. With an associate degree you can earn an average annual salary of $57,100, but with a bachelor’s you can earn, on average, $22,700 more. However, holding a masters would earn you almost $8,000 more per year than holding a bachelor’s degree. Considering the amount of income you could make in just one year, you could actually pay off the tuition for a whole degree program and still have money left over. Then next year all you would have to pay would be yourself.
Average Annual Salary Rates & Tuition Costs by Degree
Average Median Annual Salaries for Entrepreneurship Degree Fields
Field of Study
Travel and hospitality
Average Median Annual Salaries for Entrepreneurship Occupations
Product Development Manager
Entrepreneurs are new business founders, responsible for finding start-up monies, securing investors for long-term growth, creating a team of people or secondary businesses to make the new business work, and growing that business until it is self-sustaining or worth enough to sell to a larger company interested in owning its products or services.
Product Development Managers are responsible for overseeing the designing or acquisition of new products or services for a business to sell. They work with designers, inventors, and smaller businesses or factories to bring the product from inception to sale.
Business Consultants talk with new or growing businesses about their financial or business strategies to help them make a place or themselves in their market. They help businesses increase their market share and teach them how to continue towards success.
A college degree in entrepreneurship can lead to numerous career opportunities, not just for you but for others that will be employed by you in the future once you establish your own business. Having an education will lay the foundation of an exciting career in business ventures and break down the barriers of risk, as you will be given the knowledge to know what to expect from your actions. Not only will you create employment opportunities, but you will also drive the economy and provide consumer goods or services to communities by starting your own business. Due to the high demand for economic growth, you will find an abundance of financial aid at your disposal aimed directly at individuals who open doors to a healthy economy and raise employment rates. The following are just some of the many scholarship programs available to those who seek independent career paths.
“National Association for the Self-Employed” (NASE) The NASE offers $24,000.00 in funds to students interested in independent employment for which they are qualified. The scholarship fund will be awarded in $12,000 the first year, then $4,000 per year for the next three years of study.
“The National Federation of Independent Business” (NFIB) Through the “Young Entrepreneur Awards” program, the NFIB will grant a $10,000 award to one winner each year and $5,000 each to another four regional winners. They also have $1,000 additional awards available. To be eligible, applicants must have experience and have good SAT and GPA scores.
“McKelvey Foundation” The “McKelvey Foundation” awards several entrepreneur students who have already set up their own businesses, scholarships that are valued up to $10,000 each — every year — for up to four years, totaling up to $40,000. Participants are also granted access to a widespread network of other young entrepreneurs where they will be provided with modeling assistance and guidance.
“Western Union Foundation, Family Scholarship” This Program grants $5,000 scholarship awards to help migrant/immigrant brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, and fathers and sons get an education and move up the economic growth ladder. To qualify, applicants must be 18 to 26-year-old members of the same family who were born outside of the U.S. but have been residing in America for up to seven years. This scholarship cannot be awarded for advanced degrees such as Masters, Ph.D.’s, and JD’s. Eligible study fields are business/entrepreneurship, technology, mathematics, engineering, and science.
Professional Entrepreneurship Organizations
All students should take advantage of programs that are there to assist them, such as career services, job placement programs, internships, and professional associations.
Whether you just started attending college or have already completed your degree program and are enjoying life as a successful entrepreneur, you will find it very beneficial to join a professional organization. Aside from providing a virtual space for you to come together and network with numerous individuals like yourself around the world, these organizations also offer annual conferences, continuing education programs, career services programs, and insight from experts in your field.
This worldwide organization is devoted to serving the needs of entrepreneurs by providing them access to industry leaders, peer-to-peer interaction opportunities, and an intriguing blog.
“COLLEGIATE ENTREPRENEURS’ ORGANIZATION”
This CEO program has been operating since 1983 and it now has sectors in over 250 colleges in the U.S. They provide their members with a variety of valuable resources and regular events.
“FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR ASSOCIATION” (FEA)
FEA International provides valuable member benefits to get female entrepreneurs engaged, which include: successful entrepreneurs stories, learning courses, freebies, and blogs.
“YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR COUNCIL” (YEC)
This elite group contains successful entrepreneurs who are no more than 40 years old. The YEC offers its members media training, personal branding, VIP events, networking, and peer insights.
Choosing an Accredited College
If you don’t know what to look for in your college search, it’s quite possible you can end up getting a degree from a school that doesn’t do your career any justice. The only schools that you should look to are accredited institutions. School’s strive to be accredited, as it shows they are recognized and approved.
The accreditation process begins with a school’s desire to become accredited by an accrediting agency. What makes some accrediting agencies more prominent than others, are the standards they set for schools to meet before they will approve them. The school will spend the next few months preparing for their assessment. Once approved, the school is endorsed as meeting quality standards. This gives their students access to federal student aid.
There are two types of accreditation: regional and national, with program accreditation being supplied to specific programs by specialized agencies. See the Department of Education (DOE) website to review regional accrediting agencies and to find out which one covers your region. You can also check with the DOE to make sure that whatever accrediting agencies your chosen school claims are actually approved agencies. If they are not, then you will not have access to federal financial aid while attending that school and you may not be able to transfer any credits earned there either.
Employers, recruiters, and higher level education programs pay close attention to your schools accreditation, as this is a sign of a high quality education.
Online vs On-Campus vs Hybrid
Before anything, you must decide whether you will be attending school online, at a brick-and-mortar campus, or a little bit of both (hybrid). If you are fresh out of high school then you might want to elect to attend a ground school where you will have face-to-face support with the ability to ask questions and have them answered almost immediately. You can either attend and live on campus, or, if there is a college or university close enough to where you live, you can live at home while attending classes.
If you are already working full or part-time or caring for someone at home, you might want to enroll in an online school where you can decide when to study and where. Following this course, you will save money on room and board and have more flexibility in what classes you take and when. If you are still living at home with your parents and do not have a job, you may be able to take a much larger course load and finish your degree in less than the normal 4 years.
Or you can decide to go hybrid. Make note that, in this type of program, even though you study online, you will still be required to visit the campus for residencies, testing, or networking opportunities.
Does the College Have Post-Graduate Job Placement Help & Assistance?
Another important factor you should consider when evaluating colleges is career services and job placement programs, as some are very helpful where others may not provide as much assistance as you are led to believe. A good program will not only assist you with job placement before and upon graduating but will also offer you continued support throughout your advanced career while assisting you with any issues that may befall you. What's more is, these programs will help you create a stellar resume, prepare you for job interviews, and even advise you on job performance.
Why You Need to Consider that Rating/accreditation Can Affect Your Salary
Did you know that the school you obtain your degree from has a big impact on how much you will earn? Most employers have their own rating system for colleges and universities. Thus, they will base your salary on the reputation or rank of the school you graduated from. Therefore, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may be reduced by a certain percentage where a high-ranked recognized accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.