Masters in Entrepreneurship Online Degree Programs for 2022

Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship Career Options & Salary

Entrepreneurship seems to be an ideal path for many businesspeople. Many MBA students, for instance, have their own creative, innovative ideas for new businesses, if not whole new industries. Department parties are rife with fresh ideas that may or may not come to fruition. Some ideas may not have the opportunity to become a reality while others may fizzle for a variety of reasons.

This deep desire for innovation and progress has led colleges and universities to create entrepreneurship degrees and to add entrepreneurship as a concentration to their MBA curricula. While students are steeped in many of the same topics as others in business school, entrepreneurship degree students approach each part of business from the standpoint of entrepreneurial endeavor, of small start-ups that need to be innovative and resourceful when launching and growing.

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Requirements of a Masters Degree?

A master’s degree in entrepreneurship is a credential often earned after one or two years of full-time academic work in a graduate degree program. These programs require around 30-32 graduate credit hours. Generally speaking, a master’s degree is not a terminal degree, with a few exceptions such as an MFA, though that is changing. Regardless, a master’s degree in a field such as business administration is generally applied to the business world, where professionals needn't have terminal degrees. In fact, for the purposes of business, a master’s degree in entrepreneurship is a defacto terminal degree since doctoral degrees are still rare in the business world.

Those that are able to complete a master’s degree find that their business careers benefit immensely. While most entrepreneurs aren't interested in finding an employer and would prefer to be the employer, they can still benefit from the degree. The added knowledge and skills the degree imparts are invaluable. Plus, working with a cohort of like-minded business professionals helps to build an invaluable professional network.

Entrepreneurs who hold top academic credentials also find that the degree pays off in many other ways. They might have easier access to credit when banks are reassured by their graduate degree. Entrepreneurs who have a master’s degree also find that the credentials help them find the best employees and that clients are quicker to place their trust in a degreed businessperson.

Where Do You Earn a Master’s in Entrepreneurship?


A master’s degree in entrepreneurship primarily is earned at a four-year university. While some colleges offer graduate degrees, it’s common practice for a college to rename to a university once they offer graduate degrees. Thus, most graduate degree programs are attached to institutions that also provide undergraduate degree programs. This may mean that they offer accelerated MBA degrees, whereby undergraduates can expedite their undergraduate work and MBA degree in five years.

These days, the academic world has expanded to include online outlets of academic excellence. There are universities that operate solely, or primarily, online, while traditional institutions are offering online master’s degrees in a wide range of fields. Since so many professional business people need a master’s degree, but also need to remain in their jobs, the online solution is a perfect fit. There are even online master’s degree programs that split the difference and include brief on-campus sessions to supplement their online courses.

Online Vs. Traditional Education in Entrepreneurship


Online degrees are still a relatively new phenomenon in academic circles. These master’s degree programs have been evolving rapidly in the 21st century, especially in light of the COVID pandemic and the sudden emphasis on distance learning and working. Despite this growth, many traditionalists in academia and the professional world tend to decry this trend toward online learning. However, their fears are often misplaced.

First off, an online degree opens up learning to far more students than traditional methods alone. Now, working students and those who are unable to make it to a particular campus and its master’s degrees are now able to gain access to master’s degree programs from wherever they are. Students find that online learning is far more flexible and less disruptive to their professional and family lives. It also poses no barrier to learning.

Most online master’s degree programs are in topics that focus on reading, writing, and electronic presentations. Thus, the online medium is well-suited to learning subjects such as business administration, entrepreneurship, and technology fields. While some decry the lack of personal engagement with professors, the opposite can be true. Students who reach out to their professors or instructors can have an immediate one-on-one connection. No longer are students relegated to the back of a classroom or lecture hall. Now every student can ask questions or seek clarifications directly from their professors with a simple email, rather than setting up a meeting during office hours.

Finally, online learning has proven to deliver tremendous outcomes. Educational research has shown that online students have equivalent outcomes to their traditional campus peers. When students engage with their instructors and fellow students online, they can achieve just as much as those in traditional master’s degree programs.

What Are the Prerequisites and Admission Requirements?


Before enrolling in a master’s degree program for entrepreneurship, students need to have their ducks in a row. First off, unless they are in an accelerated master’s degree program connected to their undergraduate program, they need to have already graduated with a bachelor’s degree. Over the course of that degree, they should have also completed certain courses. Every master’s degree will have its own prerequisites, but a business master’s degree may require courses in accounting, management, marketing, finance, or a combination of all of these. Some entrepreneurship master’s degree programs specialize in specific industries, such as software or biotech. Those specialized programs may require coursework or experience in those fields. Many graduate business degree programs also accept, if not require, relevant work experience.

Many graduate schools still require admissions examinations. In the case of an MBA program or an entrepreneurship degree, they tend to prefer GMAT scores, though some may accept or prefer GRE scores. Check with your desired program's admissions counselors to learn more.

For a business degree, students will also need letters of recommendation. These may be from former professors or from employers. Given that entrepreneurship is a professional degree, it's likely that admission counselors will want to see professional recommendations on top of a resume and proof of any special professional accomplishment.

Why Earn a Master's Degree?


Everyone who applies to a master’s degree program should know why they are interested in pursuing that level of academic achievement. For some, the reason may simply be for the challenge and resulting status. Others may focus on the financial and professional benefits. For entrepreneurs, a graduate degree may mean added skills and knowledge on top of a growing network of business professionals.

Some entrepreneurs may wish to stick with their bachelor’s degrees. After all, they are not seeking to work for anyone, so they are free to become a CEO without an MBA or MS. However, if they do earn a master’s degree, they may find that it’s easier to attract business, as well as top talent, for the employee pool. Over the course of a master’s degree, they can also take courses in leadership, which will help them steer their corporate ship.

With regard to a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, students have the opportunity to test out their ideas in an academic incubator. Those precious two years will prove invaluable when it comes time to present a business plan to a banker or find the right people to work for their firm. If they are in an MBA program with an entrepreneurship concentration, they may even find bankers and employees among their classmates. Thus, a master’s degree can be a powerful springboard to success.

Why a Degree in Entrepreneurship?


A master’s degree in entrepreneurship sounds both extremely specific and general. That is, entrepreneurs can join any industry whatsoever, provided they have the expertise required, or at least if they can hire the talent needed to succeed. For contrast, a person with a master’s degree in accounting will certainly go to work as an accountant, while someone with an entrepreneurship degree may need to be an accountant, human resources executive, financial officer, and operations manager all in one, at least until their firm grows and develops.

Business professionals who earn a master’s degree in entrepreneurship may also decide that they are not quite ready to launch their dream company. The market conditions may not yet be right for them, or maybe the idea needs more time to take shape. For those seeking to launch a software startup they may need additional time to write the code necessary to attract investors. With a master’s degree, they are sure to find adequate employment until they are ready to start their own company. Many established firms will be eager to hire creative, visionary professionals.

Indeed, many firms may desire those with an entrepreneurship master’s degree. Many of the same skills that entrepreneurs need are required when established corporations launch a new product. Even firms that are emerging from a significant downturn may seek entrepreneurial employees who will find the new solutions and approaches they need to reclaim their former glory.

What’s Involved in a Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship?


Since an entrepreneur must have a comprehensive view of the business world, the courses involved in a master’s degree in entrepreneurship cover a wide range of topics. Students are likely to study topics such as venture finance, law, marketing, business creativity, business plans, and international business. Entrepreneurs also dive deep into issues related to innovation, leadership, and how to create the deals that will maximize long-term success.

On top of academics, many master’s degree programs offer students special events such as guest lectures or workshops. Successful entrepreneurs may be invited to speak to students, and they may even field questions regarding their process in starting a new venture.

A master’s degree program also provides a fertile ground on which to grow a professional network. When a group of like-minded business professionals get together for a year or so of study, they are sure to spend time discussing their plans and dreams with one another. This is invaluable for future entrepreneurs who need sounding boards for their ideas. Those with terrific ideas may even find partners with whom they can go into business.

Common Courses

  • Disruption and Innovation
  • The Essentials of Entrepreneurship
  • Negotiations and Entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial Creativity
  • Marketing New Ideas
  • Writing for Entrepreneurs
  • Communications for Entrepreneurs
  • Financial Accounting
  • Launching a Venture: The First 100 Days
  • Profitability Metrics
  • Business Plan Lab
  • International Business and Entrepreneurships
  • Business Strategy for Entrepreneurs
  • Sustainability
  • Human Resources for Entrepreneurs

Concentrations

  • Leadership for Entrepreneurs
  • Biotechnology
  • Software Startups
  • Sourcing Capital
  • Negotiating a Merger or Acquisition
  • Public and Private Share Offerings
  • Entrepreneurial Theory
  • Healthcare
  • Consulting
  • Information Technology
  • Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship in Emerging Markets
  • Blockchain Technology for Entrepreneurs
  • Grant Writing for Non-Profit Entrepreneurs
  • Public Policy and Entrepreneurs

What to Consider When Choosing a Program in Entrepreneurship


Accreditation


Accreditation is one of the most important factors when it comes to finding the best master’s program in entrepreneurship. Accreditation is a credential that affirms a program's strength and even the long-term outcomes for students. There are many different accreditation agencies out there, but students should look for one of two sorts of accreditation: regional and programmatic. Regional accrediting agencies should be approved by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Degrees from these schools hold the most weight within the region in which they are accredited, though exceptions abound.

Programmatic accreditation, on the other hand, is a more robust credential that means that the school meets a national standard for education. There are programmatic accreditation agencies for subjects such as business, psychology, STEM subjects, and more. Business and entrepreneurship students should consider accreditation from either the AACSB, ACBSP, or IACBE as the gold standard for their master’s degree. These degrees are more likely to be respected nationwide and employers may even give more tuition reimbursement to employees who enroll in these programs.

Further Entrepreneurship Education


MBA with a Concentration in Entrepreneurship


An MBA that includes an entrepreneurship concentration is likely to provide students with the background they need to thrive. The first half of the degree will provide a solid foundation of general business knowledge. Then students can focus on topics that pertain to their long-term entrepreneurial goals.

One of the hidden benefits of an MBA is the networking potential these programs provide. While entrepreneurs generally aren't aiming toward the employment market, they will meet fellow business experts with whom they can collaborate. Their fellows may move on from their degree into jobs with venture capital firms, banks, or simply have skills that can be of use in a new business.

PhD in Entrepreneurship


The doctorate or PhD is the highest academic achievement possible. Where this degree is necessary for many professions, it's not a requirement for entrepreneurs. In fact, entrepreneurs include third graders who start lemonade stands, high schoolers who set up websites for their parents' friends, and college students who tutor high school students.

However, a doctorate or PhD in entrepreneurship can lead to a career as a college professor. The additional training and expertise can also be a boon to entrepreneurs who are interested in businesses focused on high-level research. The deep research involved in a doctorate will surely pay off for any professional. Furthermore, the degree is always impressive on corporate materials and could help land that next huge client.

Entrepreneurship Certifications


A master’s certification in entrepreneurship can be a terrific way to gain the added knowledge needed for a successful business launch. These credentials can be earned with only a few courses and so will cost less than a full degree while also adding graduate credits to one's resume. Once completed, students can add the credential to their resume and thus gain added credibility in the business community.

Entrepreneurs often appreciate that they can gain a certification in specialty areas where they need more training. There are master’s certifications available in areas such as innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Entrepreneurs might also consider certifications in other areas of business where they may need additional education.

One key area for entrepreneurs to master might be corporate finance. After all, many entrepreneurs create start-up companies with the help of venture capital. Later, once they have established themselves and achieved a level of success, they may wish to sell their companies. A deeper knowledge of how mergers and acquisitions are funded and structured would be very helpful in that event. If they don't sell their company to another corporate entity, they may eventually wish to do a public offering. A certificate in corporate finance will help them know how to prepare their company for the rigors of an initial public offering (IPO).

Master’s level certificates are a real boon to entrepreneurs who need added training in specific areas yet who don't have the time to spend on a full master’s degree program. This approach also provides them with a verifiable academic accomplishment that they can put on a resume and use to assure clients of their expertise. The credits they earn for a master’s certificate can also be used if they decide to return to school and complete their master’s degree in entrepreneurship.

What are the Best Online Master of Science in Entrepreneurship Programs?


1

University of Florida

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $10,770
    • Out-of-State: $27,335
  • Net Price: $10,075
  • Retention Rate: 97%
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Total Enrollment: 53,372
  • Undergrad Students: 34,931
  • Graduate Students: 18,441
  • Diplomas Awarded: 11
  • Grads Salary: $74,100
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • University of Florida
2

University of Maryland

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,158
    • Out-of-State: $29,250
  • Net Price: $17,643
  • Retention Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 87%
  • Total Enrollment: 40,709
  • Undergrad Students: 30,875
  • Graduate Students: 9,834
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $78,200
  • Student-to-faculty: 17:1
  • University of Maryland
3

University of Arizona

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $11,938
    • Out-of-State: $32,065
  • Net Price: $15,620
  • Retention Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Total Enrollment: 45,601
  • Undergrad Students: 35,357
  • Graduate Students: 10,244
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • University of Arizona
4

The Pennsylvania State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $22,464
    • Out-of-State: $38,198
  • Net Price: $25,548
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Enrollment: 89,816
  • Undergrad Students: 74,446
  • Graduate Students: 15,370
  • Diplomas Awarded: 5
  • Grads Salary: $75,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • The Pennsylvania State University
5

Temple University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $16,956
    • Out-of-State: $23,346
  • Net Price: $23,254
  • Retention Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 75%
  • Total Enrollment: 37,236
  • Undergrad Students: 27,306
  • Graduate Students: 9,930
  • Diplomas Awarded: 28
  • Grads Salary: $67,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 13:1
  • Temple University
6

Drexel University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $36,234
    • Out-of-State: $36,234
  • Net Price: $39,463
  • Retention Rate: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 71%
  • Total Enrollment: 23,589
  • Undergrad Students: 14,616
  • Graduate Students: 8,973
  • Diplomas Awarded: 6
  • Grads Salary: $77,700
  • Student-to-faculty: 11:1
  • Drexel University
7

American Public University System

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $6,660
    • Out-of-State: $6,660
  • Net Price: $11,503
  • Retention Rate: 98%
  • Graduation Rate: 48%
  • Total Enrollment: 50,047
  • Undergrad Students: 40,362
  • Graduate Students: 9,685
  • Diplomas Awarded: 16
  • Grads Salary: $70,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 23:1
  • American Public University System
8

Syracuse University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $40,392
    • Out-of-State: $40,392
  • Net Price: $47,177
  • Retention Rate: 89%
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Total Enrollment: 21,322
  • Undergrad Students: 14,479
  • Graduate Students: 6,843
  • Diplomas Awarded: 18
  • Grads Salary: $76,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 15:1
  • Syracuse University
9

Central Michigan University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $14,223
    • Out-of-State: $18,909
  • Net Price: $15,758
  • Retention Rate: 74%
  • Graduation Rate: 64%
  • Total Enrollment: 19,362
  • Undergrad Students: 14,627
  • Graduate Students: 4,735
  • Diplomas Awarded: 8
  • Grads Salary: $66,000
  • Student-to-faculty: 19:1
  • Central Michigan University
10

Ball State University

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $9,328
    • Out-of-State: $25,542
  • Net Price: $13,195
  • Retention Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Total Enrollment: 21,597
  • Undergrad Students: 15,780
  • Graduate Students: 5,817
  • Diplomas Awarded: NA
  • Grads Salary: $60,400
  • Student-to-faculty: 14:1
  • Ball State University
Full Ranking Report

Available Careers with an Entrepreneurship Master's Degree


  • Corporate Development:
    Entrepreneurs who want experience without risking huge investments can develop new business for existing firms. Many firms desire the qualities that make a successful entrepreneur – creativity, innovation, and leadership.
  • Venture Capital:
    Since VC firms seek out successful entrepreneurial projects, they may be eager to hire someone who has studied entrepreneurship in graduate school. A background in finance or banking may also be helpful landing a job.
  • Marketing:
    Entrepreneurs need to have a mastery of marketing if they want to see their ideas come to fruition. Thus, those who have a master’s degree in entrepreneurship may be a good fit for a marketing position.
  • Sales:
    Every entrepreneur must be able to sell their products and ideas in order to be a success. For those who still have yet to launch their ideas into the world, experience in sales will be immensely helpful.
  • Operations:
    Successful entrepreneurs know how to manage a business' operations. Those with entrepreneurship master’s degrees should seek operations management jobs in their chosen industry. They should be able to excel in the position while it gives them the experience they will surely need when they branch out and form their own business.
  • Supply Chain Management:
    Students of entrepreneurship will have a terrific grasp of supply chain management. After all, logistical skills will be vital to success in their own start-up venture. They should seek a SCM position in their chosen industry so that the experience can pay off later.

Salary Expectations


A master’s degree is almost a guarantee of higher earnings and an elevated employment status. Businesspeople who earn a master’s degree in their field find that their ability to reach the C-suites is dramatically increased by a master’s degree. While a master’s degree in entrepreneurship might result in a person starting an independent business venture, those credentials also are attractive to employers who desire the self-starting, innovative ethic that tends to drive entrepreneurs.

For those who pursue employment over entrepreneurship, their salaries can be quite healthy. Payscale.com's research shows that a master of science in entrepreneurship yields an average base salary of over $70,000 per year. The upper limit for the degree is around $128,000, according to the same source. That salary is listed for business development professionals who may see their compensation padded with bonus money, especially when their entrepreneurial savvy pays off for their employer.

Payscale.com also tracks those who earn an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Their data reflects an average base salary of over $100,000 per year. According to Payscale, some of these business administration degree holders earn up to $250,000 per year as chief financial officers or $350,000 as chief executives.

Outlook


The outlook for entrepreneurial careers is notoriously difficult to track. Entrepreneurial success involves many different factors, and each industry has its own general outlook projections based on existing businesses which have already established themselves in the marketplace. Entrepreneurs thus need to rely on their master’s degrees in entrepreneurship, their original ideas, and their threshold for risk.

However, entrepreneurs should seek outlook data that matches with their target industry. Since the entrepreneur is likely to be a top executive in their company, they may be less interested in the wider outlook numbers for hired employees in similar companies. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does track the salary and outlook statistics for top executives.

The median pay for top executives is over $107,000 per year and these executives typically have only a bachelor’s degree. The field for top executives is not particularly fast-moving, since even very large corporations have a handful of top executives. However, they are projected to increase their numbers by 4% through 2029, which the BLS states is as fast as average. That percentage rate translates into a gross employment change of 115,000 total executives.

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