Some of the greatest entrepreneurs today either have a non-traditional background or are self-professed “dropouts”. But many forget that the wide majority of successful business owners still have some sort of formal education and that those great dropout entrepreneurs often had the time to get enough knowledge through college to venture out on their own.
The thing is that without a solid foundation, you are bound to learn through trial and error, and not everyone has this luxury. However, there are tons of different degrees that could give you the set of skills needed to be successful. Here are some of the best degrees today for entrepreneurs.
Let’s start with the most popular and logical option: a business degree. A business degree will teach you everything you need to plan, launch, and operate a business. You’ll learn how to create business plans to meet long term and short term goals. You’ll also understand more about things like financing, which will come in handy when trying to seek it later in your career.
In addition, you’ll also learn about publicly traded and private companies, the stock market, and various other factors that affect the growth of a business. Here are some of the subjects that you’ll learn as part of a business curriculum:
- Market research
- Business law
As you can see, you’ll learn pretty much every skill needed to be a one-man army. This will not only allow you to understand your business at every level, but it will help you save a lot of money at first. Not only that, but you’ll be much less susceptible to getting taken advantage of by a CFO or an accountant who knows more than you do.
Finance is another logical path for anybody trying to start a business. As a finance major, you’ll learn more about in-depth accounting practices, financial analysis, and financial ratios. You’ll get a greater understanding of how to protect and project your venture’s financial future. This knowledge can also be applied to virtually any type of business or start-up.
Another hidden advantage of business and finance degrees is upward mobility. Both of these degrees allow you to work on a payroll while you pay for your living expenses and start developing your business. And the best thing is that you can obtain these completely online while you keep your position.
Institutions like Suffolk Online, for instance, have an MBA, MS in Finance, and MS in Business analytics that you can get completely online. You can also get your MHA or MS in accounting through Suffolk Online. The best thing about these programs is that you can often get your degree in a fraction of the time it would take for you to receive a traditional degree.
Getting a degree online could also be your only option if you have both family and professional obligations. “Being a full-time mom, wife, and employee, I knew there was no other route for me,” said MBA Amber Swain. She also liked how she was able to do work on her own time. “I usually did work at night, but I often got up early in the morning to work on assignments as well. The program was structured in a way where I had clear deadlines from one Sunday to the next. I could plan my work day by day and do more during the evenings that weren’t as full.”
Marketing is an important component of any business, but unfortunately, too many entrepreneurs only have an abstract understanding of it. But, with a degree in marketing, you’ll learn everything from how to identify target audiences, to how to build marketing personas, how to structure and budget for campaigns, and more. Here are some of the common classes that will be taught through a marketing program:
- Public relations
- Consumer behavior
- Management and sales
- Marketing strategy
- Market research
This is again a field that will allow you to have a more hands-on approach to a crucial part of your business, and ultimately foster growth. This will also give you an idea of how to create a unique selling proposition and stand apart in the market. You’ll also learn about new online marketing methods, as well as marketing analytics.
Psychology could also be a degree that could help you in business. Even though it is not directly business-related, psychology plays a great role in marketing. As a matter of fact, it was Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who is said to be the father of marketing. He developed the discipline by applying some of the principles Freud popularized.
A psychology degree could also come handy when it comes to human resource management. You’ll be able to directly participate in recruitment efforts and quickly identify traits that would make someone a better candidate. You’ll also be able to motivate your employees, speak to their aspirations, and build an environment that fosters engagement and boosts morale. This is a great degree to take as a minor.
A large portion of entrepreneurs today are either IT majors or have some sort of IT background. Having a degree in computer science gives you much more than an understanding of programming. You’ll also learn how to develop a deeply analytical mind, will be able to build predictive models based on AI and machine learning, and you’ll also be able to ensure your business’s cybersecurity.
Not only that, but you’ll be able to build your own apps and websites, and won’t have to hire an IT consultant or in house expert. This is also a natural choice if you are thinking of launching a tech startup or an e-commerce related business.
All of these majors could help you in a business setting and give you a significant advantage on your competitors who don’t have the same training. Make sure that you consider all of these options and what they have to offer.