Earning a degree can help you navigate the job market, whether you work for a business or if you launch your own company. Figuring out what degree to work towards can be a challenge all unto itself. Many institutions offer entrepreneurship degrees, and for students interested in learning how to build and run their own business, this can be an excellent opportunity.
Narrow Down the Field
A degree in entrepreneurship focuses on business but also touches on other topics that will prove useful to budding entrepreneurs. You will learn about sales and persuasion, management, accounting, marketing and more to help you gain the tools you need for success.
You certainly need to understand the business side of things, but entrepreneurship can take many different forms. To best position yourself for success, you should also study the field you ultimately want to work in, whether that be computer science, graphic design, photography, marketing or anything else. This coursework can be taken along with classes focused on entrepreneurship.
Types of Programs
College degrees can provide significant value, and for entrepreneurs, a degree can also provide credibility. Students interested in learning more about entrepreneurism can pursue the coursework to find out more about the field.
Certificate programs generally have fewer requirements and are less expensive. A certificate option is usually a good fit for a student with some business knowledge, but who still looking to learn more about entrepreneurship.
Degrees typically provide a more well-rounded education and require business classes along with more specialized coursework. Students will have more access and opportunity to work directly with instructors, which can better help students learn and understand different concepts. Degree programs generally are more expensive, although prices do vary from one institution to another.
Find the Right Structure
From online courses to classes held in traditional lecture halls to one-on-one training, programs are set up and structured differently. You need to find the program that fits your needs and circumstances. Online coursework is often appealing because students can attend remotely. Earning an online degree also opens up the possibility of earning a degree from a school beyond your geographic region, so more programs are in the running. Traditional classes or in-person coursework provide more direct interaction with the instructor, which can deliver a greater value.
A variety of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) programs exist. These programs are often available to an unlimited number of participants and are typically free. MOOC programs can provide an excellent introduction to different concepts and are a great way to figure out where your interests lie and what type of degree you want to pursue.
MOOCs are generally self-paced, which for someone with entrepreneurial inclinations, shouldn’t be a problem. However, it can be a challenge if you are attending classes part-time or fitting in coursework around your work schedule and other commitments.
Drawbacks of MOOCs
MOOC courses have unlimited enrollment, so it is possible for hundreds of other students to be taking the same course at the same time, which can limit the instructor’s availability. Completing a free MOOC program may not result in any type of certification or credits. The knowledge gained can be beneficial and certainly help you develop your business, but you may not be able to parlay this into a degree without participating in a pay program.
Traditional Classroom Programs
Some entrepreneurship programs offer on-site classes. Traditional classes held in person provide more interaction with instructors and fellow classmates. Everyone learns differently, but most students perform better when learning in person. Interacting with other students, which may not always be on option during online study, can also be a great networking opportunity.
Perhaps the best way to learn how to be an entrepreneur is through internships. Most college or university programs encourage or even mandate students participate in internships. Working with someone who is actually running their own business can provide invaluable real-world knowledge and experience. Students generally have to complete most of their courses before being eligible for an internship, which makes sense. You will get the most out of the experience if you have the necessary foundation.
Some internships are good for earning credits, while some pay; however, the experience gained from an internship is the most valuable thing of all.
Make the Best Decision for You
Whether you are fresh out of high school and still figuring out what you want to do, or if you have some job experience, but want to work for yourself, an entrepreneurship degree can be the solution. Deciding you want to learn more or earn a degree is just the first of many decisions you’ll have to make. Finding the right program, either online, free, degree or certificate, takes some research and an understanding of what you hope to achieve.
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