Is an Entrepreneurship Degree for You?

Entrepreneurship is a perfect area of study for people who want to learn what it takes to start and run their own company within the context of a broader business education. The ideal student for an online bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship is tired of working for someone else and believes they have what it takes to go into business for themselves. This degree is a good fit for people who want to learn how to identify business opportunities and develop them for profit, and for people who are concerned about the decline of the U.S. economy and want to play a central role in creating jobs.

Advice for Earning Your Entrepreneurship Degree Online

Since business is one of the most commonly-offered degree programs at online colleges, quality should be your top consideration when choosing an online business program in entrepreneurship. Consider online bachelor’s programs that are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), which is considered the gold standard in business education.

Prospective students should be prepared to complete group projects in their courses that will sharpen their skills in collaborating with others on various business tasks. Last but not least, look for programs that require or encourage internships for course credit, as this will help you gain practical experience in the business world that you can later apply to your own business venture.

Required Courses

Course work for an online degree program in entrepreneurship will cover the essentials of business creation, management, and planning. You can expect a solid general business core in finance, accounting, marketing, and economics that will help you manage an entrepreneurial venture successfully. Courses you may encounter in an entrepreneurship bachelor’s include:

  • Business Law
  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Venture Capital & Banking
  • Small Business Ventures
  • New Business Strategy

Common Career Paths

The good news about studying entrepreneurship is that the skills you’ll acquire are so broad-based that they can be applied just about anywhere. Many students of entrepreneurship decide to start their own businesses, but that’s just one possibility. Salaries for potential careers with an entrepreneurship degree can differ depending on your level of experience, your industry and/or client base, and the region of the country you live in. Possible career paths include (but are not limited to):

Business Management Consultant

  • Expected Growth: 22%
  • Average Annual Salary: $88,070

Business management consultants use entrepreneurial practices to find ways to improve a company’s efficiency and increase profitability. They may help develop plans for companies to enter new marketplaces or implement strategies to remain competitive in old ones. They also determine required resources, project budgets, possible problems, and courses of action.

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of business is typically required for such positions, although an MBA may be preferred in some instances, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The above job outlook and salary average were provided by the BLS.

Small Business Owner

  • Expected Growth: N/A
  • Average Annual Salary: $69,294

Small-business owners use their knowledge of a particular industry and entrepreneurial abilities to start their own companies and grow them for profit. They are responsible for obtaining their own financing, often in the form of loans or investors. They devise plans to build a client base, implement strategies to help it expand, and are also often initially responsible for the management of daily operations.

The BLS has identified the health care and social assistance industry as having the highest survival rate of any entrepreneurial venture over time, while ventures in the construction industry have the lowest survival rate. Annual salaries of small business owners and operators range from $27,307 to $165,003 as of April 2013, according to online compensation site PayScale.com.

Business Executive

  • Expected Growth: 5%
  • Average Annual Salary: $176,840

Business executives establish an organization’s goals and objectives, and then develop strategies that will ensure that they meet them. They set the tone for an organization’s overall direction and are responsible for day-to-day operations, supervising department activities, and increasing productivity and profitability. These professionals often work closely with other executives, managers, and personnel within financial, marketing, human resources, and production departments.

While a minimum of a bachelor’s degree is typically required for such positions, work experience in business leadership is even more important, the BLS explained. Those who have built their own businesses from the ground up may have an advantage over other contenders for such positions. The job growth projection and salary average provided above are available through the BLS.

Sales Manager

  • Expected Growth: 12%
  • Average Annual Salary: $119,980

Sales managers oversee a company’s sales staff, set sales goals by analyzing sales statistics from past years and growth projections, and make sure that a company’s sales staff are trained and equipped to sell to the best of their abilities. They may also work to resolve any complaints that arise from customers. A bachelor’s degree is typical for sales managers, and most people rise to these positions after gaining significant sales experience, the BLS explained. Those who were able to successfully drive sales as entrepreneurs should have an advantage in seeking a sales manager position. The above job growth and salary statistics are provided by the BLS.

Marketing Manager

  • Expected Growth: 14%
  • Average Annual Salary: $129,870

Since graduates of entrepreneurship programs gain skills in marketing a new business venture, they may apply those skills to a career in marketing. Marketing managers are responsible for identifying potential markets for a company’s products or services, devising pricing strategies for those markets, and overseeing the work of the marketing staff that reports to them.

A bachelor’s degree is typically required for such positions, but experience in sales or marketing is also important, the BLS explained. The employment growth projection and salary figure provided above were drawn from the BLS.

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