Entrepreneurial Studies

Read about entrepreneurial studies programs, and learn how you can start your own business and be your own boss. Find information about degree options and useful courses here, as well as what to expect in terms of small business survival rates.

Are Entrepreneurial Studies for Me?

Career Overview

If you're interested in a having your own business, earning a college degree in entrepreneurship or entrepreneurial studies can help set you up for success. Programs range from the associate's to doctoral (Ph.D.) levels, and can provide you not only with a broad education in business, but also the training you'll need to grow your new venture from the ground up. You might also have the chance to participate in internships and network with successful entrepreneurs, contacts that might prove valuable after graduation.

Employment Information

Entrepreneurship is often associated with owning a small business. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), roughly 10%-12% of businesses open and close each year. Approximately half of all new businesses are still in existence after five years, with only a third still in operation after 10 years. Starting your business in a good location, managing funds appropriately and having sufficient business experience can increase your chances of success (www.sba.gov).

Salary Information

Salaries for entrepreneurs can vary dramatically. The type, size and location of a company, as well as its products, services and number of years in business all affect profits and salaries. The SBA recommends making your salary a portion of your business profits, in addition to learning what similar small business owners in your area are making. Initially, you may need to take a pay cut from your previous job.

How Can I Become an Entrepreneur?

Undergraduate Programs

While it's possible to start a business and develop a product or idea without any formal training, a bachelor's degree program in entrepreneurship can arm you with the knowledge and skills you'll need to become a small business owner. Four-year programs in entrepreneurship may help you identify marketable concepts and products and use modern technology to advance your business. You'll also learn about financing options, tax laws and management techniques. Topics in advertising and media may also be covered. If you're not ready to commit to four years of study, you may pursue an associate's degree in entrepreneurship and small business management and take classes in business planning and law, finance and marketing.

Graduate Programs

Some Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs allow for a concentration in entrepreneurship. Course topics might include the study of international business policies, marketing assessments and strategic product development. You'll also learn how to write a business plan and acquire negotiating techniques. As a qualified graduate, you may embark on a start-up or manage an existing business.

Ph.D programs in entrepreneurship can provide you with the advanced education you'll need to assume a leadership role, such as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), in a corporate setting. With a Ph.D. degree, you could also teach at a university or engage in business research. Graduate-level coursework might cover topics in corporate competition and creative business development.

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