Should You Go Back to College for an Entrepreneurship Degree?

Discover the value of an entrepreneurship degree and its impact on your career. Learn about the pros and cons, skills gained, and financing options.
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Updated on July 12, 2024
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Entrepreneurship has become a buzzword in recent years as many seek to start their own businesses and become their own bosses. But with the rise of entrepreneurship comes the question: Is it worth going back to college to get a degree in this field? An entrepreneurship degree offers specialized knowledge and skills that can be invaluable in starting and growing a business, but it also requires a significant commitment of time and finances.

Before making the decision to pursue an entrepreneurship degree, it's essential to understand its value and weigh the pros and cons. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of an entrepreneurship degree, the potential career opportunities it can lead to, and the factors to consider before making the leap.

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Understanding the Value of an Entrepreneurship Degree

An entrepreneurship degree offers value to those interested in innovating and creating their own business ventures. Unlike a traditional business degree, which provides a broad overview of business practices and principles, an entrepreneurship degree focuses on the specific skills you'll need to start, grow, and develop a business.

From building business plans and identifying potential investors to securing funds and managing risks, this degree prepares you for the unique challenges of owning a business. The value of an entrepreneurship degree transcends the classroom, providing networking opportunities and real-world learning experiences that can pave the way for future business ventures.

Is Going Back to College for an Entrepreneurship Degree Worth It?

The decision to return to college to pursue an entrepreneurship degree is a significant one that depends on various factors. The skills and knowledge you gain in an entrepreneurship degree program can be invaluable when it comes to starting and growing a business.

Entrepreneurship programs often cover entrepreneurial strategy, leadership, and product development, which can be critical in the early stages of a new venture. Additionally, the skills learned in an entrepreneurship program can be applied to a variety of other careers — such as consulting, management, or sales — making you a more competitive job candidate.

According to Payscale, those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship earn an average of $69,000 per year as of July 2024. However, it's important to consider the costs of education and the potential to earn while gaining experience in the industry you're interested in. Ultimately, the value of an entrepreneurship degree should be weighed against your career goals, financial situation, and the industry you're entering.

Pros and Cons of Getting an Entrepreneurship Degree

Like any major decision, pursuing an entrepreneurship degree has its pros and cons.

Pros

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    Focuses on specific business skills
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    Provides networking opportunities
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    Provides a strong foundation for starting a business
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    Can lead to additional careers like business consultant, manager, business reporter, or recruiter

Cons

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    Significant financial investment
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    Not as versatile as a general business degree
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    Substantial time commitment depending on degree level
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    Not a guarantee of success

On the positive side, an entrepreneurship degree can provide you with a well-rounded business education, focusing on the specific skills and knowledge needed to start and run a successful business. These include problem-solving, leadership, communication, efficiency, and adaptability.

On the downside, pursuing an entrepreneurship degree can be a significant financial investment. It also requires a substantial time commitment, which could potentially take away from other business ventures. Additionally, while an entrepreneurship degree can provide a strong foundation for starting a business, it's not a guarantee of success. There's always risk involved in starting a business, and the success of a business venture depends on many factors beyond education.

Some argue that an entrepreneurship degree is not as versatile as a general business degree if your business concept is unsuccessful. However, even in this instance, graduates can use their knowledge to work in consulting, management, reporting, or recruiting.

What Skills Can You Gain from an Entrepreneurship Degree?

An entrepreneurship degree equips you with a set of skills tailored to the demands of starting and running a business. These include:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Leadership and management
  • Financial literacy

Furthermore, you'll gain skills in other areas of business like:

How Can an Entrepreneurship Degree Enhance Your Career?

An entrepreneurship degree can significantly enhance your career by providing a robust foundation in critical business skills and an understanding of the entrepreneurial process.

Whether you aspire to start your own business or wish to strategize for an established company, an entrepreneurship degree can set you on a path to success. Here's how it can enhance your career:

Ways an Entrepreneurship Degree Can Enhance Your Career

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    Broaden business understanding

    An entrepreneurship equips you with skills you can apply to various fields of business.
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    Offer real-world experience

    Entrepreneurship programs often include opportunities for hands-on experience in starting and running a business.
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    Awareness of business trends

    You will stay up-to-date with current business trends that are vital for success, and you will learn how to track and adapt to these changes.
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    Enhanced communication skill

    Effective communication is critical for entrepreneurs, and these programs focus on refining public speaking and interpersonal skills.
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    Networking opportunities

    You'll have the chance to build valuable connections that can support your career growth.
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    Career flexibility

    An entrepreneurship degree opens the door to various roles, including CEO, business consultant, sales manager, and more.
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    Foundation for innovation

    This degree prepares you for roles that demand creativity, technical expertise, and leadership — key elements for driving innovation within organizations.

Career Paths

Graduates have a wide range of career paths open to them with an entrepreneurship degree. These include traditional roles in business and finance, as well as opportunities in start-ups and venture capital firms. Here are some potential careers for those with an entrepreneurship degree:

Entrepreneur

This is the most obvious career path for entrepreneurship graduates. With the knowledge and skills gained from the degree, graduates can start their own business ventures.

  • Average Annual Salary: $69,000 (June 2024)

Business Consultant

Business consultants are also known as management analysts. Graduates can use their knowledge of business strategy and operations to advise other companies. This can involve helping businesses identify opportunities for growth, streamline operations, or manage change.

  • Median Annual Salary: $99,410 (May 2023)

Sales Manager

The skills learned in an entrepreneurship program, such as negotiation and customer relationship management, are highly valuable in sales roles.

  • Median Annual Salary: $135,160 (May 2023)

Business Reporter

An understanding of business and entrepreneurship can be beneficial for journalists or reporters who specialize in business news.

  • Median Annual Salary: $57,500 (May 2023)

Recruiter

Recruiters need a good understanding of business and industry trends to identify and attract top talent. An entrepreneurship degree can provide this knowledge so that you can hire the right people to drive your business.

  • Average Annual Salary: $59,040 (June 2024)

Tips for Succeeding as a Return-to-College Student

Returning to college as a non-traditional student for an entrepreneurship degree can be challenging yet rewarding. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

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    Make sure your major aligns with your career goals and financial situation. Balance your passion with the payoff and calculate the degree's return on investment (ROI).
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    Take any required assessments for course placement.
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    Discuss your goals with your advisor for tailored academic planning.
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    Submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to secure a robust financial aid package utilizing scholarships, grants, and low-interest loans.
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    Familiarize yourself with the graduation requirements to plan your coursework effectively.
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    Register for classes early, balancing general education and major-specific courses.
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    Plan how to balance life, work, and school commitments.
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    Find a supportive community on campus to navigate through tough times.
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    Set healthy boundaries, and don't hesitate to ask for help when needed.

By following these steps and leveraging available resources, you can maximize your college experience and achieve your educational goals.

Frequently Asked Questions About Entrepreneurship Degrees

Does entrepreneurship pay well?

Entrepreneurial earnings vary widely and depend on the success of your business. While some entrepreneurs earn less than professionals in data analysis or web development, others can earn significantly more. Entrepreneurship has the potential to be highly lucrative for those who effectively leverage their strengths and skills.

While an MBA can benefit entrepreneurs by providing valuable skills and networking opportunities, it's not a requirement for success in entrepreneurship. Many entrepreneurs do not hold an MBA degree.

An entrepreneurship degree focuses specifically on skills for innovation and starting new ventures, while a general business degree covers a broader range of topics in management, administration, and business fundamentals. Each serves different career goals and interests within the business field.

Entrepreneurship can be rewarding, offering the chance to be your own boss and pursue personal satisfaction. It allows for a flexible lifestyle and the opportunity to create a legacy. However, it also involves significant challenges, including financial risk and the need for a strong work ethic and resilience. Success in entrepreneurship depends on your individual mindset, skills, and passion for innovation.

The highest-paid entrepreneur job varies by industry and individual success. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chief executives made a median annual salary of $206,680 as of May 2023. Entrepreneurs who significantly innovate in their field, like Richard Branson and Marc Benioff, have the potential for even greater earnings.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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