If you have always wanted to start or lead a business, consider earning an MBA in entrepreneurship. This degree provides the confidence, skills, and connections you need to start a new venture or move up in the business world. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 185,000 students earned MBAs in the 2014-15 school year, making it the country’s most popular master’s degree.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 185,000 students earned MBAs in the 2014-15 school year, making it the country's most popular master's degree.
MBAs are so popular because they prepare students for a variety of roles in nearly every industry. Businesses of all kinds need skilled leaders to oversee operations, manage employees, and set long-term goals. An MBA enables you to work for a small tech startup, an established multinational corporation, or somewhere in between. Read on to learn more about the courses and career opportunities you can expect from an MBA in entrepreneurship program.
Should I Get an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
This degree is great for those who have worked for a few years and want to advance their careers. An MBA provides a boost in skills and credibility that you need to advance to a leadership role or start your own business. And getting an MBA in entrepreneurship benefits workers in nearly any industry.
Some choose to get an MBA soon after their undergrad, while others earn the degree to elevate their careers later on. If you recently finished your bachelor’s and you desire to pursue a position that requires an MBA, you may want to apply to traditional, on-campus MBA programs. Working professionals looking to change careers usually prefer flexible, online MBA programs.
MBA programs help students master the managerial, leadership, and critical-thinking skills necessary to run a business. By analyzing case studies, MBA students gain a deep understanding of the many factors that can affect a company’s success. They learn to analyze financial information, read market trends, and coordinate operations between departments. Entrepreneurship programs teach students how to develop a business plan, work with investors, and ultimately establish a new company.
MBA programs also provide invaluable networking and career development opportunities. Through MBA programs, students gain access to extensive networks of successful alumni and corporate executives. Earning an MBA in entrepreneurship can increase your competitiveness long after graduation and enhance your credibility for your entire career.
What Can I Do With an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
Graduates of MBA in entrepreneurship programs often dream of starting a new venture. Entrepreneurship students are typically innovators who aspire to develop a new product, technology, or service. Some entrepreneurship students would rather take their talents and newfound skills to an existing business. Many companies value entrepreneurial employees who are creative, driven, and inventive. Graduates of MBA in entrepreneurship programs possess the business skills to enter lucrative positions in practically any field. They often pursue careers as management consultants, financial managers, and top executives.
- Management Analyst
These professionals, sometimes called management consultants, advise companies on increasing revenue and improving productivity. They analyze financial data, observe workplace habits, and propose solutions to any issues they find. Many of the larger and more prestigious consulting firms prefer candidates who have earned an MBA.
Median Annual Salary: $82,450
Projected Growth Rate: 14%
- Financial Manager
These employees oversee the finances of businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies. They analyze market data, prepare financial reports, and manage budgets. They work closely with top executives to maximize profits and ensure a firm’s overall financial well-being. MBA programs help aspiring financial managers master data analysis techniques and software.
Median Annual Salary: $125,080
Projected Growth Rate: 19%
- Sales Manager
These workers oversee sales teams. They manage all aspects of the sales process by designing pricing plans, setting quotas, and developing sales strategies. At times, sales managers must resolve customer complaints and issues. MBA programs provide students with the fundamental business knowledge they need to effectively supervise sales teams.
Median Annual Salary: $121,060
Projected Growth Rate: 7%
- Top Executive
These professionals set goals and expectations for a business and develop strategies to meet those goals. Executives coordinate between many departments to ensure the business thrives. They negotiate contracts, hire vendors, and deal with investors and boards. An MBA teaches students the managerial concepts they need to succeed as top executives.
Median Annual Salary: $104,700
Projected Growth Rate: 8%
- Human Resources Manager
These professionals act as the liaisons between an organization’s upper management and its employees. They manage the hiring process by scheduling interviews and reviewing applications. Human resources managers also resolve disputes between employees, and ensure a comfortable and productive workplace. Some high-level human resources positions require an MBA or other advanced degree.
Median Annual Salary: $110,120
Projected Growth Rate: 9%
How to Choose an MBA in Entrepreneurship Program
There are many variables to consider when choosing where to earn an entrepreneurship MBA degree. Keep in mind that no two schools are alike, and programs differ widely in terms of length, courses, and other requirements. If you are prepared to spend two years earning your degree, you may want to opt for a traditional, on-campus program. However, if you are eager to graduate and enter the workforce, you may prefer an accelerated online program. Some programs are designed specifically for working professionals and may fit your lifestyle and schedule better.
Be sure to thoroughly research course listings and capstone requirements before deciding on a school. Though many programs share several courses, you may find that a particular program offers more interesting electives. If you enjoy hands-on learning, you may want to prioritize programs that include a practicum component. If you learn best through independent research, find a program that requires a thesis or major research project.
Perhaps most importantly, you should determine the amount you are willing to pay for a degree. The cost between programs varies widely, and you should only enroll in a program that you can afford. Keep in mind that location impacts the overall cost of your degree. If you choose to study in a metropolitan area, you will likely pay more for housing, food, and utilities.
Programmatic Accreditation for MBA in Entrepreneurship Programs
It is essential that you earn your MBA at an accredited institution if you want to receive a top-quality business education. Accredited schools have been reviewed and evaluated by an impartial accrediting agency, and accredited institutions meet high academic standards set by leaders at other universities. Once a university becomes accredited, it must undergo a regular review process to keep its designation.
Make sure that your chosen school has received accreditation from a U.S. Department of Education-approved agency. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) accredits MBA and other business programs. Students should prioritize universities that have received AACSB accreditation, as these schools excel at providing business-focused education. Employers understand the benefits of attending an AACSB-accredited school. If you earn an MBA in entrepreneurship from an AACSB-accredited program, future employers will be more likely to respect your qualifications and trust your knowledge.
MBA in Entrepreneurship Program Admissions
This section provides a general overview on the admissions process for MBA programs. The application process for graduate programs is similar to the process for undergraduate programs, but there are some key differences. Candidates for MBA programs must submit an application to each school, along with some additional materials. MBA programs typically require applicants to submit a transcript, test scores, and a few recommendation letters. Some schools also require a short essay. No Common App exists for graduate students, so you must apply to each school on your list individually.
Keep in mind that specific requirements vary by school. And remember that applying to online programs is typically more involved than applying to on-campus programs. Aim to apply to six to seven schools, and be sure to choose a few safety schools, a few target schools, and some reach schools.
- Bachelor’s Degree: All MBA programs require applicants to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Some schools prefer that students complete fundamental business courses in their undergraduate study.
- Professional Experience: Most applicants enter MBA programs with significant professional experience. MBA programs often require at least three years of work experience in business or another field.
- Minimum GPA: MBA programs typically require a minimum 3.0 GPA. Students who do not meet this requirement may still be admitted based on other application components.
- Application: The specific application form varies from school to school. It usually includes basic personal information, and can be completed fairly quickly online or by mail.
- Transcripts: Students must obtain their official transcripts from their undergraduate university. Submit a request to your university, and it will provide your official transcript for a small fee.
- Recommendation Letters: You must submit around three recommendation letters from former supervisors or professors. Ask for letters of recommendation well in advance of the application deadline.
- Test Scores: While some programs are test-optional, you most likely must submit GRE or GMAT scores. Some schools publish minimum test scores online.
- Application Fee: Application fees for graduate programs typically fall around $100. Some schools waive application fees for military veterans and low-income applicants who qualify.
What Else Can I Expect From an MBA in Entrepreneurship Program?
Read on for some guidelines on MBA in entrepreneurship curriculums, formats, and tuition costs. While most MBA programs follow the same general structure, every program has quirks and special requirements. Be sure to thoroughly research each MBA program as details vary significantly by school.
Courses in an MBA in Entrepreneurship Program
While course titles vary from school to school, every MBA in entrepreneurship program teaches students similar entrepreneurship concepts and principles. Entrepreneurship programs give students the skills they need to develop business plans, raise funding, and start a business. See below for some common MBA in entrepreneurship courses.
- Starting New Ventures
This course introduces students to the many challenges entrepreneurs face when starting a new business. Students learn about fundamental principles in risk management, market analysis, and networking. The course prepares students for the financial, legal, and personal decisions they must make in the early stages of a new business.
- Venture Capital
This course covers the role of venture capital firms in new companies. Students learn how venture capital firms operate, where they get their investments from, and how they work with entrepreneurs. This course is ideal for students looking to start a business or transition to the venture capital field.
- Entrepreneurial Thinking
Through this course, students learn to think and act like entrepreneurs. The goal is to get students thinking about how they can change existing industries and create new ones. Students learn to change their mindset and approach business, technology, and innovation from an entrepreneurial perspective.
- Management of Smaller Enterprises
This course focuses on the unique challenges and decisions managers of small businesses face. Students learn to understand the fundamental differences in the ways large and small firms operate. The course also covers how responsibilities shift after a small business takes on institutional investors or is acquired by a large company.
- Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship
This course teaches students how to build successful new ventures while being mindful of environmental impact. Through case studies, students become familiar with trends in clean technology and environmentally sustainable business. They also learn about the tools and frameworks that companies use to measure their impact on the environment.
How Long Does It Take to Get an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
Full-time students can usually earn their MBA in around two years. However, different factors affect how long it takes. Some schools deliver MBA programs in an accelerated format, often called an executive MBA. These programs require students to attend class more often and for longer sessions. Students can complete them in one year.
Some traditional programs allow students to take extra credits so they can graduate faster. However, students with jobs may prefer to take fewer credits each semester and complete the degree in three or four years. It may be advantageous to finish the degree faster, as some schools charge a flat tuition fee each semester. Other schools charge per credit, so you pay the same amount no matter how long it takes you to graduate. Entrepreneurship MBA programs typically require around 36 credits.
How Much is an MBA in Entrepreneurship?
Earning an MBA can be quite costly, but the advanced career opportunities the degree provides make it well worth the price. Yearly tuition usually ranges from $25,000-$50,000, but the actual cost depends on your chosen program. Whether you choose to enroll in a public or a private university can greatly impact tuition costs. Public universities are generally more affordable than private ones, and enrolling in a public university in your home state is often the most inexpensive option. Schools differ in how they calculate tuition. Most have a set tuition cost per semester, while some bill per credit.
When budgeting for a graduate program, consider the costs beyond tuition. For example, rent, internet, and other living expenses vary widely depending on where you decide to study. If you wish to live near campus, research the typical living costs in the area. Textbooks and other academic resources also add significant costs to your MBA program. The format in which you choose to study can affect tuition cost as some schools offer reduced tuition to online students.
MBA in Entrepreneurship Certifications and Licenses
- Certified Management Consultant
Awarded by the Institute of Management Consultants, individuals must earn a master’s degree, practice as a consultant for at least three years, and obtain recommendations from several clients to earn this certification. This international certification is recognized in around 50 countries.
- Chartered Financial Analyst
The CFA Institute offers this credential to financial and investment professionals in many positions. In order to earn the certification, candidates must complete the CFA program and pass three six-hour exams. It typically takes around four years to complete the program and earn the CFA certification.
- Financial Risk Manager
The Global Association of Risk Professionals awards this certification to risk professionals at banks, hedge funds, management consulting firms, and other organizations. Candidates must pass two exams to earn the credential. They typically become certified in around two years. The certification is recognized internationally.
Resources for Entrepreneurship Graduate Students
The AFA is an academic organization that promotes research in finance and economics. The association publishes an online academic journal on finance.
The Harvard Business Review covers a wide range of business-related topics such as finance, management, and leadership strategy. The magazine is published six times per year.
This peer-reviewed academic journal publishes research on several topics relating to finance, leadership, and business administration. The journal is sponsored by 10 universities.
This journal focuses on business from an ethics perspective. Articles explore the ethical issues associated with marketing, advertising, and manufacturing on a large scale.
This academic publication examines business, innovation, and entrepreneurship in developing countries. The journal explores the challenges of starting a business in an emerging economy.
Professional Organizations in Entrepreneurship
Several professional organizations offer valuable resources to entrepreneurship students and recent graduates. By joining these associations, students gain access to excellent professional development and career opportunities. Professional organizations also connect entrepreneurship students with a supportive community. The Entrepreneur’s Organization’s mentorship program pairs young entrepreneurs with experienced mentors. And the American Management Association provides access to seminars with business experts. Below, you will find a few organizations for entrepreneurship students.