If you’re thinking of starting your own business or you’re already a seasoned business owner, earning your degree can promote your individual and professional growth and help you earn more. While some business owners may have a bachelor’s in business or a related field, there is not necessarily a clear-cut educational path for entrepreneurs. However, there are several academic routes you can pursue that include both undergraduate and master’s programs.
The most useful and relevant degree program will be the one that offers the most applicable skills for your particular industry or on-the-job responsibilities. Here are the most useful degrees for business owners and how you can set yourself up for success in both your education and your career.
What Degree Do You Need to Own a Business?
While there is no specific degree requirement for an entrepreneur, earning your degree can equip you with the knowledge and skills to help you navigate the business world. There are various academic disciplines that can help you to own and run your own business.
Many business owners have a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA). Courses in business management and administration that you can find in an MBA program will help you learn the necessary leadership skills required to run a successful business. While the specific course selection will vary based on the university, MBA programs are also offered with specializations in related fields, such as finance, accounting, and marketing.
If you don’t want to pursue your MBA, or if you’re seeking more specialized learning in specific areas, you can look into earning your bachelor’s or master’s degree by majoring in a single vocation such as accounting, finance, or leadership and human resources management. These degree programs can help you gain a deeper level of understanding of various aspects you will encounter while running your business, leading your staff, and managing your finances.
Best Degrees for Starting Your Own Business
Besides leadership and strategy, there are other degree programs that can be beneficial for starting your own business. Economics and accounting are two great examples. In order to run your own business, you should have a basic understanding of the financial aspects of business ownership such as obtaining funding, how to find and pitch investors, employee equity, and fundraising rounds. Sure, you can hire a CFO and delegate some of these responsibilities, but it’s still wise to have a basic knowledge of the financial aspects that coincide with business ownership.
If you pursue an economics degree, you’ll likely complete classes in micro and macroeconomics, along with related math classes like statistics or calculus. An economics degree can equip existing and aspiring business owners with overarching skill sets that can help you understand how business and finance work.
Studying accounting will give you more specific training in fields such as financial and managerial accounting, which can give you a solid foundation to handle the business and financial aspects of your business. Before you enroll in a degree program, make sure to review the course schedule to see what the program includes and what is most relevant to your particular business and any other education you may have completed in the past.
Computer science is another degree program that business owners may find useful. You don’t necessarily need to know how to create software or write complex code, but a background in computer science can be helpful since most modern businesses now involve some type of digital component, with either an online web presence that speaks to your company’s mission statement and service offerings, or even conduct business almost completely online in the realm of ecommerce. Look for a program that offers relevant courses to what you do in your business. For example, it may be helpful for you to learn how to set up computer networks or learn HTML or a CMS software in order to run your website.
Do You Need to Go to College to Start a Business?
The short answer here is, no. There are no hard-fast rules when it comes to education requirements in order to start a business. An MBA, bachelor’s, associate’s, or master’s degree in a related field can enable you to develop a strong foundation that will benefit you in your career, and help you maximize your earning potential. Academic programs can also help you develop interpersonal skills that are vital to running a business. You may even meet people you want to work with or network with in the future.
Business Owner Degree
While there is no specific ”business owner degree,” many successful entrepreneurs have earned an MBA or a degree in the relevant fields mentioned above. Regardless of the degree program you choose, successful entrepreneurs can attest that owning your own business involves trial and error along with on-the-job learning and experience you can only gain from actually pursuing your career aspirations.
Essential Skills for Business Owners
As you can see, there are a number of avenues you can pursue to obtain the best education to help you succeed in your business. If you’re still not sure which route to take, here are some essential skills you will use as a business owner. Use this list to help you determine where you need more education in order to choose the best degree program for your individual needs.
- Budget, finance, and accounting
- Marketing and sales
- Project Management
- Leadership and delegation
Earn Your Degree While You Run Your Business at National University
Whether you’re already in the throes of your entrepreneurial endeavors or you’re working while planning your next move, you can earn your degree on your own time at National University. This San Diego-based university offers in-person and online courses in several relevant fields. Earn your MBA, study accounting, finance and economics, or get your Master of Science in Computer Science.
No matter which program you choose, the flexible, four-week class schedules let you earn your degree while working and/or taking care of your family. Contact an academic advisor to learn more about which program to pursue to help your business thrive.