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Is an Entrepreneurship degree worth it?

Updated on June 14, 2012

An entrepreneurship degree

An entrepreneurship degree is that which is given to university, college and business school graduates who undertake a course in small business management or entrepreneurship.

A degree in entrepreneurship is not a prerequisite for success by any stretch of the imagination, nor is it a guarantee of success. Entrepreneurship is a passion, it is not something you learn, and it is something that is engrained in the soul of certain people. However, having said that, a business entrepreneurship degree will help you in understanding those issues that are not emotional; accounting, economics, finance, ethics and the like. These are necessary skills for total success, a dream will only get you so far, and you must also take into account the hard realities of business.

One may attain an Associate degree, a Bachelors, a masters degree in entrepreneurship or a Doctorate. An associate degree is typically a two year course, a Bachelors four years, a Masters in six years and a Doctorate in four to six additional years after attaining the Masters.

Career advice from Richard Branson

What entrepreneurship degree jobs can I get?

Once a degree has been earned, over and above becoming an independent businessman, what can be done with the degree? There are many options available, but the most pronounced entrepreneurship degree jobs are; Business Manager, Human Resources Manager, Market Research Analyst, Management Analyst or Corporate Recruiter. All these positions require the skills that were honed during the educational process; planning, directing, research, determining corporate policies, the study and implementation of operating procedures and market research.

Why an Entrepreneurship degree?

When one decides that he will pursue an entrepreneurship degree, he best have a reason as to why he wants this degree in the first place, and how far does he wish to go. Let’s start with an Associate degree. It can be earned conveniently at community colleges, vocational schools and trade schools. The two year course can be earned on campus or one can get a online entrepreneurship degree. An Associate degree will certainly enhance your job prospects and may very well lead to a higher salary. It can also help you to enter accounting or marketing. Most employers will favor those with an Associate degree over those who possess a high school diploma only. As the credits earned from the course of studies is generally transferable, the holder of the Associate degree can comfortably pursue his Bachelors.

Entrepreneurship Degree

A degree can help you develop skills which are vital to succeed as an Entrepreneur
A degree can help you develop skills which are vital to succeed as an Entrepreneur | Source

The decision whether to stop at an Associate degree or press on towards a Bachelors can be difficult. Yes, a Bachelors degree will open up mid level jobs rather than entry level jobs, but only the student can decide if the additional two years of study and the additional cost is worth it. Entrepreneurship is a strange beast, it does not place any specific educational demands on the individual to be successful. It is not the same as setting your sites on the law, medicine, engineering or finance, where a finite minimum education is demanded before you can be licensed to practice. There is no licensing requirements for entrepreneurship. If you do opt for an Associate degree, you must make sure that when you are finished your two years of study, that you will be accredited by the proper institutions. These institutions must be recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education. Anything less must be avoided. Pick a school that offers a quality program, has a high reputation, has excellent academic facilities and allows for the transfer of credits, should you decide in the future to pursue your Bachelors degree.

A Masters degree in entrepreneurship

A Masters degree in entrepreneurship can only be pursued once you have completed your Bachelors degree. The normal time to attain this post graduate degree is two years, but it can be taken part time over a period of three, four or five years. There is no doubt that a Masters degree in entrepreneurship will pay tremendous dividends. Studying for a Masters is unlike the manner in which you study for a Bachelors degree. Master's studies are very much like seminars, where there is a great deal of discussion and debate, this being over and above case study analysis. The business student who graduates with an Mba can specialize in numerous fields; everything from master of Accountancy through Master of Science in Taxation, and literally everything in between.

Social Entrepreneur Degree

A social entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who creates often NPO's which help communities and charities.
A social entrepreneur is an entrepreneur who creates often NPO's which help communities and charities. | Source

Is there a social entrepreneurship degree

There are very few schools that offer a social entrepreneurship degree, and these are all post graduate studies leading to a Masters degree. The Wharton School of Business has seen an uptick of post graduate students who are turning their skills towards more socially responsible issues and business. The drive to larger and larger paychecks seems to be waning in favor of getting a degree in “Doing good things”. More and more students are taking the traditional business model and turning it towards solving social problems. Although this may appear to be a recent phenomena, social entrepreneurship is nothing new. Many of the social safety nets that we take for granted today were promoted and executed by the social entrepreneurs of the past. Had it not been for these social visionaries, perhaps we would not have universal education, environmental standards, a minimum wage and protection of the poor that we take for granted today.

Any undertaking that is innovative, and not for profit can be considered as social entrepreneurship. Micro finance that we see in India, community housing projects that we see in the Philippines and homeless shelters in Philadelphia are all perfect examples of how the concepts and precepts of entrepreneurship can be taken from the boardroom to the streets.

Ashoka, a leading social organization defines social entrepreneurship as “someone who has a committed vision and inexhaustible determination to create a public value to solve a public problem, to direct public resources from an area of lower productivity to the area of higher productivity and to work to transform their society to be a better place to live and to work”. There is no higher ideal than that.

What is amazing is how social entrepreneurship and the business entrepreneur use the identical skills. Drive, determination, enthusiasm and energy. The power vested in the entrepreneur is majestic, for profit or for charity.


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    • dipless profile image

      dipless 5 years ago from Manchester

      That is true, entrepreneurship is most definitely about the application of knowledge and skills as opposed to just using them, but I think that having a solid skill set base of an entrepreneur degree will put you at an advantage.

    • veejay23 profile image

      veejay23 5 years ago from South Africa

      Good thing to have proof evidence from your years of study but what matters most is the application thereof.