The best college degrees for entrepreneurs include psychology, political science, foreign languages, communication studies, engineering, graphic design, mathematics, and computer science.
Think of something that you’re very passionate about. One day, when you’re walking back from work or school, you then have an idea. The idea is – to start your own business based on your passion. Congrats – you’ve caught the entrepreneurial spirit with your business idea!
You think it’s great, as you can work whichever hours you like, partner with your favorite companies, and market your product online or offline. But then, you realize that there’s a learning curve.
Other than being a master in your own product or craft, you’ll have to learn the basics of running a business. This means that you’ll have to brush up on some basic accounting, finance, marketing, or supply chain knowledge.
Business owners often have to bootstrap their businesses in the beginning until they gain the resources and knowledge to become a successful entrepreneur.
But hold on, if you studied a program which covered some of these skills, you may have a leg up compared to others. And if you’re still in high school, you can pick a program which will prepare you to run your own business.
However, the good news is that there are plenty of industries which you can work in as an entrepreneur. For example, you can work in the tech industry and design phones, sell personal photos, or design clothes. But other than the technical skills – which also often include running the business, you’ll also need to develop a few soft skills.
What Soft Skills Should Entrepreneurs Have?
Soft skills usually refer to skills that heavily rely on interpersonal relationships. Instead of the intelligence quotient (IQ), soft skills usually refer to one’s emotional quotient (EQ). These skills often are directly related to a person’s work ethic or sense of professionalism. And unlike hard skills, soft skills are important and transferable for any industry.
As an entrepreneur, it’s more important to develop soft skills as you’ll have to network and interact with different people constantly in your business ventures. Some of the soft skills which you’ll need to develop include:
This refers to both written and verbal communication. When you’re trying to build your brand, it’s important to establish good relations with your customers and partners. And good relations can only be established through constant communication.
Problem-solving and Critical Thinking:
As an entrepreneur, you’ll run into tons of problems which you can’t prevent. Some of these include missed product orders, malfunctions in manufacturing, and other customer-related concerns. You’ll have to troubleshoot these problems in order to satisfy the customer while remaining careful of the company’s budget.
It’s important to develop analytical skills in order to better understand your target market and the environment. So in this case, you can still find different ways to sell your product.
Even if you’re running the company alone, you’ll have to work with other suppliers to produce the final product. For example, if you’re starting a clothing brand, you’ll have to work with fashion suppliers and manufacturers.
Entrepreneurs have to stick to deadlines as certain products may have to be delivered at a certain time. So, it’s best to learn how to prioritize.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll be juggling plenty of tasks. Not only do you have to answer customer emails, but you’ll also have to work on new projects and collections simultaneously. But in order to work on multiple tasks, you’ll have to stay organized and sort out your documents. This way, deadlines and orders won’t get missed.
Environments and trends change constantly. Every day, something new will pop up. But as an entrepreneur, you’ll have to be aware of these new trends and products. Moreover, you’ll have to learn how to adapt your company and attitude towards these new trends.
Other than communicating with others, it’s best to know how to lead others within your team as well. Even if you’re working on your own, you can show some leadership when collaborating with other partners by presenting new ideas and taking on new initiatives.
So when choosing a college undergraduate degree, it’s best to choose a degree that will teach you these soft skills. Some of the hard skills such as the basics of running a business, are also important but can be self-taught.
The 12 Best College Degrees For Entrepreneurs
If you want to focus more on developing the soft skills, here are some of the degrees you can choose as one of the world’s future entrepreneurs:
Psychology is a versatile degree which will allow you to learn about human behavior, theories of the human brain, and how to critically analyze journal articles.
As a psychology student, you’ll have to complete a lot of readings and papers regarding different types of behavior and characteristics. These papers will allow you to think critically about the subject, while developing strong research skills. You’ll have to find reliable sources and evidence to prove your point.
Moreover, psychology can also improve your communication skills. This is also done through written communication, as you’ll have to find a way to present a clear argument in an essay. Or moreover, you may have to do a few presentations in your upper-year courses.
As an entrepreneur, you’ll find your psychology degree handy when you begin the market research process. It will allow you to better understand your consumers and find a unique method to target them.
2. Political Science
If you’re not a fan of politics, you may be surprised to hear that a political science degree can help you understand more about companies and organizations.
When studying political science, you’ll become more familiar with the structure of different governments and municipalities. Moreover, you’ll also learn more about the causes of inequality amongst different societies.
By understanding political structures, you’ll understand the importance of developing policies and partnerships within the business environment. In this case, you’ll be able to collaborate with different partners and companies, and understand the importance of policies within a legal perspective.
3. Foreign Languages
Other than being a translator, knowing foreign languages will help as an entrepreneur. If you know more than one language, you can potentially expand your business to a new country and form business partnerships with international companies.
Moreover, learning foreign languages can also develop your communication skills. Since you’re tested on writing, reading, and listening comprehension, you’ll take these skills more into account whenever conversing with others.
So, knowing foreign languages will allow you to keep your company’s doors open and ready for the global world.
4. Communication Studies
Learning how to communicate with others is important in a digital age. And by studying communication, you’ll learn how to develop public-speaking and writing skills.
Moreover, throughout your communications degree, you may learn the importance of marketing through social media and writing press releases. This will be helpful as an entrepreneur, especially when you’re trying to build your brand with others.
Although math is seemingly a challenging and theoretical program, majoring in it will teach you plenty of soft skills. Some of these soft skills include analytical thinking and problem-solving. Whenever you’re solving equations, you’re thinking of different ways to find the answer.
Moreover, you’ll also develop quantitative skills throughout your mathematics degree. You’ll learn how to work with numbers, which are often important in accounting and finance.
Engineering classes are difficult as they often contain lab, tutorial, and lecture components. However, throughout an engineering program, you’ll learn a variety of skills which include communication, problem-solving, and project management. These skills are very important when running your company.
So other than the math and science classes, you’ll be gaining other soft and technical skills as well.
7. Graphic Design
If you want to build a brand centered around the artistic and creative industries, a major in graphic design is worth considering.
Throughout your program, you’ll learn the techniques of Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Knowing these software will be helpful in terms of designing a logo or other materials for your brand.
8. Computer Science
Since the tech industry is booming, majoring in computer science will be useful in terms of learning the new programming languages and thinking in an entrepreneurial mindset. Throughout your Computer Science degree, you’ll often be tasked to create certain projects and solve problems.
Many CS students also take courses in entrepreneurship, which will be useful when deciding to create your own business.
9. Environmental Science or Sustainability
As sustainability becomes increasingly important, degrees in these fields can lead to opportunities in environmentally conscious entrepreneurship.
A background in law can be beneficial for understanding legal aspects such as contracts, intellectual property, and regulatory compliance, which are crucial for protecting your business.
One of the primary benefits of a law degree for entrepreneurs is the deep understanding of legal matters it provides. Entrepreneurs often encounter a wide range of legal issues, including contract negotiations, intellectual property protection, regulatory compliance, and liability concerns. Having a background in law can help entrepreneurs navigate these issues with greater confidence and accuracy.
Entrepreneurs frequently face risks when starting and running their businesses. Legal knowledge allows entrepreneurs to identify potential risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. This can be crucial for protecting the business and its assets.
11. Health Sciences:
If you have an interest in healthcare or biotechnology startups, a degree in health sciences, biology, or related fields can be valuable.
The healthcare and life sciences industry is rapidly expanding, presenting numerous entrepreneurial opportunities. Innovations in healthcare delivery, biotechnology, medical devices, and digital health are in high demand.
Health sciences majors gain insights into the healthcare market, including patient needs, regulatory requirements, and industry trends. This knowledge is essential for identifying market gaps and opportunities.
12. Business Administration or Management
A degree in business administration or management provides a solid foundation in business principles, including finance, marketing, operations, and leadership. It can be particularly useful for understanding the fundamentals of running a business.
This program will provide you with a general overview of business. You’ll take some courses in accounting, finance, marketing, and human resources. Moreover, you’ll also take leadership courses which will help you in terms of delegating tasks and creating a vision for your organization.
These classes can teach you how to create a business plan, do market research to find your target audience, marketing strategies and more. Business degree programs can be helpful but are typically for people who want to go into the corporate world.
Other Business Classes To Take
Other than the degrees listed above, you can also choose to major in a business-related field.
Many universities have their own business school, and you can choose to specialize in a specific type of field within business.
Some of these fields and majors include:
Understanding finance is one of the necessary skills for running your own business.
If you choose to specialize in finance and get a finance degree, you’ll gain some knowledge in the current economic state of the world, accounting, and risk management.
Finance will allow you to keep track of records and expenses, understanding cash flow, and will help you to invest in your company wisely. It can also help you with financial planning and financial analysis of your business.
Accounting is an important skill within and outside of the entrepreneurship world.
With an accounting degree, you’ll learn how to calculate the assets of a company, the profit and revenue, and read balance sheets and financial statements. These skills are extremely important when filing taxes for your own business.
An important aspect of entrepreneurship is self-promotion. You’ll have to find a unique way to promote your company, whether on social media or through traditional marketing. In order to learn more about building brand awareness, you can gain these skills through your classes and better understand how to build a strategy.
Marketing can also teach you about social entrepreneurship and ways to give back.
Human resources is a field which deals directly with people. You’re dealing with employee management, as well as assessing and reassessing the hiring policies within the company. By studying human resources, you’ll have a better understanding of the recruitment process, which will be useful when the company increases in size.
So, should I major in a business-related degree or not?
It’s important to note that even if you want to be an entrepreneur and gain business-related skills, you don’t necessarily have to major in business. In fact, statistics show that 17% of entrepreneurs obtain a bachelor’s degree.
However, if you do decide to major in a business-related field, you will gain technical skills which will give you an upper hand when running your own company. Whereas, graduates from other majors may be hit by a steep learning curve.
A business degree, marketing degree, and/or economics degree is helpful in the business world but you do not need to have one to build a successful business.
But on the other hand, majoring in a field which is non-business related can allow you to develop new skills. For example, if you major in psychology, you may learn how to better interact with others, and if you decide to take graphic design, you may learn new software.
With that being said, you should always major in a subject that you feel comfortable with, and that will help you develop the required soft skills.
Do you need an MBA to be an entrepreneur?
No, you do not need an MBA (Master of Business Administration) to be an entrepreneur.
While an MBA can provide valuable business knowledge and skills that may be helpful in running a business, it is by no means a requirement for entrepreneurship. Many successful entrepreneurs do not have MBAs, and they have built thriving businesses through their own creativity, determination, and practical experience.
An MBA program can teach you a lot about business, of course, but graduate levels are typically for people in the corporate world.
Entrepreneurship is more about your ability to identify opportunities, solve problems, take calculated risks, and manage resources effectively. These skills can be developed through hands-on experience, networking, mentorship, and continuous learning. Some entrepreneurs may choose to pursue an MBA to gain a structured education in business and management, while others prefer to learn through real-world experiences.
Ultimately, whether or not you pursue an MBA depends on your individual goals, circumstances, and the specific industry or field you plan to enter. It’s important to assess your own strengths and weaknesses and consider what educational and experiential pathways align best with your entrepreneurial aspirations.
In Summary: The Best College Degrees for Entrepreneurs To Run a Successful Business
Being an entrepreneur sounds amazing; you get to work around your own schedule and showcase your passion to the world.
However, starting your own company requires you to have strong networking, collaboration, and customer service skills. Other than keeping track of expenses and budgets, you’ll constantly have to multitask and work under deadlines. But with enough experience, you’ll be able to tackle any given situation in no time.
When being an entrepreneur, other than selecting what you study, it’s best to know what you’re passionate about. Therefore, when you’re passionate about a certain field, you can share that passion with everyone and be innovative.
We hope this list of best degrees helps you gain clarity on what you should major in your ultimate goal is be an entrepreneur and build your own business. These are the best majors to give you a strong foundation while you are in college.
After all, entrepreneurship is all about what you think is the best for yourself. So, major in what you think is best for you. Good luck on your new business!