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Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies

Program Description

Just the Facts

Entrepreneurship/Entrepreneurial Studies. A program that generally prepares individuals to perform development, marketing and management functions associated with owning and operating a business.

This program is available in these options:

  • Certificate / Diploma
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Master's degree
  • Doctoral degree

High School Courses

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this career cluster:

See the high school courses recommended for programs in this pathway:

Additional Information

Do you dream of being your own boss? Entrepreneurship training is widely available, and the programs are as varied as the businesses you could run.

You can take a four-year bachelor's program, a two-year associate's degree or a shorter certificate program in entrepreneurship. Many organizations also offer entrepreneurial training to young people in middle and high school.

Most of these programs aren't accredited, although some schools are approved by the International Association for Management Education or the American Association of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Others are recognized by business publications such as U.S. News and World Report and Success.

Good grades are important when you're applying to an entrepreneurship program, says Kathleen Allen. She is the director of the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Southern California. Her program is open to business students who have a grade point average above 2.9.

"There has never been a correlation between grades and success in an entrepreneurship program," she says, "but a very low GPA suggests a student who does not put out the effort -- and we don't want that."

In many programs, students begin with general business classes, then move on to entrepreneurial courses.

James C. Barrood is the associate director of the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University. "Students build upon their core courses by choosing a variety of courses that focus on starting, financing and growing businesses, as well as corporate entrepreneurship and family businesses," he says.

In these programs, students identify a business idea and create a plan to carry it out. "That demonstrates the ability to take a project from start to completion," Allen says.

If you don't want a four-year program, try one or two years at a business college or community college.

Brian MacKay is the director of the entrepreneurship program at a community college. His is a typical example of a one-year certificate program. It includes 16 courses and presentation of a business plan to an advisory board made up of entrepreneurs, lenders, accountants and lawyers.

In high school, take business classes in addition to basic studies. Computer literacy is important.

And get involved with clubs that teach leadership and cooperation. "Leadership and teamwork skills are critical to the success of entrepreneurs," says Barrood.

MacKay says Junior Achievement and other local youth enterprise clubs offer a good way to learn about business.

The main costs are tuition and books.


Occupational Outlook Handbook
For more information related to this field of study, see: Top Executives

Entrepreneurs' Organization
A comprehensive resource on starting a business

All angles of entrepreneurship


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