Some say that entrepreneurs are born, not made, yet that assertion is absolutely untrue. Entrepreneurship is a talent that must be cultivated, nurtured, and learned. The desire to start, build, and grow a business large or small requires a combination of dedication, hard work, experience, and education. For those who want to own their own business, be their own boss, or succeed in business careers, an associate degree in entrepreneurship is an ideal degree to pursue.

Why an Associate Degree?

Born entrepreneurs have trouble sitting still, and since an associate degree in entrepreneurship can be completed quickly and efficiently, it is an ideal degree for those who want to start their careers right away. Students will enroll in basic entrepreneurship classes that will help give them the tools they need to become skilled, dependable entrepreneurs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

(BLS), although many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, some are promoted from lower level managerial positions in firms where experience can be substituted for education. That said, students can always pursue another degree down the line after completing their associate degree.

Getting Into an Associate Degree Program

All schools have a set of prerequisites that must be met before they will allow students to enter a particular degree program. To be considered for an associate degree program, students will need to have the following qualifications:

  • High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Desired SAT or ACT scores

Inside an Entrepreneurship Associate Degree Program

An associate degree program in entrepreneurship typically takes two years at a traditional school, but possibly less if the student is enrolled in an online or accelerated-pace program. During the first year of their degree studies, students will take a mix of liberal arts classes and introductory courses related to the study of entrepreneurship. As they progress into the program, courses become more focused on entrepreneurial studies. Entrepreneurship degree programs include classes that discuss business management, economic development, accounting, human resources, business law, and more. All assignments, quizzes, projects, and exams featured in this major are designed to enhance students’ knowledge of working in entrepreneurship.

As technology continues to expand, more online colleges and distance learning programs are popping up. Online degree programs are appealing to students who want to earn their degree quickly, have busy schedules that conflict with typical daytime classes, or otherwise cannot be present in the traditional classroom. Class materials for online entrepreneurship degrees are delivered entirely electronically to accommodate remote students. They may be presented through a series of PowerPoint presentations, podcasts, class outlines, and more. Homework, assessments, lectures, and discussions are all accessible through online hubs such as Blackboard.

What’s Next for Entrepreneurship Associate Degree Holders?

Armed with their associate degree, entrepreneurship students may embark on a number of career paths. They may start their own business, enter into entry-level management jobs, and otherwise pursue their entrepreneurship ambitions and aspirations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an entrepreneur’s salary greatly depends upon the settings in which they work. For example, entrepreneurs in professional, scientific, and technical services make around $129,520 a year, while those in retail trade make about $73,620. The BLS also reports that employment for entrepreneurs and top executives is expected to grow by 5% from 2010 to 2020.

Many industries require managers and top executives to have more than an associate degree or certificate in entrepreneurship. Because of this fact, some students choose to work towards a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship or a related field after completing their associate degree. Since entrepreneurs must learn a number of essential skills, such as communication skills, decision-making, skills, and leadership skills, it can be useful to acquire a master’s degree in entrepreneurship as well. The academically astute may be predisposed toward a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship.