A four-year degree is not required for individuals to succeed as ambitious, determined entrepreneurs, but an education certainly helps. With the right determination, work ethic, and skill sets, a student can successfully launch their entrepreneurial career. A certificate in entrepreneurship is a great introduction to the lessons and skills an entrepreneur needs to thrive in today’s business world. A typical certificate program in entrepreneurship covers in-depth business basics, such as management, human resources, financial management, and venture planning. In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, students must be skilled in communication, decision-making, leadership, management, problem-solving, and time-management. Unlike a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship or a master’s degree in entrepreneurship, students can learn most of what they need to know about their entrepreneurial career through an entrepreneurship certificate program.

Types of Entrepreneurship Certificates

Certificate Vocational

A vocational certificate program in entrepreneurship requires neither work experience nor a four-year degree. This type of certificate teaches students the basics of owning and operating a business. Study topics included are business plans, investor financing, business law, and buying or selling a business. A vocational certificate is advantageous in that it features reasonable tuition, online classes, very few prerequisites, and non-competitive admission standards. By the end of their certificate, students will be skilled entrepreneurs ready to break out and pursue their ambitions. To be admitted into a vocational certificate program, students will need to supply the following for review:

  • High school diploma or its equivalent
  • High school transcript
  • Approved ACT or SAT scores

The typical vocational certificate program lasts six months in entirety. Like any vocational certificate program, the goal is to equip the student with the direct tools they need to be successful in their career path, rather than focus on theory. All course materials, quizzes, and lectures are accessible online in lieu of web-based hubs such as Blackboard. Courses to expect in a certificate program include business, business law, economics, and more.

Post-Master’s Certificate

A post-master’s certificate in entrepreneurship is something many students choose to invest in after finishing their master’s degree. Unlike a Ph.D. program, students aren’t committing themselves to a career in research or postsecondary teaching. Instead, a post-master’s certificate program allows a student to select a specialty or course of study that interests them. This type of certificate allows students to choose a specialty within entrepreneurship, such as financing, management, or accounting, and instructs them on the specialty of their choice. Common specialties students select include investor financing, project management, and business ethics. This type of certificate is a worthwhile option to consider because of its reasonable tuition and online class availability. By the end of this certificate program, post-master’s students will have mastered a specialty outside of their master’s degree and be ready to pursue their business ambitions. To gain admission into a post-master’s certificate program, students are required to fulfill the following prerequisites :

  • Master’s degree in entrepreneurship or related subject
  • Official transcripts from undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Work experience

Most online post-master’s certificate programs take about six months to successfully complete. The courses are designed to be supplementary to the curriculum covered in a master’s degree. Thus, students will gain a rather nuanced understanding of their specialty in entrepreneurship.

What’s Next for Certificate Holders?

After completing their post-master’s certificates, students will be qualified to move on to a Ph.D. program or accept a higher-level executive or management position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an executive’s salary depends upon the industry in which they work. For instance, entrepreneurs in professional, scientific, and technical services make an average of $129,520 a year, while those in retail trade make about $73,620 a year. The BLS further reports that employment for entrepreneurs is expected to grow by 5% from 2010 to 2020. For those who have an interest in academia or research, there is also an option to acquire a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship. With a Ph.D., students can become post-secondary teachers and contribute to original research in entrepreneurship. No matter how they use it, students will greatly benefit from a certificate in entrepreneurship.