Degrees for Aspiring Business Owners: Program Information

Oct 20, 2019

Business owners have a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds. While no minimum education requirements exist for business owners, some preparatory options include earning a bachelor's degree in business administration or a master's degree in finance.

Essential Information

A business administration bachelor's degree program teaches the basics of business management and entrepreneurship. Students can explore organizational management practices and business policies. Students who enroll in a master's-level program will study risk strategies, corporate finance and asset pricing. A thesis may be required. Some programs may offer online coursework, particularly at the master's degree level.

Common prerequisites include a high school diploma or equivalent, and a bachelor's degree is required at the master's level.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Business Administration

These 4-year programs teach students about various subjects in finance, law and ethics. Individuals learn about concepts important to producing, financing and marketing goods and services, such as organization, communication and decision-making. Some programs allow students to specialize in a particular area, such as finance, marketing, management or entrepreneurship. The curriculum includes courses in financial reporting and human resources. General education requirements must also be met, like math and science. Course topics include:

  • Organizational management
  • Business applications of technology
  • Microeconomics
  • Financial decision-making
  • Business policy
  • Information systems

Master's Degree Programs in Finance

These 2-year programs can be useful to business owners overseeing large or rapidly expanding operations. Students take courses on investments, economic forecasting and statistics. Instructors also educate them on assessing and managing risks and returns. Students may have the option to choose from different concentrations, including risk management, real estate and financial policy. Students often complete a thesis prior to program completion. Some common course topics include the following:

  • Corporate finance
  • Asset pricing
  • Financial management
  • Risk strategy
  • Portfolio theory
  • Acquisitions and mergers

Popular Career Options

A master's degree in finance can enhance the career opportunities of aspiring business owners seeking self-employment. Possible job titles are:

  • Investment adviser
  • Estate planner
  • Real estate agent
  • Economic consultant
  • Market researcher

Salary Information reported in September 2019 that small business owners earned a median annual salary of $71,335. This amount can vary based on the type of business owned and degree level attained. Popular industries included, but weren't limited to, landscaping, construction and cleaning services.

A bachelor's degree in business administration or a master's in finance will prove useful to those aspiring to own their own business. Other popular career options for graduates of these programs include estate planners or market researchers.

Next: View Schools

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?