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Online Degrees and Training Programs for Entrepreneurs

Dec 03, 2019

Find out about online entrepreneurship courses and in which degree programs they're most commonly offered. Get course descriptions, program info and online requirements to make an informed decision.

Essential Information

Several schools offer online bachelor's and master's degree programs in entrepreneurship that give students the skills they'll need to start and succeed in a new business. These degrees may be Bachelor of Business Administration or Master of Business (MBA) degrees that allow students to choose a concentration in entrepreneurship. Students may be able to take all courses online, viewing lessons and completing assignments on their own schedules, or they may also need to take some courses on-campus.

Some bachelor's degree programs require that students hold associate's degrees prior to enrolling. These programs take two years. A four-year bachelor's degree program requires that students complete general education courses as well as business courses. Master's degree program applicants should hold a bachelor's degree. The time to complete a master's program varies, depending on if the student is full- or part-time. It can be done in as little as a year, and some schools allow up to five years.

Students in a bachelor's degree program learn the fundamentals of starting a new business, from developing an idea to obtaining financing and marketing the business. The program includes basic business courses such as human resources management, accounting and business law, in addition to courses in entrepreneurship. In a master's degree program, students take advanced courses in entrepreneurship that may include market strategy, leadership, funding, growth and business ethics.

Bachelor's Degree in Entrepreneurship

An online bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship engages the process of developing an initial concept into a functioning business. Students learn to test new product or service ideas, gather financial and other resources, obtain permits and manage business operations. Some programs will provide students the opportunity to develop knowledge about specific types of businesses. Schools may offer the degree as a transfer program that requires applicants to have earned an associate's degree in entrepreneurship or a related topic such as business administration. Applicants to the full degree program need a high school diploma or GED.

Program Information and Requirements

Schools may offer online bachelor's degree program in entrepreneurship either fully online or as a traditional classroom - online hybrid. All course content is accessible through a school's website on a 24-hour basis for the convenience of students. Students interact with faculty and other students primarily by e-mail and discussion boards. A bachelor's degree in a transfer program is typically earned in two years and a degree in a full program is typically earned in four years.

Participation in an online program requires a newer personal computer, productivity software such as Microsoft Office and a broadband Internet connection. Schools may use a content management system such as Blackboard or their own proprietary system.

Course Topics

Bachelor's degree programs are typically organized into general education courses and major courses. Courses in the major may further be divided into required courses and elective courses.

Business Organization

This course focuses on the organizational structure of small businesses and their unique management needs. Coursework considers the social and economic factors that define the small business environment.

Small Business Finance

Student in this course examine the challenges small businesses confront to obtain start-up financing and funding for daily operations. The application of sound financial management principles to a new enterprise are a primary focus.

Marketing Strategies

This course explores the marketing techniques and methods small companies have developed to make the most of a limited budget. Other topics covered include distribution, pricing and promotion.


Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship

An online master's degree program in entrepreneurship takes an interdisciplinary approach to the demands of conceiving and establishing a business. Coursework addresses accounting, finance, planning, risk management, law, promotion and organizational management. In addition, students develop their analytical skills and creative capacities. Enrollment in a master's degree entrepreneur program requires a bachelor's degree in any field. Some programs may also require grade point averages and GMAT or GRE scores that are above a minimum threshold.

Program Information and Requirements

Students may complete an online master's degree program in entrepreneurship entirely online. Course materials - lectures, readings and presentations - are accessed through a school's website, and finished assignments and exams are submitted through the same portal. Accelerated programs may be completed in as little as a year. However, a master's degree is typically earned in two years. Students need a personal computer and Internet access to take part in an online program.

Course Topics

Online master's degree courses in entrepreneurship may be organized as classes or as a set of modules. In place of a thesis, students may be required to start a business.

Business Creation

This course examines the assorted challenges entrepreneurs face when establishing a new business. Course content considers the process of evaluating business strategies, competitors, potential demand and resource needs.

Finance and Funding

Students in this course learn to assess the financial needs of a new business and devise plans to meet them. Debt and equity funding sources, capital structure, financial analysis, investment strategies and reporting systems are among the topics covered.

Strategy

This course traces the process of devising a business strategy prior to launching a new business or taking over an existing business. Coursework focuses on the development and implementation of a business plan.


Career Information

Graduates of a bachelor's degree program in entrepreneurship are qualified to seek positions supporting the growth of a new business or to start their own businesses. Employment prospects are difficult to forecast because the success or failure of new business ventures depends in part on the willingness of entrepreneurs to work hard, in part on broader economic conditions and in part on whether the new business' product or service meets the needs of the public or of other businesses.

Graduates of an online master's degree program in entrepreneurship are better prepared to start and grow a business or guide the growth of new businesses established by others, either as managers or as analysts. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the years 2018-2028 employment of administrative service managers will grow by 7% and employment of management analysts will grow by 14%. The prospects of new businesses will depend on broader business conditions, the utility the new business provides to consumers or other businesses and the commitment of the business' founder or founders. As of May 2018, the median salary of administrative service managers was $96,180 (www.bls.gov).

Continuing Education

Bachelor's degree holders who want to enhance their employment prospects can pursue a master's degree in entrepreneurship or business administration. Schools offer both types of programs online.

For students who have already achieved a bachelor's degree and are considering starting their own business, pursuing a master's degree in entrepreneurship online may be a wise decision, as it will allow them to take courses while working. For individuals just beginning their education, online bachelor's programs in entrepreneurship are also available.

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