Want to start your own business? Are you looking for a way to receive an education designed for entrepreneurs, not just general business graduates? Fortunately, a number of online master degree programs and other resources that are designed with this aim in mind. Small business owners tend to be a practical bunch, and educational institutions have been quick to create programs that meet their needs.
As an added bonus, if you want to back out of the small business arena and work as a consultant or manager for a larger firm, these degrees still carry real heft on a resume and show that you have the capability of acting both as a team member and independently in the business world – a serious advantage.
Classical Management and Marketing: Don’t knock the classics. These programs give you the down-and-dirty information you need to manage finances, strategy, and people, often filling in spaces where small business owners know they need more experience. Management specialists may want to return for a specialty in marketing so they can make wise advertising decisions, and vice versa. And yes, even among traditional college courses far more specific specialities are being created to serve small business demographics. Programs for Small Business Operations and Small Business Management are becoming more common. Fortunately, even general management courses will give you the skills you need for running a business.
Quick Programs: Schools such as the Indiana University of Pennsylvania offer seminars designed especially for small business owners who want to learn about a new trend or strategic style with which they lack experience or knowledge. These classes can be a godsend to entrepreneurs who plan on starting their own companies but are anxious about financing or legal issues.
Free Courses: Small business management courses for free? No, there’s no catch. The Sloan School of Management (re: MIT) offers such a program, the MIT OpenCourseWare system, where owners can slip in and take a variety of bachelor level business courses and beyond, based on their needs, at their own convenience, and even more enticing, for free. Notes, videos, labs, and other resources are all available to help you master the material. The U.S. Small Business Administration is also a gold mine of information. Of course, you need to muster your own motivation to learn from these sources, but most small business owners have motivation by the bucketload.
Online: The for-profit online universities that have sprung up in the US are well aware that some of their most promising potential clients are small business owners. Quality may be an issue and prices are worth careful scrutiny, but if you decide one of these degrees works for you there are programs dedicated specifically to helping out entrepreneurs. The University of Phoenix offers a bachelor degree in Small Business Management. Chancellor University allows you to specialize in Small Business Entrepreneurship. Masters degrees in Capella University and others take the process a step further.
With these and many other options – most only a few mouse clicks away – there really is no education excuse for avoiding entrepreneurship. So if you have a small business or dream of starting one, explore these degree programs to give yourself all the tools you need.