The career opportunities for graduates of entrepreneurship degree programs are surprisingly varied. Many students go into the major because of a desire to create and innovate, but through their entrepreneurship studies, they learn skills with broader applications in the business and finance world. Whether you end up launching a business venture of your own, developing growth in an established company, investing in other people’s startups or choosing a more conventional business career path, you have plenty of job options after studying entrepreneurship.
Start Your Own Business
Launching your own business or organization is the reason most entrepreneurship majors choose the program of study. Naturally, you may be eager to get your business going once you have earned your degree. Throughout your studies, you have learned how to develop a business idea, create a business plan, understand economic markets, manage risk, secure funding and recruit and train the employees you need to get your startup off the ground. Now is the time when many entrepreneurship graduates put their skills to the test by starting a company, if they haven’t done so already.
Of course, entrepreneurship isn’t an all-or-nothing situation. Depending on what your business idea is, how much preparation and capital you need to get started and other factors, you might embrace entrepreneurship as a full-time career, or you might have to work on your business idea on the side while holding down a separate full-time or part-time job to pay the bills. Starting your own company can be a more fluid work situation than securing a traditional full-time job after college, and growth can happen quickly or gradually.
Don’t be afraid to launch your business before you finish college or to go back to school if needed. There are self-employed workers at every level of education, from less than a high school diploma to doctorates, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.
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Lead and Develop Existing Companies
Your studies in entrepreneurship don’t end with getting your first company off the ground. Most entrepreneurship programs are more comprehensive than that, helping students learn the skills to lead and grow their businesses to achieve long-term success. These same strategies used to grow new businesses can also help existing organizations grow and become more profitable, as well. In fact, many students of entrepreneurship degree programs are already small business owners or leaders – often, including family-owned and -operated business – who want to learn more about effectively running the business to make it more successful.
Entrepreneurship graduates are particularly well-suited for jobs like business development associate in existing companies and organizations.
Work at a Venture Capital Investment Firm
As an entrepreneurship major, one area you are sure to study is how to acquire the financing needed to start or grow your startup company. You can also use the skills you learn in this area to work on the other side – as the person investing in startup companies and small business ventures, instead of the entrepreneur seeking capital. As an associate in a venture capital company, you would assist and support the partners of the firm in making investments that pay off financially while helping entrepreneurs’ dreams come true. With years of experience and a history of excellent work performance, you can advance to senior associate roles. Venture capitalist jobs are highly competitive, but they are very rewarding, especially if you have a passion for the adventure of growing new businesses.
You don’t have to be rich to be a venture capitalist. Venture capitalists are professional investors who distribute funds from an organization rather than their own bank accounts. Individuals who invest their own personal money in startups are known as angel investors.
Translate Your Skills Into Traditional Business Job Roles
If you’re still wary about choosing entrepreneurship as a college major, it’s likely because you are concerned about your degree’s marketability and your future career prospects. Does majoring in entrepreneurship automatically lock you out of traditional business jobs? Fortunately, although few job descriptions ask for applicants with an entrepreneurship degree specifically, the skills you learn as an entrepreneurship major are valued in traditional roles in business and finance.
You know the basics of researching business markets, planning for growth, managing business operations, marketing and acquiring resources – both financial capital and supplies – needed to make a product or offer a service. These skills are applicable to most business roles as well as to launching your own company. For example, you could use the leadership skills you have developed to move into a high-paying management role or offer your insight into effectively running a business as a management analyst or consultant. The same skills you have practiced to sell yourself and your business to potential clients and investors can also help you succeed in sales roles at existing businesses.
The median wage for management analysts, 17 percent of whom are self-employed, is $82,450 per year, according to the BLS.