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Do You Need a Degree to Be an Entrepreneur? (No! …But Maybe Yes…)

Do you dream of starting your own business? Of doing something you absolutely LOVE? Perhaps you want to set your own hours, be your own boss, take vacations whenever you want. Heck, maybe you want to travel the world while working! Or, maybe you’d like to earn millions of dollars instead of just trying not to get fired from your day job for that measly salary!. But then there are the big questions. Where do you start? What would you do? And, do you need a degree to be an entrepreneur??

I absolutely love this topic — talking to people about their dreams and their aspirations, and how they could make bank in the process!

So, what is needed to become an entrepreneur? The answer probably isn’t what you think!

Related: How to Start a Home Based Business Online (And Be Profitable!)

How Much Do Entrepreneurs Make?

First off, how much could you earn as an entrepreneur?

Let me tell you…the range is large.

You could earn $1.7 million per year like Jeff Bezos (plus the net worth gain with his company rising in value each year)…

Or… you could never sell a single product or service and earn $0.

Becoming an entrepreneur is risky. You might be a huge success and never have to worry about money ever again, or you might fail and find yourself homeless if you can’t get yourself back on your feet financially.

Related: 14 Cheap Business Ideas You Can Start Today

What Degree Do You Need to Be an Entrepreneur?

Here’s the main question of the day. Do you need a degree to be an entrepreneur? And if so, what degree do you need?

What is the best degree to become an entrepreneur?

This one is actually pretty obvious. If you want to be an entrepreneur, that means you want to start your own business. 

If you want to start your own business, you’re going to want to know a little something about business. So, the best degree is a business degree!!

Do You Need a Degree to Be an Entrepreneur - Short answer is No!What will you learn with a business degree?

  • Economics (what drives supply and demand?)
  • Accounting/Finance
  • Management
  • Procurement (buying and selling)
  • Marketing
  • Communication
  • Ethics

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What degree do most entrepreneurs have?

It seems obvious that if you want to be an entrepreneur, you’d have a degree in business. But is this the reality of the world? What degree do most entrepreneurs have?

According to technical.ly, the most common degrees for entrepreneurs are:

  • MBA
  • Computer Science
  • Law
  • Communications
  • Accounting

Related: A Short Guide to Starting Your Own Side Hustle

What should I major in if I want to start my own business? 

What if you want to start your own business? Should you get a degree? What degree should you get to become an entrepreneur?

It’s still fairly new, but there is actually a major called, “Entrepreneurship” at many schools today. If you truly want to own and run your own business and do nothing else, then this might be the right degree for you.

But, if you’re not totally certain about entrepreneurship, then you might not want to put all your eggs in one basket with an entrepreneurship major. Instead, it’s probably wise to get a masters degree and perhaps a computer science degree.

Related: 5 Reasons Why I Started This Blog (…And Why You Should Start One Too!)

Do You Need a Degree to Be an Entrepreneur?

While it might be wise to get a degree so you know a bit about business before jumping into your own venture, is it necessary? Do you need a degree to become an entrepreneur?

The short answer: Nope!

If you have a great idea and have the drive and determination to stick with it, then you can certainly succeed as an entrepreneur.

side hustle idea - mowingA great example of not needing a degree to succeed as an entrepreneur

When I was in my mid-20s, I was working hard at my day job AND I had quite a few side businesses that I worked on at night. I didn’t really want to take the time away from my work to mow my lawn, so I hired it out!

Somehow, I found Zippy Z’s lawn care and hired them to mow my small yard for $20 per mow.

The owner was a young man that started the business a few years back when he was in high school. The purpose of the business was to earn money for college. Little did he know that it would soon grow into a successful business and he would soon earn more than most corporate employees!

I don’t believe he ever got his degree, and he’s still managing his lawn care business yet today!

So do entrepreneurs need a degree? Nope! 

It might help, but it’s not a requirement!

Can You Become an Entrepreneur Without a Degree?

There are TONS of entrepreneurs out there that don’t have their college degrees.

Here’s a quick list of people I bet you know!

  • Bill Gates
  • Steve Jobs
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Rachael Ray
  • Michael Dell

If you’re asking yourself, “Do I need a degree to be an entrepreneur?” The answer is quite obviously no…

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What percentage of entrepreneurs have college degrees?

You might be asking though…how many entrepreneurs DO have a college degree? Is it wise to have a degree before starting your own business?

According to a survey by CNBC, 56% of entrepreneurs never achieved a 4-year degree.

  • 5% did not complete high school
  • 20% have a high school degree
  • 14% have an associates degree
  • 17% have some college
  • 26% are college graduates
  • 18% have post graduate degrees

So actually, MOST entrepreneurs don’t have a 4-year degree. Many had some college, but never completed their degree!

Related: How to Write a Money Making Blog (And Change Your Life!!)

investing in collegeWhat course should I take to become an entrepreneur?

What course should you take to become an entrepreneur? First off, you really don’t need to! Everything they teach you in school, you can find online or in the library. If you have a desire to learn and grow and are determined to succeed, then you can succeed as an entrepreneur.

But, if you want to take some courses, that’s totally fine!

Here are the courses I often see recommended for entrepreneurs:

  • Finance and accounting – You need to know something about payables, income statements, and cash flows to succeed in business!
  • Marketing – If you can’t get people interested in your product or service, you’re not going to make it as an entrepreneur
  • Economics – How well does your business fit into the economics of today? Is it needed? Is it about to explode in the market? 

Related: What to Do With 20k (To Earn Thousands More!!)

What education is needed to become an entrepreneur?

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’ve got to know something about marketing, sales, accounting, and economics. Do you need to go to school to become an entrepreneur? No! But you’ve got to be willing to constantly learn and grow in your field. If you’re not willing to continually challenge yourself, then you should NOT become an entrepreneur.

Do You Need Qualifications to Become an Entrepreneur?

Ok, so maybe you don’t need to be a college graduate to succeed in business, but what about qualifications? Do you need qualifications to become an entrepreneur?

What skills do you need to be an entrepreneur?

What qualifications or skills do you need to start a business?

According to Entrepreneur.com, you’ll want these top skills if you’re entering the world of entrepreneurship:

  • the ability to manage money
  • the ability to raise money
  • be able to handle stress and set-backs
  • be productive
  • the ability to hire effective people
  • (plus a dozen other traits! Check out the article if you’re curious)

If you like the security of a corporate salary and you don’t ever want to work hard, then please don’t become an entrepreneur. You aren’t going to make it!

Related: How to Make $1000 a Month Blogging (From a Guy That Actually Does!!)

What certifications do you need to be an entrepreneur?

Just like you don’t need to have a degree to become an entrepreneur, you also don’t necessarily need certifications to start a business. 

However, if you’re in a field where people want to be assured that you know what you’re doing, you may want some qualifications to propel your business.

Some examples of this are:

  • A certification to be a qualified mechanic
  • A certification for teaching others about money and investing
  • A builders certification to prove that you won’t put a hole on someone’s wall and not be able to repair it

If you’re looking to enter a field where people will need proof that you know what you’re doing, you’ll likely want to get certified in your trade. 

What Is Needed to Become an Entrepreneur?

What is really needed to become an entrepreneur?

teaching teens about financeFirst, the obvious:

  • You need to develop a product or service that people need and are looking for. If you’re the only one that likes your idea, it’s destined to fail.

Second, you’ll need some knowledge of:

  • Accounting/Finance
  • Selling
  • Marketing
  • Economics
  • Scaling a business

And Finally:

  • Drive
  • Hard-headedness
  • And possibly, a little bit of ignorance 😉

Related: 18 Jobs That Pay 75k a Year Without a Degree

Master Plan For No College Degree in Business

What would be my plan if I wanted to become an entrepreneur straight out of high school with no college courses whatsoever? 

  • First, I’d target my interests
    • What is it you like to do? What is it you’re good at? I’d try to cater my business toward that.
  • Then, I’d keep the business as simple as possible in the start up
    • Don’t spend a ton, but spend just enough to trial your business idea. Is there interest out there?
  • Then, I’d simply scale the idea
    • Did your business bring in $5k last month? Re-invest $4k of that to improve your marketing and operations. 

Live on very little, invest heavily into your business, and then be sure you grow yourself (mentally) along with your business as well!

Do You Need a Degree to Be An Entrepreneur? The Full Recap!

Long story short here. Do you need a degree to be an entrepreneur?

No, you don’t.

Might it help?

Definitely!

The more you learn about business through books and courses, the fewer lessons you’ll need to learn via your own mistakes in the real world.

If you’re interested in becoming an entrepreneur, learn all you can as fast as you can! Then, trial some business ideas. If one of your ideas has potential, scale it and see what happens! You never know which idea is going to be the one to make you millions!

Do you plan on becoming an entrepreneur? Will you get a college degree? Tell us in the comments below!

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AUTHOR Derek

My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.

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