What is an Entrepreneurship Degree & is it Right for Me?
From neighborhood lemonade stands to face-swapping mobile apps, the entrepreneurial spirit has transformed business and technology throughout human history. For many, business ownership is a personal and professional goal. Success, however, lies at the convergence of your vision and your education.
“There are many challenges to small business startup or even being an intrapreneur within an organization,” explains Dr. Paula Zobisch, the program chair for the Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship at the Forbes School of Business and Technology at Ashford University. “Your knowledge of how business – and people – function and integrate activities can bring about a greater understanding and increase the probability of success.”
What is a Degree in Entrepreneurship?
The journey from “billion-dollar idea” to “billion-dollar income” is wrought with unpredictable obstacles, especially for those jumping into entrepreneurship headfirst. Making an investment in yourself by way of an entrepreneurship degree ensures that you’re beginning with a solid foundation of knowledge and awareness to complement and bring clarity to your idea.
“The entrepreneurship program has evolved from courses only discussing theory,” says Dr. Zobisch. “Today it includes integrative, hands-on activities and walks students through the iterative process of learning how to run a business, brand, or product line.
“The program is rich with student and faculty engagement,” adds Faculty Manager Dr. Debra McCoskey-Reisert.
Students also have shared they enjoy the interactive nature of the program and even get their families involved, a perk for students who juggle work, school, and family.
"Students tell us they had no idea going to school could be such a fun and rewarding experience," Dr. McCoskey-Reisert explains. "They get their entire families involved in some of the creative, hands-on activities, such as making a paper airplane and creating videos of the launches or developing a new card game, and enjoy showing their children that college can be fun."
Additionally, Ashford University’s Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE), which assures that the program “complies with high principles of excellence and follows best practices in business education.”
What Will I Learn from an Entrepreneurship Degree Program?
Dr. Zobisch describes Ashford University’s entrepreneurship program as the “undergraduate MBA” because it combines essential business training with entrepreneurship-specific elements, such as New Business Strategy, Personal & Organizational Ethics, Creativity & Innovation, that nurture ideas and allow students to develop them into viable business opportunities.
Some key business-training courses include:
Throughout the program, students also learn how to apply Emotional Intelligence -- one of today’s most desired business skills -- to their work, giving them a critical understanding of their emotions and how they impact others. The program expands on the concept in BUS 437 Business Plan Development, which involves the elements of gaming (also known as gamification).
“It takes a humorous and humanistic approach to building a new business startup or product line,” explains Dr. Zobisch. “The game walks students through different steps and challenges to help them use critical thinking skills.
“The characters are built from the real people they represent, and the game walks the students through the potential consequences of each choice in a compassionate manner.”
What Can I Do With an Entrepreneurship Degree?
With courses that develop a broad understanding of business and management, entrepreneurship program graduates are free to pursue roles in the industries of their choosing, often as managers of a small firm or in business consultant and analyst roles.
Those who choose to strike out on their own, however, will be joining a growing number of Americans who are fulfilling their dreams of becoming their own bosses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that self-employment will grow in about half of all occupations through 2022, as the “gig economy” continues to transform the modern workforce and allow millions of people to untether themselves from traditional desk jobs.
Ashford University also supports students and their business goals via the Entrepreneurship Scholarship, which provides a $5,000 grant to budding entrepreneurs who have an idea or are operating a business. The scholarship is offered to prospective and enrolled students, as well as alumni and is awarded based on a written plan that includes: a description of the business, the student’s current role in the business, market share, growth, and a detailed explanation of the business’s current and future impact on the economy.
An education in entrepreneurship is designed to nurture your creative instincts while immersing you in the business principles and knowledge that can turn your idea into a sustainable enterprise. If you’re ready to begin the journey toward making your vision a reality, contact an Ashford University advisor about your Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship.
Written by Ashford University staff