Should entrepreneurs invest in a college education? Many may doubt the need for creative, driven, self-starters to spend time in a classroom when they could be working on entrepreneurial endeavors. However, as we all know, there’s always more to learn and much of that can be gained in the classroom before experiencing it in the real world.
Many entrepreneurial students launch their business ventures while still in college, and with the help of specific programs, initiatives, and mentors, students can obtain their degrees while making a mark on the business world. For students interested in entrepreneurship, the right balance of classroom and real-world experience can make all the difference. Here are Dr. Kat’s five colleges for budding entrepreneurs!
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Entrepreneurial-minded students at Drexel University can pursue a B.A. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation – one of only a few degrees of its kind.
The entrepreneurship and innovation program at Drexel isn’t just about teaching students how to develop and manage their own businesses. It also incorporates a personal element, teaching students the importance of collaboration, communication, and personal responsibility as it relates to business and entrepreneurship. It’s not enough to have a good idea and a plan to develop it; students need to learn essential interpersonal skills in order to succeed.
This program is also about career outcomes, and offers courses like Life Strategies, which aims to prepare students for a changing workforce and emphasizes the importance of career flexibility and innovation. The class “Ready, Set, Fail” offers students insight into the reservations some entrepreneurs have had and how to learn from mistakes. The major also offers courses in startup entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship.
What sets Drexel apart, however, is their co-op program. The co-op experience is a big part of a Drexel education, and entrepreneurship majors get the unique opportunity to use their own businesses as their co-op experience, with the school supplying these students with $15,000 and mentorship to support their business ventures.
University of Houston, Houston, TX
It’s not enough to have a great business idea – entrepreneurs need to be able to make ideas come to life, and students at the University of Houston learn how to do just that.
The Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston is one of the most respected entrepreneurial programs in the country. Not only do students get to learn from great entrepreneurs, they are encouraged to pursue their own business endeavors through mentorship and competition. Students are encouraged to develop and submit business plans, often for national competitions.
The program also hosts its own entrepreneurial competitions, including 3-Day Startup and Wolffest, the final assignment in the BBA in Entrepreneurship degree program. Seniors, after developing a business plan, use everything they have learned to implement the plan over a three-day competition held in the spring.
UH also places an emphasis on leadership through service, by facilitating many community service opportunities for entrepreneurial students, including the popular Lemonade Day event, where students help children learn how to start their own business – a lemonade stand!
Babson College, Wellesley, MA
It wouldn’t be an entrepreneurial program list without featuring one of the top business schools in the US, and a great college for ROI, Babson College in Massachusetts.
Business education is the main focus of Babson, with entrepreneurship at the heart of everything they teach. Real-world experience is also key, and students get plenty of it as soon as they step on campus. All incoming freshmen take the Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship course, a year-long class where students create, develop, and launch their own businesses.
Students in Babson’s entrepreneurship concentration learn how to manage a variety of entrepreneurial ventures, including family-owned, franchised, retail, socially responsible organizations, and more. In many cases, students work in teams to identify feasible ideas, develop business plans, and take action to bring them to fruition. If you’re looking for a hands-on experience, the Babson entrepreneurial program could be a great fit for you.
Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
As a smaller, private college in California standing in the shadow of juggernauts like Stanford, UCLA, Berkeley, and USC, Loyola Marymount University isn’t always the obvious college choice for students looking to pursue an education in business and entrepreneurship.
However, Loyola Marymount has a great entrepreneurship major that aims to teach students the fundamentals of bringing an innovative idea to life, all while learning how to be great leaders as well.
LMU’s Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship offers students many opportunities to bring their ideas to life, including the popular Business Incubator, which provides students with the workspace and guidance needed to pursue promising product and business ventures.
The center also sponsors many entrepreneurial programs, including the Idea Pitch Competition, where students compete for cash prizes, and the popular Startup Weekend, where students come together to learn from professionals and attain guidance on how to formulate and launch business concepts
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
The undergraduate business school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has a great reputation for preparing students to succeed in various business fields – and their entrepreneurship concentration is no different.
Unlike the other colleges featured in this list, UNC doesn’t have a dedicated entrepreneurial program. Instead, students studying for a business degree can declare an emphasis in entrepreneurship. What UNC lacks in a specific entrepreneurial degree program it makes up for in its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The Innovate Carolina initiative isn’t just for business and entrepreneurship students – the aim is to foster creative solutions across all fields of study at the university. Through this initiative, students can pursue a myriad of entrepreneurial opportunities including contests, grants, mentorships, and utilize available workspace to bring their visions to life
Entrepreneurial programs include The Reese News Lab, where media students develop and test startup ideas for the news and media industry, Campus Y, a social justice-focused innovation organization, and the Y Incubator, which provides competition, support, and workspace for social entrepreneurs and innovators.
A degree in entrepreneurship allows students to learn while gaining hands-on experience. Students are able to network with leaders in their fields and launch their own business ventures before they even graduate.
Other colleges with exceptional programs for entrepreneurial students include MIT, University of Pennsylvania, Baylor University, Syracuse University, and Clarkson University.
Keep in mind, however, that students interested in entrepreneurship don’t always have to major in business. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship but not sure what educational path to take, contact us today for more information on our counseling services!