If you dream of being an entrepreneur — or already are — you know that success depends on creativity, innovation, and initiative. You also know it requires a keen understanding of business to effectively implement your ideas.
A college degree is a practical way to develop this critical knowledge. In fact, the best college programs can give you a whole lot more than just knowledge while dramatically increasing your chances of success.
But how do you choose the right school? Keep reading for some advice about selecting a program that will support your entrepreneurial ambitions.
What to consider when selecting a business college program
Comparing programs can be challenging because there are so many factors to consider. Here are six questions that may help you focus on what is most significant for someone interested in entrepreneurship.
To what extent does the school focus on entrepreneurship? The atmosphere of a program can make a real difference. As an entrepreneur, you want to spend time in a culture of like-minded people who are focused on the excitement and challenges of building new businesses.
- A school that only has an entrepreneurship minor, for instance, probably won’t provide the same level of inspiration and support as one for whom entrepreneurship is more prominent among their offerings.
What kind of practical experience will I get? The theoretical knowledge you gain during your classes is important, but we often learn most when we try to put what we’re learning into practice. This is especially true when you can receive feedback and process your successes — and your failures.
- Find out how the program you’re considering will give you hands-on experience through internships, simulations, and projects, for example.
Will my courses get me ready for what I plan to do? As with culture and hands-on learning, a program’s curriculum should emphasize entrepreneurial endeavors. Anyone involved in business needs to know about accounting, and every business program will have coursework in this area. However, as you prepare for entrepreneurship, you will get more out of a course that is geared towards small businesses than one focused on accounting for larger corporations.
- The same principle applies to other areas as well. Look carefully at the courses you’ll take to make sure you are learning the real-world skills you’ll need for the business environment you plan to enter.
What is it going to cost? This is a very practical question that can have an impact on your opportunities after graduation. If you take on large student loans to fund your degree, for instance, the financial burden of making your loan payments may limit your flexibility.
- Look for a program that’s a good value—high-quality yet affordable. Remember that the relevant number for you is your net cost. A college with higher tuition may actually be more affordable once you factor in financial aid. So, be sure to investigate available scholarships and other forms of financial support.
What about location and delivery? Ever since the pandemic, there has been an increasing number of programs available online. If you’re looking for maximum flexibility, that might be an option to consider.
- Remember, though, that your education involves more than just what happens in the classroom — especially when it comes to hands-on experiences as an undergraduate. Being in an on-campus program will provide a lot more opportunities to interact with faculty and fellow students. Those relationships can often be a key contributor to your growth as an entrepreneur.
Business at Thomas College
Thomas College has been dedicated to career training and business since its founding, and this includes a commitment to supporting entrepreneurs. There are three different degree programs with “Entrepreneurship” in the title, giving you the opportunity to specialize in the area that seems most relevant to your future. Also on campus, The Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation is a tremendous asset for early-stage entrepreneurs and student innovators.
You’ll find that Thomas College programs and offerings have a practical emphasis, with students developing ideas that lead to real — and impressive! — business opportunities during their time on campus.
We’re excited that you are considering a career in entrepreneurship. We hope this information helps you move forward and decide where to build your skills, vision, and experience – perhaps in Waterville, Maine at Thomas College.
As you gather additional information, we’d love to share a bit more about what makes Thomas College special and answer any questions you might have. Interested? Fill out a quick form and we’ll be in touch.