Where did all the great visionaries and entrepreneurs learn the tricks of the trade? Although some of the well-known business pioneers were college dropouts (Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs), they are exceptions to the rule. The rest of the world’s great industry leaders, who built their products and started their businesses from the ground up, gained their knowledge from attending some of the best business schools and universities in the world. While they were students, people like Jeff Bezos (founder of Amazon) and Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX), learned the necessary theories and strategies for bringing their innovations to the world.
Starting your own business requires a lot of strategic planning and a wealth of knowledge. Before you undertake a risky venture and invest in something new, you have to understand how the business world and the economy work. For this reason, it’s important that you find a suitable degree to propel you into the business world.
Based on what some of the other great business leaders, founders, and starters have done, we’ve compiled a short list of degrees and disciplines that you can study in order to confidently navigate the business world. Take a look at each subject and decide which one satisfies your interests and goals the most.
Going into economics may be the most obvious choice for someone hoping to start a business, but you’d be surprised how many students shy away from economics. The reason? Typically, economics involves a lot of math—a subject area that students in some countries perform far better than other countries.
But, economics deals a lot more with the management of resources and the broader understanding of how money is distributed, exchanged, and traded at the macro and micro levels. If you want to start your own business, you absolutely must understand how this complex system operates. Understanding everything from consumer behavior and confidence, to tax law and trade regulation, a well-prepared business owner must be able to work within a constantly moving system. So, if you want to understand how your business can not only survive, but thrive, in such a system, then having a degree in Economics would be a wise choice.
Most people will tell you that the secret to getting businesses started is having strong leadership skills. This is absolutely true. Knowing how to make executive decisions or manage expectations are just a few of the traits that enable you to turn your ideas into a fully formed business or company.
Schools all over the world allow you to join bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business administration or business management, imparting the leadership skills and decision-making techniques that are vital to starting your own business. How you plan to oversee your product, who you want to hire, and how you plan to grow are just a few of the questions you bear in mind as you turn your business into a reality. Once you study business administration or management, you’ll acquire the necessary tools to answer these questions and make the decisions for yourself.
This subject may come as a surprise to some students. When we think of engineers, we don’t tend to see the image of a big-time CEO or the leader of a fledgling start-up. But, industrial engineers have a good understanding of a wide range of business aspects, from supply-chain management to cost planning, to policy analysis and project management.
Industrial engineers have the ingenuity and strategic thinking that go into creating a business. Having an eye for detail and an ability to work with various kinds of informational and technological systems is essential for engineering students and these traits will make sure that you’re well prepared for starting on your big business idea.
You may have noticed that, in this century, there’s a great deal of work done with computer programming, information technology, and web development. To get yourself involved in one of these lucrative sectors and bring your business onto the stage alongside Google, Apple, and Facebook, you’ll want to have a good understanding of computers, digital world, digital marketplace, and digital marketing.
Some of the well-known geniuses and entrepreneurs that we all know today have a background in computer science—Steve Wozniak, James Gosling, and Reed Hastings. Talk about foresight! Many of these people studied computer science long before knowing that things like Java, Netflix, or Apple were ever going to be as successful as they are today.
Starting a business is something that involves a great deal of risk. If you have high ambitions of starting your own business—big or small—you would be poised to pursue one of these degrees. No matter what you’re interested in or which industry sector you have in mind, having a solid background and education will only help you, not hinder you. So, if you’re ready to take your ideas out there and actually develop a solid business out of it, make sure you have the best educational background to prepare you for your exciting new venture. We’ll be waiting to see what the next big business idea is that you have in mind!