Many hopeful entrepreneurs have a tough time deciding between a degree in business administration (such as a bachelor of arts/science or MBA) and a degree in entrepreneurship (such as a bachelor of arts/science or master of science). Both degrees provide a wealth of skills related to running a business, so which one is right for you if you plan to pursue a startup opportunity some day?
Degree Programs in Business Administration
Business administration programs (both undergraduate and graduate) teach students foundational knowledge of business. These programs require that students take a variety of courses related to the many business disciplines. Most programs will allow students to take courses to minor or concentrate in a specific area if they wish to specialize their degree further (such as in entrepreneurship). Business administration programs require that students take accounting, finance, marketing, management (human resources and leadership), statistics, economics (macro and micro), and international business for starters. Programs that offer minors or concentrations in entrepreneurship will often provide several courses that students can choose from as electives. These courses often include topics such as business planning, strategic entrepreneurship, market assessment, and small business administration. If you have little experience or knowledge of general business concepts, a program in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship may be helpful. At the graduate level, many programs provide dual degrees, an MBA and a MS in entrepreneurship. This is often very useful since the degree can assist with a corporate career or a new business idea.
Degree Programs in Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship programs focus on the actual skills needed to plan, fund, and launch a new business. These programs provide students with courses in venture capital (skills to gain funds for startup), market assessment (skills to explore markets were there are opportunities for new businesses), business plan development (writing a business plan around an idea that can be proposed to an investor or group of partners) ... to name few. Students learn how to cultivate an idea into a business model that can become a viable product, service, or organization. Some programs focus more closely on the skills to start a business, while others provide a well-rounded approach of business and entrepreneurship knowledge. The type of program you choose will depend on your knowledge of business concepts (such as finance, marketing, and management). To be sure you select the program that fits best with you, visit the school's website and look at the program's curriculum. What classes will you be required to take? Are these the classes you want or the areas you need additional skills in? If there are classes missing, can you take additional electives in topics that you need (for instance, operations management)?
AACSB's student website provides a search engine that will find programs in both business administration and entrepreneurship.
Visit the site to search for undergraduate programs.
Visit the site to search for graduate programs (when searching, be sure to search for both "masters gen" and "masters spec" to include both general business (business administration) and specialized business (entrepreneurship) programs.