Entrepreneurial Training: Certificates, Bachelor’s and Beyond

Lots of students have a great idea. But turning that idea into a successful business can be a daunting process. It takes careful planning to make the leap from idea to launch. An education in entrepreneurship is a foundational step more and more people are deciding to take. But how much education is needed? For how long? Where?
There are more options than ever. The choice a budding entrepreneur makes depends on the person’s life stage and previous education. While some take an experiential approach to learning, some learners love a classroom setting. Either way learning is lifelong. No one should ever be ‘done’ learning. But at some point you have to start doing.
If you are anxious to get your business off the ground, maybe four years of college seems like a lifetime. Perhaps you already have a bachelor’s degree and are contemplating a career change; you might need an entrepreneurial program with a more tailored approach that will work around the demands of full time employment and family commitments.
Certificates in Entrepreneurship are relatively new in the educational community, but are perfect for those who wish to quantify their education with a certificate they can list on their resumes. For others, practical know-how is the goal. Today’s non-credit entrepreneur programs go far beyond just business cards and letterhead. Validating the business concept, working out the numbers, learning how to pitch, and where to find investors are main parts of the curriculum.
Even if you have launched a business before, owned a franchise, or are taking over a family business, plan to keep acquiring knowledge. Education is a good investment in your professional future. Raising money, finding customers, marketing to them, and fulfilling the product or service are not new. But the tools to make those challenges easier are constantly changing in the very dynamic business world.
Whatever program you choose, make sure you will have access to experienced mentors–professionals who are outstanding in their fields. Making good connections is very important when trying to start a business. Opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, in seminars and workshops, are also key components to a good entrepreneurship program.

Certificate Programs
UC Berkeley Extension Program
Hunter College Small Business & Entrepreneurship, Continuing Education
University of Utah, Interdisciplinary Certificate in Entrepreneurship

4-year University Programs
Babson College, Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Houston, Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship
Baylor University, Baylor Entrepreneurship Program

Non-credit Education
Daymond John’s Launch Academy
MIT Enterprise Forum
University of Miami, Toppel Career Center

Graduate Programs
Harvard University, Rock Center for Entrepreneurship
Babson College, Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Michigan, Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

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