Being your own boss is the dream that many people have. Not only do you get to set your own hours and be the ultimate head honcho, but it’s the pride that you’ve started something from ground zero and reached the pinnacle of owning your own business.
There really isn’t the “ideal path” to becoming a business owner. Some people have it in their mind from day one and work to that point while others seem to stumble in it along the way.
While plenty of schools offer entrepreneurship courses, it seems like a lot of what you can learn comes with out-of-the-classroom experience. Time in an internship, shadowing a business owner, or networking are all part of valuable out-of-classroom activities.
Even with all that said, there are some incredibly valuable and important educational programs for the aspiring business owner out there. With these, you’re going to learn the tools of the trade as well as plenty of other tips to help you along the way.
Below, we’re going to break up the courses in different sections for where you might be in life.
The “Getting My Feet Wet” Option
For this, there are plenty of online courses out there. Distance learning is still an incredibly popular option for many students and seems to be growing with each passing year.
While you can pursue a degree online, we’re going to jump into a few basic courses and certificates you might want to pursue first.
Udemy is a popular website that has millions of students each year. They always seem to be having a sale on their most popular courses (99% off in some cases) with a treasure trove of classes for aspiring business owners. You can learn everything from management practices to the importance of digital marketing.
Coursera is another option that is a bit more in-depth than Udemy. While Udemy is more for surface level courses and basic work, Coursera is a little more in-depth. They partner with various universities and have professors teach courses.
Many of these professors come from well-known universities as well.
The “I Want to Dedicate Some Time but Not All My Time” Option
While the above options could see you spending anywhere from $5-$50, these options are going to be a bit more expensive.
University certificate programs tend to be much more intensive, have enrollment periods, and require some work. The online courses above can be taken at any time and don’t require nearly as much work.
Depending on the program, you could find university certificate programs to be anywhere from 6-12 weeks. They start and end at a certain time and require some work on your end. There are many to choose from, including some big-name universities like Harvard, Yale, the University of Illinois, Rice, and Stanford.
Those names come with a steeper price tag and you can also look to enroll in places such as Liberty, Richmond, the College of Central Florida, and more.
The “It’s My Life” Option
If the above options sounded a bit too below where you’re trying to go, why not look into pursuing an MBA? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a degree in business, economy, management, etc., to be eligible for an MBA (although it would help). Anyone can go that route and all you need to do is find a course.
As a special note, many of these options are quite expensive as you are paying for a master’s degree. Many of these programs range from $40,000-$130,000.
Some of the top-rated programs come from, unsurprisingly, big-name universities such as Carnegie-Mellon, the University of Illinois, John Hopkins, and the University of Florida.
These courses usually take two years and require a ton of work. In addition, many require internship work either over the summer or part of your program.
But then again, you will get some of the best education out there and learn just about everything there is to know about business, such as marketing, finance, management, ethics, analysis, and much more.
Just remember that this is a serious step and you’re not going to have as much flexibility as choosing some of the other options above. As the title says, “it is my life”.
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