Beyond the obvious choice of an MBA, there are a number of college degrees that can help with entrepreneurial ventures. Don’t think you have to major in something “obvious” to become a successful startup founder. You can leverage almost any degree to help you find success in the startup world, but it’s all in how you look at it -- and which electives you take.
If you’re not the type of student who'll find joy and success in a traditional business program, don’t force it. You’ll end up frustrated, and watching your classmates who are naturally a better fit for the program might feel overwhelming. Instead, match your degree to your skills and passions, with offbeat degrees that just might stoke your entrepreneurial spirit:
1. Theater arts
As an entrepreneur, you’re constantly performing for your investors, your customers, your best employees and your stakeholders. Learning how to pitch, to speak in front of an audience and to control your charisma to get what you want (whether it’s a reaction from an audience or a board of directors) is a talent that can best be curated in theater arts.
2. Physical education
Learning teamwork, endurance, the ability to push yourself and the importance of taking care of yourself first (and attending to business, second) can be what separates a successful startup from a failure. A degree in physical education is proof that you value challenges, have plenty of determination and of course are strong in competitive spirit.
You know what they say about history: Learn from it, or be doomed to repeat it. History majors are analyzers who enjoy looking back, figuring out what went right and wrong, and making themselves into great storytellers. All of these skill sets are fantastic for entrepreneurs, too.
In this digital era, when brick-and-mortar businesses are quickly giving way to ecommerce, any type of computer-related degree can be a huge perk for startups. Whether you're designing an app or a website, handling SEO or some other tech-focused aspect of business, you'll likely find that a tech-related degree will help you launch a business.
What do faith and business have in common? More than you think. Theology majors aren’t necessarily “religious” themselves, but they’re often open minded, curious and analytical; and they adore applying lessons and stories from the past to today’s situations. In other words, they’re fantastic leaders.
Whether you practice an instrument or study music, you'll find both types of majors surprisingly great fits for the entrepreneurial path. You'll need incredible ambition and concentration to dedicate your life to such a passion, and that’s exactly what entrepreneurs do on a daily basis. Plus, numerous studies have shown that music positively impacts nearly every other part of your life, from your health to your job, so it’s a great booster for the startup world.
The resources you'll enjoy in college, in terms of mentoring by your department faculty, financial aid or access to something like the buy and sell platform Flippze, which helps college students scrimp and save, will all help you set the stage for success as an entrepreneur.
So, utilize what you can while you earn your degree, and see how you can apply these resources to the startup world. Many colleges continue to offer resources to alumni, too, so don’t think that just because you’ve graduated, your college won't still be there to support you.
Then, who knows? Once you've made it as an entrepreneur, you just might want to consider supporting your college back.