Quiz: Is An Online Entrepreneurship Associate Program Right for Me?
For students trying to choose between pursuing an online associate degree in entrepreneurship or another related field, the quiz below can help you understand the details which set an entrepreneurship program apart. Discover whether the skills you'll learn in this program match your college and career goals.
Q: Are you excited to develop creative concepts for your own business ideas, explore product development, and network with others while learning more about business management techniques?
A: Entering an online entrepreneurship program can give you the tools to help launch your business career within a small business of your own or within an organization where your ideas can make a difference.
If you want to learn more about general business and apply your entrepreneurial spirit to a large company or existing business, consider exploring an online associate degree in business administration.
Q: Does a two-year degree program feel like the right study timeline?
A: Program length varies across colleges. However, full-time students can typically complete an online associate program in entrepreneurship within two years. Studying online offers the flexibility to work at your own pace, allowing you to accelerate your course schedule or study part time to better balance your priorities. Research the pacing options available at each school.
Q: Do you have prior credits to transfer?
A: Generally, an online associate degree in entrepreneurship requires students to complete 60 credits. Even if you've never taken college courses before, you may be eligible to apply credits towards your degree.
Students with high school AP courses or other classes from an accredited college or university are more obvious transfer candidates, but work and life experience can translate into credit as well. Training from military service or work experience can qualify. Ask your college admissions office for details.
Q: Are you interested in eventually earning a bachelor's degree?
A: Budding entrepreneurs can graduate from their associate program with the foundational skills necessary to work in businesses of all sizes and industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, small businesses are typically the entry point for entrepreneurs as they develop ideas and build a customer base before deciding whether to expand. An online associate degree in entrepreneurship can provide students with this marketing, business, and accounting knowledge.
Seeking a bachelor's degree in entrepreneurship can help grow your skills in business management and give you a competitive edge. Some colleges offer both online associate and bachelor's degrees in the field. Check to see if dual degree programs are available or if you can apply associate degree coursework to your bachelor's degree program to help earn your next degree faster.
What Will You Learn in an Online Associate Entrepreneurship Program?
While pursuing an entrepreneurship associate degree online, degree-seekers develop many useful skills that translate to a variety of careers and more advanced degrees. The best programs focus heavily on preparing students for success in entry-level positions. Individuals learn how to effectively market their business, maintain successful business relations, be innovative in entrepreneurial ventures, sell a product or service, and manage a small business. Depending on the college or university, learners might focus on different course topics. Graduates enter the workforce with the skills and knowledge to continue their education or begin entry-level work.
Common Classes and Coursework
Business Relations: In this course, students focus on using important business skills to relate to stakeholders within the business environment. They learn to consider different approaches to maintain positive relationships between employees, business partners, managers, stockholders, and customers. The course builds upon learners' communication skills and their ability to consider other viewpoints.
Entrepreneurship Ventures and Innovations: During this course, degree-seekers review the latest tools, skills, and knowledge they need to thrive in the entrepreneurship field. During their coursework, learners use real-world examples, focusing on business model design tools and case studies to produce entrepreneurial projects that allow them to uncover innovative ideas.
Marketing Principles: This course reviews the marketing concepts and functions that all entrepreneurs should understand. Learners study topics such as distribution, marketing environment, product planning, pricing, market analysis and segmentation, promotion, consumer and business-to-business buying behaviors, and marketing opportunities. The course gives entrepreneurs a better understanding of how marketing can impact their career.
Selling: Selling courses teach students the key principles they need to thrive in a sales career. Building on basic sales skills, this course reviews the entire sales process, focusing on how to take an effective approach, secure the desire for a product or service, handle any resistance, and effectively close the sale. During their coursework, degree-seekers examine ethics, communication styles, partnerships, international selling, and buyer behavior.
Small Business Management: Many entrepreneurship students have small business goals. The small business management course allows individuals to prepare for a career as a small business owner, addressing problems with starting and operating an effective and successful small business while also touching on other important factors. Students learn how to choose the right location, manage budgets and credits, control inventory, and manage employees.
Skills You Will Gain
While pursuing an entrepreneurship associate degree online, learners gain the skills and knowledge base they need to thrive in the industry, whether they pursue an entry-level position or enter a bachelor's degree program. Graduates know how to handle a business' essential operations and organize resources to accomplish company goals. They also learn to control business processes, lead employees, and ensure activities align with their organization's goals.
During their entrepreneurship associate program, students learn how to identify problems within their organization and apply useful problem-solving techniques to reach an effective resolution. Degree-seekers also expand their communication skills, learning to work as effective team members to reach the most desirable outcome. Through their coursework, entrepreneurship students focus on critical-thinking skills. They refine their ability to solve problems, since the field requires professionals to develop not only unique solutions to specific challenges, but innovative ideas that will help grow and advance their organization.
Average Degree Length
Earning an entrepreneurship associate degree online typically takes full-time students around two years. Most program lengths are based on standard, full-time enrollment, expecting students to complete a certain amount of credits each semester to stay on track with the graduation timeline.
Sometimes, students choose to pursue part-time enrollment. Part-time students take fewer credits each semester, often due to work or family commitments. Since these students enroll in fewer credits each term, they often take around three years to earn their associate degree.
Some higher learning institutions offer accelerated program formats, enabling degree-seekers to take more credits each semester in order to graduate sooner. Although these programs are structured differently at each college and university, students can expect to find accelerated opportunities that allow them to earn their degree in as little as one year.
Career Opportunities with an Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship
In the following section, students can review various career opportunities at the associate level. These career opportunities range in responsibility and salary potential. On average, graduates age 25-35 with their associate degree earn $35,000-$40,000 each year. The degree prepares students to work in entry-level roles such as administrative assistant, assistant manager, retail sales worker, data entry clerk, and marketing assistant.
Potential Careers and Salaries
Earning an entrepreneurship associate degree online can expose graduates to a variety of job opportunities. Professionals interested in launching their career with a role they can apply to many different fields can consider opportunities as an administrative assistant. These professionals perform standard clerical duties, including answering phones and conducting bookkeeping. Those interested in the management and leadership side of the field can consider a role as an assistant manager. Opportunities in retail sales prove an excellent fit for students who want to stay in sales and earn a commission. Marketing assistant roles are ideal for professionals who want to pair their creativity with their entrepreneurship skills.
- Administrative Assistant
Administrative assistants perform basic bookkeeping tasks for their company. They also answer phones and transfer calls, arrange and schedule staff meetings, edit company documents, handle incoming and outgoing faxes and mail, and perform other clerical tasks.
Median Annual Salary: $38,880
- Assistant Manager
Across industries and workplace settings, assistant managers are in charge of handling customer complaints, creating employee schedules, training employees, and helping the general manager conduct employee performance reviews.
Median Annual Salary: $41,376
- Retail Sales Worker
Working in stores, retail sales workers are in charge of selling goods, greeting and helping customers, answering customer questions, ringing up customers' purchases, and taking payment.
Median Annual Salary: $24,340
- Data Entry Clerk
Responsible for providing data entry support within their company, data entry clerks also perform clerical responsibilities such as keeping track of office supplies, receiving mail, and answering phone calls.
Median Annual Salary: $32,442
- Marketing Assistant
Marketing assistants work within their company's marketing department to collect data and perform analysis for market research. These assistants also conduct administrative duties for the marketing department.
Median Annual Salary: $38,069
Entrepreneurship Scholarships to Apply For
Tuition costs vary greatly by school. Students who pursue their education through an out-of-state college or university often pay elevated tuition rates, making those programs less affordable. To help fund their tuition, many students explore scholarship opportunities. Several scholarships exist specifically for students studying entrepreneurship, including those listed below.
- AFCEA Young Entrepreneur Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship assists students under age 40 pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree while employed by a small business. Applicants should be in their second year of college and hold a 3.0 minimum GPA.
- CEO of Tomorrow Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Open to students enrolled full time at an accredited college or university, this scholarship requires applicants to submit an affidavit of eligibility, a headshot, a publicity release form, an IRS form W-9, and a copy of their driver's license.
- Al Schuman Ecolab Entrepreneurial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship benefits dedicated, innovative, ambitious students who demonstrate a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Applicants must attend an accredited university and maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA. They must submit a 750-word statement describing their future entrepreneurial goals.
- Don DeBolt Franchising Scholarship Program
Who Can Apply: This scholarship program collaborates with the International Franchise Association to reward two DECA members each year who demonstrate an interest in pursuing entrepreneurship or franchising careers. Applicants must hold good academic standing at an accredited institution.
Educational Advancement in Entrepreneurship
Students who earn an entrepreneurship associate degree online can pursue several different educational options. Learners should start by reviewing the option to transfer from their associate program into a four-year bachelor's program. From there, they can read about the other degree types that exist in the field, reviewing the advantages of each one to decide what they would like to accomplish as they continue their education.
Should You Transfer to a Four-Year Degree Program?
Students interested in seeking entry-level careers in the entrepreneurship field find that earning an associate degree opens many doors. Degree-seekers who would like a larger pool of careers to choose from and higher potential salaries may consider transferring into a bachelor's degree program. While not all schools feature transfer opportunities, many colleges and universities boast transfer agreements that allow students to move their associate degree credits into a bachelor's program. To explore these opportunities, students should discuss their interests with their academic advisor.
What Degree Paths Should You Consider?
An entrepreneurship associate degree serves as a viable gateway into the entrepreneurship field, preparing graduates for entry-level career opportunities. Degree-seekers interested in more specialized career opportunities can consider advancing into other programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The more advanced degree students obtain, the more career opportunities and higher salary potential they may find.
Professional Organizations and Resources
Professionals who have earned their entrepreneurship associate degree online can seek membership through a variety of professional organizations. These organizations offer many helpful resources, including networking, job boards, and certification.
- Entrepreneurs' Organization: The global thought leader for entrepreneurship, this organization allows members to connect with around 10,000 professionals in the field. Members can share their career challenges and solutions through forums.
- Edward Lowe Foundation: Founded by Ed and Darlene Lowe in 1985, this foundation serves as a champion for the spirit of entrepreneurship. The foundation focuses on small businesses that are looking to grow, rather than on new startups.
- YourEconomy: This website tracks business performance for more than 44 million businesses across the United States.
- FoundersCard: An organization boasting more than 15,000 members, FoundersCard provides networking events and a variety of attractive discount opportunities to members for travel expenses, VIP benefits, and business services and products.
- Social Enterprise Alliance: This organization provides entrepreneurs with networking opportunities and resources, including an in-depth webinar series and an informative newsletter. Members also enjoy access to forums, a knowledge center, networking opportunities, and consultation services.
- Startup Grind: The global leader in startup events, Startup Grind is one of the world's largest entrepreneur organizations, hosting more than 100 events each month across more than 150 countries.
- The Entrepreneurs' Club: This club hosts around 10 seminars and events each year, providing professionals with plenty of opportunities to seek professional development and take advantage of networking.
- United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship: A community with members across the nation, the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship emphasizes entrepreneurship research, outreach, education, and public policy.
- Vistage: Dedicated to helping CEOs and companies expand and improve their business through idea exchange, Vistage features almost 20,000 members and hosts more than 16,000 meetings each year. Members can network, share ideas, and receive valuable advice from mentors.
- Young Entrepreneur Council: Entrepreneurs under the age of 40 can join the invite-only Young Entrepreneur Council and take advantage of a variety of products and services, networking events, and 24/7 support. Members can also gain complimentary membership to FoundersCard.
- Young Presidents Organization: Serving more than 22,000 business leaders in more than 125 countries, this organization tracks trends and metrics to produce quarterly reports. The data is used in roundtable discussions and networking events for business and marketing professionals.