Choosing a Graduate Program as an Entrepreneur
What are you going to do after college? Start a company, take the world be storm? Of course! But have you also considered continuing your education? The MBA used to be the gold standard for those wishing to continue developing into a business leader. However, times have changed, and an MBA isn’t a fit for everyone. If you still think an MBA is for you, go for it. But let’s look at some of the other programs where an entrepreneur like you could shine.
To narrow your choices, you should consider breadth versus depth of knowledge. If you want to gain broad expertise that you can apply to many areas of business, you may choose more of a business focus. If you believe you need refined expertise in a specific area to achieve your dreams, get more focused.
Master’s in Entrepreneurship
One option is to pursue a Master’s degree in entrepreneurship, specifically. Such a degree may enable you to start your own company. However, it could also equip you to lead at a high level within other companies. Some are MBAs with an entrepreneurship focus while others are more specialized. For example, Johns Hopkins University offers a Master of Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, while the University of Maryland College Park offers a Master of Professional Studies in Technology Entrepreneurship.
Advanced Technology Degree
Speaking of technology, all entrepreneurs know it pays to stay current. By taking a proactive approach to learning emerging technologies, you prepare yourself for the future. You open yourself to all kinds of future startups.
A hot subject matter area right now is artificial intelligence. You can earn a MS or a PhD in artificial intelligence or machine learning at a range of universities Computer programming and bioinformatics are other future-focused options.
Advanced Degree in Your Industry
If you already know that you want to start a company–or have already started one–in a specialized industry, it pays to become an expert. Let’s say you’re launching an app that helps track the spread of diseases. You might pursue a Master’s in public health. If you’re developing the next big medical device, you could go the biology route or the manufacturing route. Either one will provide you with highly specialized knowledge. If you work with a partner, it could pay to bring together both ends of the spectrum so you complement each other’s skill sets.
Whichever route you choose, more education is generally a good thing, provided you have a plan to finance. There’s no need to rush into it, however. Many entrepreneurs choose to start their businesses early and pursue advanced degrees later. You should choose the option that makes the most sense for you and your unique passions.