Many aspiring entrepreneurs question if they even need to seek a college degree. If someone knows that they want to start their own business, what's the point of going to college? A college degree gives the entrepreneur a sense of credibility, especially to potential investors. Not to mention, a degree will give the entrepreneur a general grasp of all major business subjects that they will need to know.
Recently, several dependable resources such as The Princeton Review have named the top schools for entrepreneurship seeking degrees. The following list is comprised of diverse colleges from near and far. Some are small, some are large, some are private while some are public, but they all have one thing in common- they all possess an exceedingly strong entrepreneurship program.
- University of Houston: The Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship has been a leading program in the U.S. for the past several years. Over 1,800 students are engrossed in the entrepreneurship major or minor at this Texas school every semester. Continuous outside classroom experiences and opportunities are presented to the University of Houston entrepreneurship students, expanding their networks and connections. An average of 65% of students enrolled in this program have started a business in college or shortly after graduation.
- Baylor University: With a goal to assist local entrepreneurial efforts as well as national ventures, the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship has been thriving for decades. Baylor University was one of the first universities to implement an entrepreneurship program and it has proven to be a leader for the rest of the country. Extensive entrepreneurship programs are offered such as International Entrepreneurship Study Abroad, The Innovation Evaluation Program and Institute for Family Business.
- Brigham Young University: Ranking first in the country for the number of startups, licenses and patent application per research dollar spent, Brigham Young is a surprising powerhouse in the entrepreneurial field. This small Mormon school produces promising entrepreneurs while retaining a low tuition cost and several mentoring opportunities for the students.
- Babson College: Having the mindset and commitment to encourage innovation, this small east coast school has exceedingly done so, time and time again. Babson has been ranked as a top college, business school and a first class entrepreneurship program numerous times. The study of entrepreneurship is "a way of life" at Babson College.
- University of Southern California: A valuable asset to the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies is the diverse and well-seasoned professors that encourage students to go above and beyond. With the ability to give students respectable exposure and resources, the entrepreneurship students are in good hands at USC.
- University of Dayton: Allowing students to learn both from valuable classroom time and thriving business owners, the University of Dayton exposes entrepreneurial students. The University of Dayton gives undergraduates the opportunity to start micro-businesses while still participating in school. Several networking options are available to entrepreneurship majors such as luncheons with reputable business owners, internships and mentorships.
- Syracuse University: Syracuse University offers a diverse, yet critical set of entrepreneurial classes to students in addition to community business exposure. Those majoring in entrepreneurship learn every step of starting a business from creating a business plan to marketing invention designs to participating in pitch competitions.
- University of Notre Dame: Established a little over a decade ago, the Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies has become a leader in developing young entrepreneurs. The goal of this school is to develop individuals aspiring to create for-profit ventures as well as help rebuild struggling businesses. The faculty is extremely credible, 90% being entrepreneurs themselves.
- Washington University in St. Louis: Trying to ignite a spark between the St. Louis entrepreneurial community and the students of this accredited school, Washington University's main focus is on collaboration. The Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurship offers several free programs through out the year to promote networking for both the community and the students. Washington University of St. Louis also offers many clubs for students to get involved in for all sorts of entrepreneurial pursuits.
- DePaul University: The entrepreneurship program at DePaul University attempts to give students real world experience so they can be "proficient in self-employment skills" and "live the dream." The Coleman Entrepreneurship Program gives a competitive advantage to students by keeping close connections with alumni and the faculty with an entrepreneurial spirit. Centered in Chicago, undergrads majoring in entrepreneurship have eminent resources near them at all times.
These schools are the cream of the crop when it comes to entrepreneurship. With this being said, a successful entrepreneur does not necessarily have to attend one off this list, but the extra networking, knowledge and exposure can't hurt!