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What Should I Study to Be an Entrepreneur?

By Ryan Himmel Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

As a new college student with my eye on the prize of becoming an entrepreneur, are there specific classes I should be taking to prepare myself for my future as a founder? Should I try to major in entrepreneurship? Get an advanced degree? Please advise.

I'm glad to learn that you already have an itch to prepare yourself to become an entrepreneur. There's no question that college is a great place to learn and experiment with different courses that may provide you with the skills and exposure necessary to pursue your venture. I recommend a specific approach.

Try to attend classes that interest you and help you develop the skills necessary to become a future entrepreneur. Specifically, focus on the opportunities that help you develop the major qualities to become a successful entrepreneur, such as imagination, courage, integrity, work ethic and accountability. As I've written before, imagination is one of the crucial qualities that made Steve Jobs one of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time.

You will also want to expose yourself to the business sciences, such as entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, marketing and business law. You don't necessarily need to major or minor in these areas, but it can certainly help since they are key aspects of every business.

As for whether or not you need to pursue an advanced degree, that really depends on the person and industry you are pursuing. It might be necessary to obtain an advanced degree in medicine for someone in pursuit of starting a healthcare company with a technical focus. If you plan to open a restaurant chain, then having an MBA can help with managing operations and raising capital, although it's possible to do those things without a degree.

All of these classes and degrees will help prepare you to become an entrepreneur, but ultimately entrepreneurship comes down to the person and how they use their knowledge to lead a great company. The degrees they possess and the college training they have received are just a few elements of that.

Ryan Himmel

Entrepreneur, CPA, Founder & CEO of BIDAWIZ

Ryan Himmel is a CPA and technology entrepreneur that has dedicated over a decade of his work toward providing solutions to help accountants and small-business owners better run their firms. He is the founder and CEO of BIDaWIZ, a professional network for small businesses and entrepreneurs to obtain trusted tax advice and services. He also oversees TaxResearchPro, an on-demand tax research support service for solo practitioners and small to mid-sized accounting firms across the U.S. Himmel regularly contributes to his tax blog.

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