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School's In--Online Get an entrepreneurial education without setting foot in a classroom.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you take online classes, there may be no lunching in the quad, but you can come away with a great education in entrepreneurship. Thanks to advances in communication technology and greater bandwidth, online video lectures and interactive classes make a college education in entrepreneurship only a mouse click away.

The distance-learning program at Boston University, for instance, provides a four-course certificate in entrepreneurship. The classes cover the same concepts taught at BU's School of Management, but on students' own timetables. Though work and family obligations can make it nearly impossible to enroll in full-time study, this is a flexible option for people who "can afford a couple hours to participate from their homes," says Jonathan Rosen, executive director of the Institute for Technology Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Students with existing businesses can learn about finance, sales, marketing, organization and leadership, and those considering entrepreneurship can learn whether it's the best path for them, says Rosen.

The ability to fit online schooling into your schedule is a great benefit. These programs "can also be effective in terms of selective learning," says Cathy Ashmore, executive director of the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. You can choose just the classes you need to build your business.

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