7 College Degrees That Prepare You for Small-Business Success

There are a lot of different options. Don’t let yourself be imprisoned by what everybody else thinks. Forge your own path. Here are some options that I thought up, but there are doubtlessly countless more.

If you read a lot of business magazines and economic newspapers you can be forgiven for thinking that the only degree that will help you start a business is an MBA. Admittedly, it is a good one. At the same time, it’s hardly the only option out there.

There are plenty of other degrees that will make it for more likely that your business will be a success. Here we’re going to run through a couple of the best ones. Note, however, that what works for you might be something completely different depending on what kind of business you’re going to start. For example, if you’re going to do something in carpentry, then a degree forestry might be just what you need.

So, take a look, get some ideas, but don’t assume that this one is definitive. Try thinking outside of the box and you might be surprised with what can help you get ahead! Got that? Okay, let’s look at some good examples.

Accounting and Finance

Okay, granted. Money isn’t everything is a business. It’s what you put in and it’s what you hope to get out. There are a lot of moving parts (like people management, planning, resource management, etc.) in between.

At the same time, if you can take care of your books and can correctly manage the money flow within your company then you’re going to be in a good position indeed, as that will help you make certain that the money ends up in the right places and your business ends up doing the right things.

Even better, there are plenty of businesses where money isn’t just the goal but also the product. In these situations, your degree in accounting or finance can help you in multiple ways.

Psychology and communication

On the flip side of the money coin is the human element. Particularly if you’re going to have people working for you, being able to understand them, communicate with them clearly and formulate well-structured plans that they can understand is going to be very valuable indeed.

So if you find that numbers are difficult to do, concentrate on the people element. After all, the best run businesses aren’t about the product or the money, they’re about making sure the people work well together and that the group is more than the sum of its parts.

And a degree in psychology or communication can certainly help you achieve that!

Computer Engineering

This isn’t just a great degree to have when you’re trying to get employed. It can also be hugely beneficial when you’re the one doing the employing. After all, nearly every company now has a digital side of things – and there is plenty of need for companies that can focus on the problems that come along with needing a digital presence.

Whether you want to offer a service, a product or something else, as long as you’re doing it online or if you’re using any kind of computer system, being able to program and understand that system is going to be a huge benefit. Not only does it mean you can do it yourself, but it means that you know when people are taking you for a ride or don’t actually know a USB port from an electric socket.

Writing and English

You might never have thought about it, but being skilled at writing and English can also be a huge advantage in your business. Passing college exams, different tasks, CLEP test help you in the future. And as content marketing continues to grow that kind of thing is going to continue to grow and be a lucrative market to get into.

Even if that’s not what you want to do, being able to write clearly and well can be hugely advantageous. For example, did you know that it makes you more persuasive and smarter to boot? Now I don’t know about you, but to me, that sounds like some very useful skills to have indeed when you’re running your own business.


Yes, it’s true, the question most asked by people who have a philosophy degree is, ‘would you like fries with that?’ At the same time, if you’re planning to start a business, it can still be an immensely useful degree to have.


Because Philosophers realize that while a good answer is valuable, asking the right question can be far more so. A lot of businesses end up failing because they don’t ask the right questions and end up trying to solve the wrong problem, either for themselves or for their customers.

People that study philosophy are far less likely to get caught in that trap. Instead, through critical thinking and an understanding of the thought traps out there, they’re in a position to steer the ship in the right direction.


Theater? Yes, theater. Why? Because sometimes what you need isn’t confidence or a great plan, or to know each and every number that your company produces, sometimes you need to be able to think on your feet, act like you know exactly what’s going on and to fill the role that people expect.

And theater allows you to do those things and then some.

It doesn’t end there, either. A theater degree will make you a skilled public speaker who will never struggle to get in front of a group of people and impress them through the art of speaking well, clearly and convincingly.

It isn’t always the substance that matters. Sometimes the appearance is just as important. And in that way, theater blows the rest right out of the water.


And then finally, a more mundane one, but that can be just as important. One of the biggest challenges facing a new business that’s trying to make its place in the marketplace is to get people to notice you. After all, there is a lot of noise out there and you have to somehow manage to push yourself above it.

Now, marketing is something that you can learn by trial and error. Yet, why would you when you can instead learn the theory and the tricks of the trade. These will allow you to boost your company straight into the limelight, from where you will hopefully never again be removed.

And that’s important. After all, customers can’t find you if they don’t know about you.

Last words

Really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can make a case for nearly any degree. It just depends on what direction you want to take a company. So, stop listening to what everybody is saying and forge your own path. After all, as Mar Twain said, ‘When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.’

Nowhere is that truer than in business. For if you’re on the side of the majority, then you’re walking down a well-beaten path, where competition is fierce and margins are slim. If, however, you manage to find yourself somewhere where other people have not yet ventured, you can find real opportunity.

And that is where, as a business person, you can get ahead.

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