In very recent times, the progress of the internet has created a new way for people to get educated, and educate themselves. Many colleges and universities offer training, courses and degree programs which are supported by an online platform.
Although, every degree offered at an accredited university cannot be obtained through an online program, but there are many that can. Taking that one step further, we have seen the invention of a new type of internet-based program, focusing on online entrepreneurship courses and certificates.
Online entrepreneurship differs from the typical entrepreneurship and business classes of the past as it focuses on teaching students how to start, maintain and grow an internet based company; or to use the same knowledge within an existing internet based company.
If you have ever aspired to start and run your own business, through an internet-based foundation, then this article will help you navigate toward the best decision for you. Now that we have that insight to work with, here’s some additional information about your options and the platforms on which they are provided.
Curriculum and the Real World
As you may have thought, the training, courses, certificates, and degrees contain the majority of topics one would receive from a business management degree from a 4-year, brick and mortar university. They are as follows: Finance and accounting, Marketing, Economics, Management, Public Speaking, Writing and Composition, and Computer Science.
From those major topics, centers offering such courses have separate, combined and/or redistributed the information in varying amounts and levels, depending on the program; some offer over 100 different courses.
One of the many differences of the online entrepreneurship courses and certificates is that some of the course topics are augmented to allow for a company to be ran solely via the internet. For instance, marketing and economic courses are more focused to train within the digital age, utilizing social media and new economic strategies, given the digital information age the Internet has fostered.
Several of the major topics surrounding entrepreneurship are tried-and-true and can be applied to the online platform without any necessary updates or changes. As for the options for new jobs awaiting you, upon completion of one of the upper-level programs, there are many you would more than qualify for.
From sales and business consulting/recruiting to teaching and research and development. Even mid-level management, at large scale companies, and more. Depending on the position you are seeking, a free or low-cost course may meet your employer’s/company’s requirements; some positions will require a full degree’s worth of knowledge to adequately perform.
Free Vs. Paid Programs
Most modern-day educational centers, whether it be a local business resource center or any Ivy League university, as well as many companies worldwide, provide some, if not several, levels of online entrepreneurship courses and certificates. If you’re lucky enough to work for a company or attend a school which offers free online entrepreneurship courses, sometimes referred to as MOOC’s, then you will certainly benefit from them, if self-improvement is your main goal.
My reasons for saying that is due to the fact that there are no free courses which will yield a certification or degree but, some free programs offer a transition to a more long-term and in-depth certification, if a cost is paid. If you have some of the required courses under your belt already, or have gained ambition after taking some free courses, then paying for a certificate or degree, to best fuel your career, would be the next logical step. Universities such as Stanford, Duke, Yale and MIT offer several different certifications and degree programs; so do many online learning marketplace platforms.
The lower cost programs will grant you accredited certifications. Depending on how much you are able to spend, you can benefit from classes ranging from $20-30 to several hundred, but the overall class requirements are fewer. The lesser requirements will still give insight into the primary discipline of entrepreneurship, its online component, and how to participate in future ventures.
For example, Capella University, a completely internet based school, offers the completion of an online entrepreneurship certification after taking 5 courses; an MBA from a 4-year university requires around 16 to receive their degree. Some colleges offer mentorship programs, for additional fees, which are fast-paced, intensive, one-on-one training instructions which result in a certificate in much less time.
According to the Kauffman Foundation report, the number of college graduates who were new entrepreneurs rose more than ten percent in the last 20 years.
The costs pertaining to collegiate level degrees vary, from institution to institution, yet remain the most costly of the options. As expected, the more you pay the more you get, both in the scope of information taught and the career after-effects. Of course, with college-level learning comes benefits only given from within, such as financial aid and learning grants. So, without a doubt, apply for one or many in hope that the financial burden will be lessened, along with the stress it creates, so you can focus on learning. The type of knowledge gained, which can be instantly applied to a career path, is invaluable, to say the least.
The no-cost classes offer only introductions to the many required topics and the number of students attending a single class can number in the thousands, greatly limiting your due time with the instructor. However, if you can wade through the muddied waters, you will have enough cursory information to decide if an alternative, free course, or the next rung up, is right for you.
The next being low cost to mid-range cost certifications programs are a perfect middle ground. Some of the free course programs do offer paid transitions which result in a certificate, so be sure to research them, if you feel there is any chance you would want to go further, as that can be an option. The certificates themselves will be adequate for many of the example career paths but, not all.
However, if you are ready, able and willing to devote your time, money and energy to bettering yourself and your future the most, then a degree program in online entrepreneurship is what you are seeking.
A complete, university grade degree in online entrepreneurship has many connotations attached to it. You will be confident that your education has spanned the proper areas and afforded the essential knowledge to create the strongest foundation for your company. Any prospective clients, partners, investors, etc. will be aware of that confidence as well, as it will be supported by a full, accredited degree having been completed.
Your future ventures will have the best chance of succeeding, as you will be able to hit the ground running, using your new degree to its fullest potential. As the owner of your own internet based company, your job will be a combination of each of the above discussed, potential positions available, and more. It is your drive, direction and expertise that will propel your company to your desired destinations.
There are many life factors, and their variables, to be taken into account when deciding to set aside time to become further educated: time, money, family, discipline, recreation. Determining the trend of those factors will give you clear insight into how much you can have on your plate at one time.
In turn, you will then chose which platform or program is best, after due research, then set out on your path to self-improvement through education. It is a given that dividing your hard-fought free time, “going back to school” is a choice not to be taken lightly but, as you can see, the options are there to support what you are able to do now as well as future advancement. The program’s benefits increase with the cost, as do the outcomes, in the form of certifications and/or a degree.
But that is not to say that if a program you chose ends, or doesn’t meet your personal requirements, then you are stuck, as there are many options and levels for advancement. Formal, university-level education of any kind carries with it a cost, and it is your duty to yourself to practice due diligence in whatever type of online entrepreneurship endeavor you decide to embark upon.
At this level, you also have the advantage of being taught by respected and seasoned teaching professionals, whom will give you the best opportunity to learn, advance and apply your knowledge in the real world. From the researching programs and locations to tailoring a syllabus with advisors and, participating in your education, it will be up to you, every step of the way. But, you can do it. And, I hope, that as this piece will give you a good picture of what is out there and what to expect from it, it will spark initiative and excitement in you. Through this information, you can direct that spark where and how widespread you want it to be.