What’s the difference: Business vs. Entrepreneurship Degree?

Entrepreneurship vs. business? Business vs. entrepreneurship? Not sure which degree is right for you? Did you enjoy business classes in high school? Maybe you were a member of DECA or another business-related club. Or maybe you’ve always had an entrepreneurial streak, and as your high school years are coming to a close, it’s time to decide on the next steps. Choosing an undergraduate degree might seem daunting, especially when some degrees seem so similar. Two degree programs that are often thought of as being similar are the bachelor’s in business and the bachelor’s in entrepreneurship. Choosing from one of our premier online bachelor’s in entrepreneurship and one of our featured online bachelor’s in business can seem very tough. But in reality, there are some clear differences between the degrees, and once those are examined, it should be pretty clear which program is right for you.

Below, let’s compare and contrast entrepreneurship vs. business degrees.

Bachelor of Business

A bachelor in business is a generalized degree in business. Rather than drilling down into a particular aspect of business, say marketing or accounting, a business degree is designed to provide students with a general understanding of business functions. This difference can be seen most in the curriculum of a bachelor’s in business degree. These programs tend to focus on teaching students the many functions of a business. Students will take courses in management, finance, accounting, marketing, and may even take a course in entrepreneurship.

Another key component of a bachelor of business degree is that it teaches students the skills needed to enter an existing business and help perpetuate its success. Students will study important topics relating to human resources, organizational behavior, finance, and other topics integral to the day-to-day function of a business. Oftentimes, business degrees offer students the opportunity to specialize their degree into different areas. Still, if you go for a straight-up business degree, you’ll receive an expansive understanding of the different functions of a business. A great benefit of a business major is that it allows students to sample different career paths through the various courses that make up a bachelor’s in business degree.

Career Paths for Business Majors

Since a bachelor’s in business degree is so broad in scope, it often affords students a lot of latitude when it comes to applying for different jobs. Students who complete a bachelor’s in business will be able to enter into a variety of entry-level positions in business, including accounting jobs, marketing careers, management roles, and more. This is one of the biggest upsides to a business bachelor’s degree. This type of degree is highly recommended for students who know that they would like to work in the field of business but are not particularly sure exactly what part would be best for them. Here are a few examples of jobs that you could potentially find yourself in.

Sales Manager – One of the higher paying career paths for a bachelor’s in business major, sales managers are in charge of staffing and organizing a given business’s sales team. This could be one of the most vital roles in any particular business. As a sales manager, you would be tasked with ensuring that your staff has the skills and resources needed to meet the organization’s growth goals.

Financial Manager – A financial manager oversees the financial health and well-being of a particular part of a business or, in some cases, an entire business. These positions are vital to helping executives and higher-ups plan the future path of a business. This career path is a great option for those with a business degree who found that they enjoyed the finance or accounting courses within their degree.

Operations Manager – As an operations manager, you will be tasked with seeing through the day-to-day operations of a team of employees. This career path focuses heavily on maintaining the most important aspect of a business, its human capital. Operations managers take part in the hiring and training of new employees, and they are instrumental in ensuring that business operations happen on-time and on-budget.

Advertising/Marketing Manager – While working as an advertising or marketing manager, graduates will be focused on attracting new business and new clients. In this type of position, you will leverage a great deal of the marketing knowledge gained through a bachelor of business to help identify markets most suitable for your product or service. This career path tends to incorporate a little more left-brain creativity, so if you’re looking for a business career that eschews numbers and statistics, this could be a great fit for you.

Who is a Bachelor’s in Business for?

A bachelor’s degree in business is for someone who knows they want to work in business but isn’t sure if they want to specialize their education beyond that. Whether that is to leave their options open as they pursue different career paths or if it is just through a genuine desire to be a jack-of-all-trades, the bachelor in business is a great program for those who want to get a firm understanding of the various functions of a business while leaving the option open to pursue a variety of different business career paths in the future.

Bachelor of Entrepreneurship

A bachelor’s in entrepreneurship is actually a type of business degree. Think of this program as a more specialized program within a business degree. Students earning a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship will take many courses similar to those they would take if they were working on a straight-up bachelor’s in business degree. Where a bachelor in entrepreneurship program deviates from the plain business version is in its focus on business development and business growth. Students in an entrepreneurial degree will focus heavily on the various skills and disciplines needed to help take a business from idea to reality. This means learning how to create effective business plans, how to attract investors, and how to execute a new business idea. Many entrepreneur business degrees focus on moving beyond the theoretical towards helping students develop their own business idea that they can take with them beyond graduation. Finding a program that offers students the ability to work on their own business can be invaluable.

So while a bachelor’s in business degree is a broader degree meant to help students understand the nuts-and-bolts functions of a business overall, a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship tends to be a little bit more big picture. It can sometimes feel like a more “creative” degree because it focuses on coming up with big ideas. Make no mistake, degrees in entrepreneurship also focus on many technical skills, but those tend to be related to launching a business from the ground up.

Career Paths for Entrepreneurship

While the focus of degrees in entrepreneurship tends to be a little narrower than a bachelor’s in business, it doesn’t mean that the career options are narrower. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship have at least as many potential career paths available to them as those with a business degree. The most obvious career path is that of the entrepreneur. With an entrepreneur degree, students will have gained the skills needed to start their own business and be their own boss. This is all very exciting, but it’s one of the more obvious applications of the degree. Here are some less obvious career paths that students with an entrepreneurial degree will be able to consider.

Business Development/Recruiting – Many people with entrepreneurial degrees find themselves within existing businesses or organizations working in business development or recruiting. This is a very exciting sector to be in, as it relates heavily to guiding a company’s future. Working in business development, you will work to help grow the business by finding other businesses to partner with. Recruitment positions are similar in that you will find new people to work for the business to bring fresh ideas and new perspectives in.

Business Consultant  – After learning what it takes to start a business and generate good business ideas, many people with entrepreneurial degrees use their knowledge to help other businesses flourish. Rather than join an existing company or start your own venture, business consultants act as guns-for-hire. They go from business to business to help assess their business plans and help steer them towards a brighter future. This is a great option, as it keeps your day-to-day work fresh with new clients and new challenges.

C-Suite Management  – The big-picture nature of a degree in entrepreneurship often helps graduates find roles in executive or c-suite positions at different organizations. Whether it’s as a CEO, CFO, or some other chief officer, graduates with an entrepreneurship degree have the training and understanding needed to think big and guide a business towards a brighter future. Not that this isn’t a job that you could get with a business degree, but the entrepreneurship degree tends to signal to employers that you’re focused on the big picture of a business.

Business Reporter – Many students who graduate with a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship end up in careers working as business reporters. In this career path, students will use their inside knowledge of business to cover news related to businesses. Whether it’s rumors of new mergers, or an interesting new startup, business reporters will shine a light on exciting happenings in the world of business. This is a great way to stay involved in the business world and use your entrepreneurship degree skills while finding a different path.

Who is a Bachelor’s in Entrepreneurship for?

A bachelor’s in entrepreneurship degree is for anyone who wants to specialize their business degree program to focus on creating and developing new businesses. Whether you want to start your own business or grow an existing business, a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship degree can be the right program for you. While you may miss out on some of the more focused studies such as finance or accounting courses, an entrepreneurship degree will allow for the development of skills that are helpful for overall business development.

Business vs. Entrepreneurship

So, when weighing entrepreneurship vs. business degrees, there are some helpful things to keep in mind. First and foremost, a business degree is a more generalized degree. Students who complete a business degree will work through a program that is designed to teach them the various functions of a business. They will take courses in accounting, marketing, finance, operations, and much more. A business degree can also be thought of as a survey of the various career paths that one might end up in after completing their degree. If you’re looking for a little bit more flexibility in potential career paths after finishing your degree or just aren’t exactly sure what career is right for you, a bachelor’s in business degree is right for you.

Now, if you know you’re more interested in starting your own business or helping an existing business to grow, a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship may make more sense for you. A bachelor’s in entrepreneurship teaches students how to develop their own business ideas, create business plans, and find the investors needed to fund their business. Many entrepreneurship programs help students to realize their own business ideas. So, if you have a business idea kicking around in your head, a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship could be right for you. But overall, if you’re someone who is a little more oriented towards the big picture of things, of if you have your own ideas for a business, the entrepreneurship degree might be the path for you.

Bottom line:

What’s important to keep in mind when considering entrepreneurship degrees vs. business degrees is that these are both great degrees to prepare you for a variety of career paths. Oftentimes, students can get paralyzed by the fear that they’re not picking the right degree program. Everything related to college can seem very precious and too important to mess up.  Choosing between entrepreneurship and business degrees can seem daunting.

However, rest assured that if you’re somebody who is interested in a potential career in business, then a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship and a bachelor’s in business are both great options. While they both have their own upsides and downsides, earning either of these degrees will prepare students with the knowledge and experience needed to enter the workforce and embark on a successful career. We hope that this article has helped to make the entrepreneurship vs. business degree decision a little clearer.

NPCO Staff:
March 2021

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