What Are the Best Degrees for Entrepreneurs? Master’s Programs to Launch Your Career Goals

If you’re looking to start your own business or embark on the startup journey, a graduate program can help you gain the necessary skills and training to thrive as an entrepreneur.

Launching your own business is no easy feat. Even dreaming up your vision takes time, and once it comes to executing that idea, it can be a time-consuming, multilayered process. Of course, all that hard work pays off when you get to see that aspiration become a reality and can preside over something successful that you’ve built.

But how do you even get there? Every entrepreneur has their own story, and there is no set path to starting a personal venture. You do need a variety of skills, however, to become an entrepreneur, and a graduate program can help you gain that required knowledge and training.

If you’re looking to embark on the startup journey, these are some of the best online master’s degrees for aspiring entrepreneurs at USC Online.

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

To run your own business, you’ll want to have constructive decision-making skills, efficient communication, and productive collaboration. The online Master of Business Administration (MBA) from USC Marshall School of Business teaches you all that — and then some.

Another plus of the online MBA? As you learn more about becoming a leader in global business, you also get to network with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs while pursuing your degree.

The online MBA program at USC helps students become business leaders who are able to create practical solutions that incorporate diverse perspectives. It also focuses on pairing foundational skills with contemporary issues to develop students’ critical thinking abilities.

Master of Communication Management (MCM)

Communication is a key aspect of any business. If you don’t know how to communicate your vision — whether to coworkers, the general audience or investors — it will remain a fantasy. Developing communication skills can help you become a leader who propels innovation and revolutionizes the global business sector.

The Master of Communication Management (MCM) online program at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism ensures you learn more about strategic corporate communication, market research, global marketing, change management and more. The program also dives into the psychology of marketing and communication, so you can better understand how to deliver your messaging to ensure it’s being intercepted by your desired audience.

Master of Science in Computer Science

Whether you want to launch an app or open a bakery, technology will play a role in your entrepreneurial vision. So, why not work on better understanding the technology that will fuel your business?

With a Master of Science in Computer Science online from USC Viterbi School of Engineering, you can further understand the possibilities that can be fulfilled with technology. Those pursuing the MS in Computer Science will also dive deep into AI, data science, software engineering, robotics and more.

While an understanding of technology is beneficial for any entrepreneur, this degree is particularly useful if your dream business relies heavily on computers, apps or software.

Master of Science in Digital Media Management (MSDMM)

Digital media plays a large role in how many of today’s startups operate. After all, what better way to get the word out about a new business than through digital campaigns and communications?

Digital media comprises all kinds of assets, including videos, emails, social media posts, articles and more, so an understanding of how to create this type of content goes a long way.

The Master of Science in Digital Media Management (MSDMM) online program from USC Annenberg teaches students to craft compelling content and master the media landscape. It also equips you to manage teams, recruit top talent, prioritize diversity and make ethical decisions.

Master of Science in Integrated Business, Design and Technology (MSIDBT)

As a startup founder, you’ll often have few workers, so people need to be able to wear many hats — including yourself. So, what’s better than an interdisciplinary program that explicitly combines multiple skills necessary for business?

The Master of Science in Integrated Design, Business and Technology (MSIDBT) online program from USC Iovine and Young Academy is exactly what it sounds like: Students learn about the various ways these three concentrations — as well as art, communication and venture management — intersect.

Students in the program also get to network with people from a variety of industry backgrounds, learn how to dream up creative solutions to a myriad of business programs, work in cross-functional teams, and develop storytelling techniques that use both design and technology.

The program is built with aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders in mind, and it’s a great way to pick up the many skills needed to thrive in the ever-evolving startup field.

Master of Studies in Law (MSL)

Most entrepreneurs require a lawyer or legal professional to help support, protect and build their business. There are contracts to be signed, laws and regulations to observe, and negotiations to be made.

While a lawyer is necessary to execute these processes, it may also be beneficial for a business owner to have a solid understanding of the laws affecting their field. That way, they can better operate in sectors like compliance, finance, HR, entertainment and more.

The good news is, you don’t have to attend law school to develop skills in the legal and regulatory process. USC Gould School of Law offers a Master of Studies in Law (MSL) online program that is designed for students who want to identify and master the many nuances of law and compliance that may crop up when starting a new company.

Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MAPP)

Psychology is more intertwined in the business world than many might realize. After all, entrepreneurs need to ensure that both employees and consumers are happy with the way the company is being run and the product that is being sold.

With the Master of Science in Applied Psychology (MAPP) online program from USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, you can learn the ways in which psychology can be used to help companies and organizations achieve their goals.

The MAPP online program utilizes organizational psychology and consumer psychology to give business leaders a professional edge to solve problems and become influential changemakers. This means learning more about the ways marketing and advertising can influence people, for example, or the ways you can help maintain office productivity and positivity.

Learn more about online graduate programs and certificate options at USC Online.