Be Your Own Boss: 8 Great Degrees To Prepare For Self-Employment

Always wanted to work for yourself? Earn one of these degrees and you can choose the path to building your own way and working for yourself. Let’s start with the obvious….we all know that you can be a self-employed doctor, dentist, lawyer, orthodontist, chiropractor, counselor, psychologist, etc. and while those are all amazing positions to be in, they aren’t what this list is about….. This list contains occupations (that require some form of degree) of the “not so popular” but certainly obtainable jobs and some high-paying ways to become self-employed!



construction managers photo

Level of Degree Needed: Bachelor’s

Type of Degree Earned: Construction Science, Building Science, Construction Engineering

Nearly 61 percent of all construction managers are self-employed…. That’s a HUGE percentage! Most construction managers work their way up the ladder for years working for the “man” in order to get to this high paying position, but increasing in numbers are the ones earning a bachelor’s degree in construction and some are also becoming certified although this is not required. Acquiring a master’s degree in finance or business administration improves your abilities to run a successful construction business as well!

Self-employed construction manager’s salaries vary depending on the location, the project and the economy.  Salaried construction managers may have many benefits such as paid vacations, health insurance, per diem allowances and a vehicle in which to travel from site to site but the self-employed construction manager, providing these benefits for him or herself, will have to work harder and smarter in order to succeed in this field.

Most graduates of four year programs begin as cost estimators, field engineers, assistants or schedulers to a project manager before earning a spot as a construction manager.  On the job experience in construction is a must before taking the ropes on your own and managing a crew. A four year degree in construction or building science will teach you design and site planning, business and financial management, engineering, value analysis, safety, cost estimation and much more.


AMERICAN INTERCONTINENTAL UNIVERSITY offers an online Bachelor’s of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Project Management featuring a comprehensive educational experience that is industry-relevant and is designed to prepare students for a wide range of fields within the degree.

For more information about American Intercontinental University’s online degree program, please click here

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY offers an online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration – Project Management or Green and Sustainable Management degrees of which provides you with the skills needed to become successful in the areas of managing time, managing clients, critical thinking and much more, preparing the student to become an expert in small business management.

For more information about Liberty University’s online degree program, please click here



management consulting

Level of Degree Needed: Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree

Type of Degree Earned: Business Administration

Twenty-six percent of those working in this field were self-employed in 2008 but the rate at which management consultants are growing is high and expected to rise through the year 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are hired as a management consultant then your job is to improve the company by finding ways to increase its profits and change its structure. You may specialize in a specific area to the company or have a broad spectrum within the company or even be self-employed and work within a few different companies handling different aspects of the business consulting.

In order to work as a management consultant, you may only just need a bachelor’s degree to work, for example, in a government agency but in the private industry, a master’s degree in business administration may be required along with experience in the field in which you are consulting. Not only must you have a degree you must be self-motivated, have good judgment, strong oral and written communication abilities, analyze and create, and most importantly, play well with others. Most management consultants are employed to the point of managing their own schedules and at some point managing others and it is at this point that many will choose to branch off on their own and start a consulting business themselves.


POST UNIVERSITY offers a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Management concentration. Obtaining your degree from The Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University entirely online prepares the student for a successful career in management and consulting.

For more information about Post University’s online degree program, please click here

COLORADO TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY offers a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Management will allow the student to gain the knowledge and skills needed to successfully focus on a career in Management and, further, the consulting field.

For more information about Colorado Technical University’s online degree program, please click here




Level of Degree Needed: Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate

Type of Degree Earned: Advertising, Business Administration, Marketing

If you are interested in running your own advertising agency, it is imperative that you get your degree in advertising and a lot of experience under your belt before going out on your own. A bachelor’s degree in advertising, marketing, sales or a related field can put you in a position to obtain a management position within an advertising firm. You may even go on to obtain your master’s or doctorate degree in order to advance within an agency or hold a teaching position at a university level. Becoming a self-employed advertiser means that you can either run your own advertising agency or simply freelance. When you are self-employed you are responsible for all types of positions all wrapped up in one….you become the creative director, the copywriter, the advertising manager and executive all within your own agency hence many responsibilities come with taking on this challenging journey.


SAINT LEO UNIVERSITY‘s Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing can be obtained via the Donald R. Tapia School of Business. Learn consumer behavior, marketing policies and strategies, and social media marketing, to name just a few, via the courses available that will help you build a solid foundation in the field of marketing.

For more information regarding Saint Leo University’s online degree program, please click here

WESTERN GOVERNORS UNIVERSITY offers a B.S. in Marketing Management that is designed for those looking to get a great start on their marketing careers or for those already experienced in the field looking to enhance their portfolios.

For more information regarding Western Governors University’s online degree program, please click here




Level of Degree Needed: Associates or Bachelor’s, On-the-Job Experience

Type of Degree Earned: Criminal Justice, Police Science

Depending on what type of investigating you are interested in, you would probably want to choose your degree based on this information. For example, if you are interested in becoming a corporate investigator you would need a degree with coursework in accounting, business and finance or if you are looking into financial investigating, an accounting degree would be your focus. Even computer forensic investigators would need a specific degree in computer science or criminal justice. Don’t forget that many states require you to be licensed for this position.

The best route to becoming self-employed in this field is to work for the man for several years to obtain the experience needed to set off on your own. Also, with the ever changing world in relation to investigating, it is imperative that you keep up with the latest methods of fraud detection and changing technologies. About 1 in 5 investigators are self-employed and the rate of growth according to the US BLS is about 11 percent between now and the year 2022 which is about average. As a matter of fact, private detectives and investigators generally choose this as a second career after retiring from jobs such as paralegals, accountants and those in finance.


PURDUE UNIVERSITY GLOBAL‘S Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice will teach you techniques and principles regarding all aspects of crime scene investigations, including, but not limited to, how to, locate, collect and analyze crime scene evidence and identify crime scene boundaries, identify the forensic material and much more.

For more information about Purdue University Global’s online degree program, please click here

PENN FOSTER CAREER SCHOOL offers a Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree taught by dedicated faculty that will educate you with real world experiences preparing the student for a rewarding career in the criminal justice field.

For more information about Penn Foster Career School’s online degree program, please click here




Level of Degree Needed: Bachelor’s

Type of Degree Earned: Interpreting, foreign language

Probably one of the most exciting careers you can have.  You get to meet new people and YOU are the reason for communication between people otherwise not able to communicate! An interpreter or translator will typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and be fluent in two languages with English being one. You may not need to major in a particular language so much as a particular field of study where you have expertise. in the subject matter you are translating. Working as a court or medical interpreter or translator, you may complete job-specific training versus a finance or engineer translators, which is in more technical areas, generally require a master’s degree. You will need to take an exam for certification in your state.

Based on your reputation or referrals, you may become a self-employed translator or interpreter but you must first start from the bottom to obtain the skills needed to succeed. You must have the abilities to concentrate, be sensitive to cultural differences, have excellent business skills, in addition to, excellent listening and speaking skills along with having dexterity and interpersonal skills.



game designers Level of Degree Needed: Bachelor’s

Type of Degree Earned: Computer Graphics, Art, Animation or related field

What a fun, exciting career to be a game designer!  Taking courses in drawing, painting, computer science, sculpture, film, and interactive media can be fun and challenging. One interested in this field MUST have artistic talent, great computer and communication skills, be creative, a problem solver and a critical thinker, and be able to manage their time efficiently to reach deadlines. Self-employed game designers make up about 57 percent of the field’s workforce, according to the to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A nice portion of game designers works from home regardless of whether they are employed or are self-employed. A career in game design is known for being a laid back, casual type of position in which the degree holder in this field is less stressful and more productive and successful. In addition, a self-employed game designer can charge more and a greater potential to work more hours. Obtaining a game design degree equals job security due to the ever-changing and growing video game industry. Constant development of bigger and better games is a nice security factor as games are becoming more and more radical and who wouldn’t want to say that they played a major role in a mega-popular video game’s existence!?!


THE ART INSTITUTE OF PITTSBURGH offers a Bachelor of Science in Game Art and Design degree that is designed to be challenging by strengthening the students’ core art and design skills, as well as preparing them for the needed skills of advanced game design programming skills.

For more information regarding The Art Institute of Pittsburgh’s online degree program, please click here

FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY‘S bachelor of Science in Game Design degree program is a specialized curriculum that focuses heavily on story development, gameplay and production. The course highlights game history, level design and game mechanics to name a few.

For more information regarding Full Sail University’s online degree program, please click here




agirculture degree

Level of Degree Needed: Bachelor’s

Type of Degree Earned:  Agriculture

7.2% of professionals in the agricultural field are self-employed. Earning a degree in agriculture lends itself to many opportunities in the farming and fishing industries.  Courses will include chemistry, biology, environmental studies, not to mention, food science, management and economics. Many self-employed farmers grew up on a farm. Having that experience in addition to learning the business side of agriculture will have a huge effect on your success in this field as a self-employed farmer.  The possibilities though are endless. Your career path may lead you down the road to auctioneering, animal welfare, research or even agricultural sales which would procure the need for a few courses in marketing.


COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY allows you to advance your career with their bachelor’s degree in agricultural business expanding on your knowledge and skills needed to manage and market ag products and face the daily challenges of the business side of agriculture.

For more information regarding Colorado State University’s online degree program, please click here

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY‘s Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences online program is designed for the newbie and the experienced farmer allowing you to customize your curriculum to fit your needs. OSU is also “recognized as a world-class leader in agriculture”, as identified on their website.

For more information regarding Colorado State Unviersity’s online degree program, please click here




Level of Degree Needed: Bachelor’s

Type of Degree Earned: Creative writing, depending on the path taken, i.e. Copywriters would major in English, Advertising, Marketing or maybe Computer Science or Engineering (for the technical writer)

Approximately 62% of Authors and Writers are self-employed…..above average for the industry as a whole. There are many occupations in this group, such as, novelists, playwrights, poets, scriptwriters, copywriters, journalism, communications, publishing, technical writers, and, of course, authors in which you may specialize in a particular subject. The average wage per hour for writers and authors is $23.00 per hour and you get to work from home at your own pace to boot!


FULL SAIL UNIVERSITY offers a Creative Writing for Entertainment Bachelor of Fine Arts degree online that carries an emphasis on writing for the visual media which includes screenwriting and scriptwriting and also teaches skills needed to advance in the industry.

For more information regarding Full Sail University’s online degree program, please click here