What sort of degree should I pursue if I want to go into business for myself?

Starting a business is a huge investment of money, time, and energy – so finding the right undergraduate degree can put you on the path for success before you pursue that Masters of Business Administration later on. However, if you play your cards right, your investment could pay off big time. Payscale.com reported in 2016 that the average salary for a small business owner was $71,584.

The most straightforward choices for an entrepreneur is an Associates of Science in Business or a Bachelor’s of Science in Business. Both of these degrees give students the foundation for starting and keeping a business going. Whether you have two or four years to dedicate to getting a degree in business, when you select this option, you’ll get a broad overview of the daily details relating to running your own business. This includes writing, understanding, and putting contracts into place, handling financial details and budgeting, know how to market your business appropriately and knowing when to take risks.

Does the idea of studying business not appeal to you? You can still follow your dreams with another degree. One good choice would be a degree in English or Writing. People can translate their love of reading, critical thinking and writing and apply it to business situations. Plus, there is good money to be made as a freelance writer, editor, proofreader or content strategist.

Another solid choice would be a bachelor’s of science in communications degree. Being in the field of communications means you’re always on the go, meeting new people and getting connected. A communications degree can help you learn how to write and speak clearly – important skills when you’re trying to land a new client or finalize a contract.

Lean more towards the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) side of things? Degrees in mathematics, accounting or finance could prepare you for taking out loans, maintaining cash flow, and balancing your budget. These degrees will also come in handy as your company grows and you need to hire new talent, either in a contract or full-time capacity.

If you’re more interested in the hiring aspect of running a business, getting a degree with a human resources concentration is a great way to prepare for finding and retaining talent and understanding how to build the perfect culture for your work, including benefits, retirement, and other perks to keep your future staff satisfied.