For those who dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur, it’s important to understand that innovation and creativity are key to driving breakthroughs that create successful businesses.
Specialized master’s degrees in entrepreneurship – such as the MA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Concordia University – Chicago – focus on these areas. They also provide graduates with the business skills needed to successfully launch or grow a company.
Students who choose this educational path are different than other business majors. There are similarities in learning foundational business principles. But ultimately, it’s the difference between learning to become a manager in a business and learning to launch your own enterprise.
Here are some of the advantages of earning an MA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and a look at where it can lead with your career.
The Entrepreneurial Mindset
Most business majors focus on becoming managers and leaders at existing companies. An entrepreneur needs to have foundational knowledge on what it takes to operate a business. However, they must go beyond this to understand every aspect of running a business and the finely grained details of being a startup founder.
A quality MA program in innovation and entrepreneurship offers this knowledge, as well as cutting-edge strategies in management and leadership. For example, students in the Concordia University-Chicago program learn:
- How to develop creative talent among individuals and teams, a key skill for entrepreneurs
- How to create an environment that supports innovation and creative thinking
- A deep understanding of leadership theories and styles that create a culture of innovation, as well as how design thinking and innovation principles create strategic value for a new business
Innovation as a Tool for Business Success
As famously said by Albert Einstein, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” That applies to the complexities and challenges of business in the 21st century.
Solutions for business challenges will not emerge from the usual problem-solving methods or by increasing efficiency. Those are important areas, but entrepreneurs focus more on applying innovation and creativity to solve challenges in new ways.
Innovation is the key. The most famous example of this in the 21st century is Steve Jobs and Apple creating smartphones that have literally changed the way people live. A passion for innovation and far-reaching thinking are required by entrepreneurs who want to blaze new trails in their industry.
Technology and Changing Workplace
Graduates from innovation and entrepreneurship programs develop expertise the possible applications of emerging technology. Innovations such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics have created new possibilities in the business world. This also has led to higher customer expectations in terms of quality and speed of product and service delivery, something every entrepreneur needs to understand before creating a business.
The workplace also has changed. Many younger workers expect a better work/life balance, and technology allows for more remote workers, flex time, or contracting with professionals to handle certain areas (website design, for example, or setting up computer systems).
It’s also increasingly a global marketplace. Traditional stores have expanded locations around the world. Online entrepreneurs can reach consumers anywhere on the planet where there is an Internet connection. Entrepreneurism is also emerging in countries such as China and India. All this has created a situation where innovative entrepreneurs are in demand.
The Demand for Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs have driven the United States economy from its inception and continue to do so.
Small businesses employee almost 59 million people in the U.S., according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Venture capital investment in startups reached a record $148 billion in 2017. Clearly, the need for entrepreneurs remains high.
Making the decision to go your own way and start a business is a bold move. People who do so need all the tools they can handle to make it a success. Earning an MA in Innovation and Entrepreneurship is one of the ways to best prepare to meet the challenges of being a business owner.