University Majors for the Would-be Self-Employed

If often seems as if most university students are preparing themselves for life in the corporate world, or perhaps even for a job in the public sector. But many students today will eventually find themselves seriously considering self-employment – it’s just the way the world and the economy are going right now. If you’re considering that as a possibility, there are majors for the would-be self-employed. It may help you in creating and maintaining your own business if you major in one of these fields.


No matter how good you are at your business, if you can’t market the business, it will only go so far. Marketing is an excellent skill to have no matter what type of business you want to go into. That’s because marketing is largely what brings customers to your business.

University Majors for the Would-be Self-Employed
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Marketing involves sales – and if you start any kind of business, sales will be important – but it goes beyond that too. There are various ways that you can market a business, what matters is how effective the program will be, compared to the cost to implement it. This can include advertising and various other ways to promote your business. They can involve developing a website, establishing affiliate programs, or even some form of multi-level marketing.

Related: Why Your Major Needs to Match Your Passion

Whatever type of marketing method you choose for business, a major in marketing will help you understand what are you getting into, and what you can expect to get out of it. And if you are good enough at marketing, that by itself could end up becoming your business – creating and implementing marketing programs for other businesses.

Information Technology/Computer Science

Nearly every business in existence today is technology dependent. For that reason, a major in information technology or computer science will help you almost regardless of the type of business you want to go into. It’s a matter of being comfortable with technology, as well as being aware of the various options that are available for your business.

Increasing dependence upon the web, particularly for small businesses of almost every stripe, will make a computer-related degree one of the best backgrounds you can have. It’s not that you need to be able to create programs, but rather that you develop an aptitude for the various applications that are out there that can benefit a small business.

Related: It’s Okay To Change Your Career Path

In some ways, understanding technology and its applications to the Internet are actually one most critical elements of marketing. That can make an IT/computer science degree the most valuable major you can have if you plan on being self-employed.

One more important benefit of this major: in the event your business venture doesn’t work out, jobs in the computer fields are among the easiest to get and the best paying. Not only is the major a huge advantage if you’re self-employed, but it can also provide a much-needed safety net.


As a small business owner, one of the biggest keys to success will be your ability to communicate with others, particularly with potential clients and with others who are in a position to help you grow your business. As a communications major, you’ll learn how to use various media, present ideas, and even to give presentations to groups. The better you are at each of these disciplines, the better the chance of success for your business.

Related: Turning Your Social Media Skills into a Career

While this isn’t advertising strictly speaking, it will help you prepare for just that. Communications involves creating content that will be able to clearly convey your messages to potential listeners and readers. That’s essentially what advertising is, and you’ll be learning the best media to use to get a specific message across. It’s a matter of becoming comfortable in dealing with the public – and that’s something that every entrepreneur needs to do.

Business Management

Any business that you go into will require some sort of management ability. If you’re just coming out of university, you probably won’t have any hands-on experience in that area. A degree with a business management major is the next best thing.

You’ll not only learn the basics of business, but you’ll also be taught a good deal about finance, budgeting, and even the basics of accounting.

While these skills may not be specifically related to whatever business you start, they will be completely necessary in increasing and maintaining your business. For example, virtually every business will eventually need to obtain financing. The more that you know about how it works, the less of an obstacle it will be the first time you apply for credit. And it goes without saying that every business owner has to be familiar with the importance of budgeting. No matter how much money your business brings in, if you don’t carefully control your expenses, you’ll be out of business in no time.

Related: Why Young Canadians Need to Take Career Planning Into Their Own Hands

Any one of these majors could provide you with a serious advantage in starting your own business. It’s even possible that you can start your business as a side venture while you’re still in school, and eventually use the skills that you gain from your major to help expand it after graduation.

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