The dot-com boom may be over but the entrepreneurial zeal that fueled it is alive and well on college campuses across the country. With the country in a hiring slump, a growing number of students are preparing to be employers rather than employees.
About 1,500 colleges offer some form of entrepreneurship training, up from a handful in the mid-1980s, according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, an organization that works in partnership with colleges and universities to promote entrepreneurial studies.
Students in entrepreneurship programs come from a variety of disciplines, including business, engineering, life sciences, and liberal arts. Graduates work as business owners, venture capitalists, and consultants to small businesses.
As part of their coursework, students learn how to write a business plan and how to secure venture capital. Other courses cover guerrilla marketing, business model analysis, intellectual property, and pricing strategies.
Students in entrepreneurship programs often create their own start-up business and are graded based on the quality of their management skills rather than business profitability. Many schools sponsor business plan competitions, awarding seed money to the winners.