Getting the Right Education for Your Next Startup

This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for best online colleges.

With the democratic spirit of the internet (where seemingly anyone can come up with a good idea, run with it, and make millions), it can be incredibly tempting to just draw a line in the sand, start brainstorming, and launch into the next greatest internet startup immediately. And it is true that there is a lot of merit behind a great idea, but if you have a great education or mix of minds behind that idea, the value of the idea itself increases tenfold.

Valuable Educations to Have Behind a Startup

There are a variety of educational backgrounds that could prove invaluable to creating the next great online startup. Having a general understanding of each of them can definitely help because than at least you know who to consult when you reach complications in drafting your startup idea. Of course, having an intimate understanding of any potential background area to a startup will also help a great deal.


This is perhaps the blanket degree for online startups. Depending on the program, communications studies can cover online media studies, online marketing, web design, journalism, video production, and mass media studies. Most, if not all, of these concentrations in communication can prove to be valuable, but I think I would hold online marketing and online media studies to be some of the most important. Simply studying the history of media on the internet and how online ventures have thrived in the past can really help idea and plans when it comes to your own online venture. A degree in communications will give you a lot of base knowledge to help you determine whether a given idea would be successful.


Other important parts of any venture, online or not, are the areas of logistics, finance, and operations. Getting an education in business studies gives you a level head and practical mindset so you can iron out the realistic elements (initial investment, upkeep costs, manpower) of any online business endeavor. Having a well-rounded education in business may not be required for every online startup, but once any startup takes off enough, you will want someone with a business education.

Computer Science

Any online venture should take at least a tiny bit of programming knowledge. More likely (especially with the amount of professional websites using PHP, Javascript, and jQuery), any idea you have for the next big online business should take an immense knowledge of computer science. Sure, not all online business ideas even require a computer science degree, but knowing what is capable through online programming lets you know whether your startup idea is even feasible. It will never hurt to have at least some surface-level knowledge about the field of computer science and the current limitations in modern programming.

English or Speech

Having the ability to communicate ideas well and translate them either through speech or writing can make or break a business idea. Backgrounds in English and speech help with investment, recruitment, and marketing. Do you think Steve Jobs would be half as successful as he is without his amazing public speaking ability? I certainly think not. Never underestimate the development of good writing and speaking skills. They translate across virtually every field of study and are invaluable to any business.

Bottom Line

None of these educational fields are a requisite for any great online startup. But you do have to face some realizations: Starting an online business is a lot of work and can potentially be a huge investment. It’s incredibly easy to get in way over your head, but having any number of these educational backgrounds will serve you and your online startup extremely well.

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