10 Best Degrees for Self-Employment

Tired of clocking in on someone else's time? Check out the top 10 degrees for self-employment and take your first steps toward finally putting in hours for yourself.

1. Master of Business Administration (MBA)

The MBA gives you skills you can use to plan, create, and market your business. You'll likely need a bachelor's degree to pursue an MBA, but if you don't have one yet, you can find plenty of other business associate and bachelor's degrees to get you started.

2. Graphic Design

Artistically minded? Put your creative skills to work with a graphic design degree that gives you the knowledge to create company logos, branding, and advertisements as a freelancer. With experience, you could even start your own design firm from home.

3. Business Administration Bachelor's Degree

The MBA offers advanced training, but a 4-year bachelor's degree in business administration provides your essential broad base of education. Whether you hope to pursue an MBA eventually or start your business right away, start with a foundation of solid training.

4. Technical Writing

Interpret technical documents in a way anyone can understand as a technical writer. Training helps you work with high-level information. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that only 2 percent of technical writers are self-employed, a much larger number have the power to work from home, often on a contract basis.

5. Medical Transcription

Training to dictate complex recordings made by physicians has its upside: many medical transcriptionists telecommute from home-based offices, the BLS notes. A 2-year associate's degree or 1-year certificate program offers all the training you need to be considered by many hiring managers.

6. Culinary Arts

Thinking about starting your own catering company? Your top-secret chocolate chip cookie recipe is a good start, but you need business and safety training as well. A culinary arts degree is one of the best degrees to be self-employed in catering occupations.

7. Criminal Justice

This surprising degree is on the list because of the high number of telecommuting probation officers. What's more, years of experience in the industry could lead to opening your own business as a private investigator.

8. Language

Use your love of language to start your own community boosting business. The BLS reports that about 26 percent of translators and interpreters are self-employed. Job prospects are expected to grow quickly in the field, with 11,300 new careers projected between 2008 and 2018.

9. Hospitality Management

Why not turn your home into your business? With a hospitality management degree, you can learn more about the details of owning and operating your own bed and breakfast.

10. Real Estate

Love looking at houses? Open up your own firm and work from home, using Internet home listings and your own training to build lasting relationships with clients. The BLS reports that 59 percent of real estate brokers and sales agents were self-employed in 2009.


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  • Enhance your knowledge and expand your influence with an MBA from Walden.
  • Tempo Learning™ by Walden - Competency-Based Learning—the faster you go, the less you pay.
  • Master skills that employers today are looking for.
  • Benefit from our 24/7 tech support, Writing Center, Career Services Center, and more.
  • Walden University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP).
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  • Online degrees offered include BA in Accounting, BA in Business Administration, MBA, and more.
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  • Business Administration students can specialize in areas such as Entrepreneurship, Finance, and Project Management.
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  • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
  • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
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An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

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  • Go Higher with a career-enhancing degree from Concordia Nebraska you can earn fully online. All our online programs are designed to give you the flexibility to study around your schedule. 
  • You'll also benefit from exceptional student support and a rigorous academic experience ranked in the top tier of U.S. News & World Report's Best Colleges 2016 Midwest Regional Universities.
  • Concordia offers a wide variety of MBA program offerings in such fields as Accounting, Business Intelligence, Human Resources, Leadership and Managing, Management, Marketing and Risk Management
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  • As an institution, Concordia University, Nebraska is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of its North Central Association
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  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
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