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What are the best university degrees to major in if you are running your own business on the side?

A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

FocusOnYourGoals

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Nov 24, 2022
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I am about to enrol in university, and I am trying to decide on what degree I should major in.

I don't expect university to teach me everything I need to know when it comes to running a business online. I've learnt more from books, courses, and other informational material, than all of my 13 years of schooling combined.

I am considering software engineering or computer science, because I can teach it myself online at the same time, and it seems to be something that has demand.

But I might do a bachelor of business/commerce instead, in case it leaves me with more free time to work on my business. Or any other degree that leaves me with more free time to work on my business.

If I go with business, what should I choose? Marketing? Is there anything that teaches copywriting in business degrees?

One point that I want to go over, as I think this will probably be brought up:

Not going to university is currently not an option for me.

My parents won't take this as an option. Does this mean I'm currently enslaved to their expectations? Yes, it does.

But once I become financially free, I will no longer be enslaved to their expectations.

For now, I will probably just have to go to university.

Also, even if I am not passionate about what I am studying, I still want it to be something that will contribute to my life in some way. For example, it may work as a backup plan, safety net, or Plan B. I just want it to be useful, and not worthless.

Any advice or tips would be great, thanks.
 
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Last edited:

savefox

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Well if you wanna start a software company or something like that, then go for a computer science degree. It probably won't teach you anything, but at least you'll be able to make some useful connections. It'll also give you an opportunity to make good money working a slowlane job.

But if the university isn't going to be free for you, you probably shouldn't go
 

FocusOnYourGoals

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2022
11
8
Well if you wanna start a software company or something like that, then go for a computer science degree. It probably won't teach you anything, but at least you'll be able to make some useful connections. It'll also give you an opportunity to make good money working a slowlane job.

But if the university isn't going to be free for you, you probably shouldn't go
Why wouldn't it teach me anything?

Does a computer science degree not teaching coding?
 

savefox

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Why wouldn't it teach me anything?

Does a computer science degree not teaching coding?
it won't teach you how to start and run a business. It'll teach you math, calculus, algorithms and some basic programming skills. That will allow you to get a job or an internship in that field. You just have to make sure you really want to study it and stick to it for a long time. You have to be passionate about it.
Any degree is an investment of your time and money. Why would you invest so much resources in something that you're not really sure about? I chose a marketing degree and it was a waste of time. I had to learn everything about business and advertisement on my own. At least it was free.
 
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Ing

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I would like to make an app, which can take API data and show some charts.
Or one, which can take API data and act with them:
Or a game app.
So I would make a degree, where I can learn those things.

In my time, 30 years ago, it was engineering, what I wanted. And did.
So you get something: its not the knowledge about a degree, but the knowledge to build a business.
So in what field you see chances to build a business, thats an option!
 

Antifragile

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I am about to enrol in university, and I am trying to decide on what degree I should major in.

I don't expect university to teach me everything I need to know when it comes to running a business online. I've learnt more from books, courses, and other informational material, than all of my 13 years of schooling combined.

I am considering software engineering or computer science, because I can teach it myself online at the same time, and it seems to be something that has demand.

But I might do a bachelor of business/commerce instead, in case it leaves me with more free time to work on my business. Or any other degree that leaves me with more free time to work on my business.

If I go with business, what should I choose? Marketing? Is there anything that teaches copywriting in business degrees?

One point that I want to go over, as I think this will probably be brought up:

Not going to university is currently not an option for me.

My parents won't take this as an option. Does this mean I'm currently enslaved to their expectations? Yes, it does.

But once I become financially free, I will no longer be enslaved to their expectations.

For now, I will probably just have to go to university.

Any advice or tips would be great, thanks.
At university I learned how to learn, research, write well, finance etc. And I made great friends, had a great time and found the love of my life.

Self education then made me a business owner and wealthy. It gave me skills to produce results in our field.

What degree you choose will not matter as much as most might think. Education never stops. Whatever gaps you have now or later; you’ll find a way to fill them.

Hope you enjoy the experience!
 

Mathuin

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SWE or CS

What country are you in? Don't go into debt for a business degree
 
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Johnny boy

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Take a pottery class and major in binge drinking and unclipping bras with one hand, assuming they are paying for your 4 years of indoctrination.

If YOU are paying for that shit then you need to tell your parents to kick rocks and go move out and do your own thing asap.

But if it's free just enjoy the vacation and make some friends.

Maybe try to study in a place you want to hangout and enjoy the weather.
 

WillHurtDontCare

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I am considering software engineering or computer science, because I can teach it myself online at the same time, and it seems to be something that has demand.

I do software development. I studied math in college. Programming keeps getting easier and easier. You can basically buy or steal code from github that does most of the work for you. You don't need to write code from the ground up. You can learn a ton about coding from cheap udemy classes. You don't need to be smart to program - you just need to be persistent.

Also, spending all of your time around nerds will turn you into a boring nerd. If you're going to go to college, go learn how to be fun and how to sell stuff. Build a business while in school and drop out whenever you're making more than $60K per year (that's more than a lot of grads make).
 
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farmer79

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If you must go (and I am saying this as someone who didn’t go) I would suggest accounting. Every business needs financial controls, budgets etc and it’s hard for me to imagine anything fastlane that is not helped with a strong accounting background.
 

savefox

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If you must go (and I am saying this as someone who didn’t go) I would suggest accounting. Every business needs financial controls, budgets etc and it’s hard for me to imagine anything fastlane that is not helped with a strong accounting background.
You can just hire an accountant once a year
 

farmer79

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I’m not talking about doing your taxes. You’ll still need an accountant for that. Someone who is trained in accounting I think will naturally do enterprise analysis, budget analysis, capital structure planning etc. All can be learned without going to school but in answering the op’s question, if you are going regardless it’s the degree I would recommend.
 
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FocusOnYourGoals

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Nov 24, 2022
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You just have to make sure you really want to study it and stick to it for a long time. You have to be passionate about it.
What if I am not passionate about it, or don't know if I will be passionate about it?

Doesn't passion about a craft grow as the skill for that craft develops?

I don't have any experience in programming, so I don't know whether I will be passionate about it.

Any degree is an investment of your time and money. Why would you invest so much resources in something that you're not really sure about?
What if I am investing resources into something to have it as a backup plan/safety net/Plan B?
 

FocusOnYourGoals

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2022
11
8
I would like to make an app, which can take API data and show some charts.
Or one, which can take API data and act with them:
Or a game app.
So I would make a degree, where I can learn those things.

In my time, 30 years ago, it was engineering, what I wanted. And did.
So you get something: its not the knowledge about a degree, but the knowledge to build a business.
So in what field you see chances to build a business, thats an option!

Both copywriting and programming are skills that don't make me rely on being employed by someone else. While I would do copywriting instead of programming if I had to choose either or, it doesn't seem like there are any degrees in university for copywriting. So I guess the next best alternative is programming.

Programming can give me the skills to create a SaaS, so it's a skill that doesn't rely on me being employed by someone else.

What do you think? What other degrees give you skills that don't make you rely on being employed by someone else?
 

FocusOnYourGoals

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2022
11
8
What degree you choose will not matter as much as most might think.
I get what you mean. On a long enough time horizon it might not mean much.

However, I don't want to waste my time. The opportunity cost is just too big. I want to get a degree that will be useful in some way.

I know that most of my education will come from self-education, and this is especially evident as I've learnt the most from the latter, whereas the former (mostly) felt like a waste of time.

Hope you enjoy the experience!
Thanks. I think I will struggle to enjoy it if I feel like I am wasting my time though. That's what it feels like with high school.
 
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FocusOnYourGoals

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Nov 24, 2022
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SWE or CS
Thanks for your suggestion. May I ask why do you suggest this? Just want to know your perspective :)
Take a pottery class and major in binge drinking and unclipping bras with one hand, assuming they are paying for your 4 years of indoctrination.
Haha. I know this is a joke but do you have any suggestions for degrees that will be useful?
I do software development. I studied math in college. Programming keeps getting easier and easier. You can basically buy or steal code from github that does most of the work for you. You don't need to write code from the ground up. You can learn a ton about coding from cheap udemy classes. You don't need to be smart to program - you just need to be persistent.

Also, spending all of your time around nerds will turn you into a boring nerd. If you're going to go to college, go learn how to be fun and how to sell stuff. Build a business while in school and drop out whenever you're making more than $60K per year (that's more than a lot of grads make).
How long did it take you to learn software development?

If you must go (and I am saying this as someone who didn’t go) I would suggest accounting. Every business needs financial controls, budgets etc and it’s hard for me to imagine anything fastlane that is not helped with a strong accounting background.
Thanks for your suggestion. What type of jobs does accounting land you? Just an accountant? (I know I can search this up but I just want a perspective from someone on this forum).
 

farmer79

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Thanks for your suggestion. May I ask why do you suggest this? Just want to know your perspective :)

Haha. I know this is a joke but do you have any suggestions for degrees that will be useful?

How long did it take you to learn software development?


Thanks for your suggestion. What type of jobs does accounting land you? Just an accountant? (I know I can search this up but I just want a perspective from someone on this forum).
I assumed you wanted to be a fastlane entrepreneur, I don’t know exactly what positions outside of an accountant would be a fit. Maybe controller, auditor, cfo to name a few. If you are actually looking for a career I wouldn’t enter a field you have no interest in though.
 
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Consolation

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Take social psychology. Or any branch of psychology.

1. You'll have statistical judgment when assessing business opportunity. Instead of pursuing your 'passion' to start a business, you depend on numbers and objective observation.

2. Unless you're selling, marketing, and negotiating to creature other than human beings, you'll have every tricks, tactics, and techniques under your sleeves to influence the human minds.

3. It's not tied up to something that can become obsolete in few years, similar to techs.

I never took psychology. But, I listen to Red Skull often (JBP). That led me to spending time on Wikipedia with psychology-related topics. And since I do copywriting sometimes, most of the books I refer from cites psychological research.
 

FocusOnYourGoals

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2022
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useful for what
Useful for running a business.
I assumed you wanted to be a fastlane entrepreneur, I don’t know exactly what positions outside of an accountant would be a fit. Maybe controller, auditor, cfo to name a few. If you are actually looking for a career I wouldn’t enter a field you have no interest in though.
I do want to be a fastlane entrepreneur (why else would I be on the fastlane forum?), I am not looking for a career to settle in forever. A career would only be a safety net/Plan B for me.

Take social psychology. Or any branch of psychology.
There doesn't seem to be any degrees in the universities I am applying for that list "social psychology" as a major.

There is "Psychology" by itself though. I know that Psychology is needed for copywriting or a business, but I don't know whether the Psychology degree could help with copywriting or a business. Could it?
 

Consolation

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There is "Psychology" by itself though. I know that Psychology is needed for copywriting or a business, but I don't know whether the Psychology degree could help with copywriting or a business. Could it?
That's probably general psychology. The course could be studying every branches of psychology. I have no idea how in-depth or minimum it would be for every branches.

How can the study of human mind and behavior (field of psychology) cannot helps you with business? Did you managed to establish contact with life from outside of planet Earth? You're telling me that I can sell Kleenex to aliens now?

A degree in psychology can help you with this:

msedge_qba75yq9o7-png.46111
Ultimately, there's no specific academic degree that could help you with copywriting or business. There's only the degree of your execution or engagement towards the market. Stop thinking what academic degrees could help you in business.

Start thinking how you can apply what you have learned in university to help you in business.
 
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Andy Black

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You don't need a degree to start or scale a business. If you're going to study for 3-4 years then make sure it's something you're interested in. If my kids wanted to go to college I'd encourage them to even look at things like film-making if it was something they were interested in.
 

Antifragile

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I think I will struggle to enjoy it if I feel like I am wasting my time though. That's what it feels like with high school.
Sorry to hear that. Some of my best memories were from high school. Maybe you are focused on things that don’t let you enjoy the experience.

Pragmatism has its place. I understand it better than most. I’ve moved countries, learned new languages, built a great career and a good business. Yet, experience tells me that you should enjoy EVERY part of that journey. I’m high school, learn to enjoy what it offers. Next it sounds like a university/ college… next might be a job or your own business. Next might be a family etc. enjoy.
 

Djo

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I am about to enrol in university, and I am trying to decide on what degree I should major in.

I don't expect university to teach me everything I need to know when it comes to running a business online. I've learnt more from books, courses, and other informational material, than all of my 13 years of schooling combined.

I am considering software engineering or computer science, because I can teach it myself online at the same time, and it seems to be something that has demand.

But I might do a bachelor of business/commerce instead, in case it leaves me with more free time to work on my business. Or any other degree that leaves me with more free time to work on my business.

If I go with business, what should I choose? Marketing? Is there anything that teaches copywriting in business degrees?

One point that I want to go over, as I think this will probably be brought up:

Not going to university is currently not an option for me.

My parents won't take this as an option. Does this mean I'm currently enslaved to their expectations? Yes, it does.

But once I become financially free, I will no longer be enslaved to their expectations.

For now, I will probably just have to go to university.

Also, even if I am not passionate about what I am studying, I still want it to be something that will contribute to my life in some way. For example, it may work as a backup plan, safety net, or Plan B. I just want it to be useful, and not worthless.

Any advice or tips would be great, thanks.
I am kind of in the same situation as you. I did choose a software engineer degree in a free college, which is not a bad choice. The only problem is that the work required to succeed in this university is just too much, I need to be studying for long periods of time. The only advice I can give you is to look for a uni where you do not have long hours of studying so you can focus also on other things like improving social skills, going out, learning about and starting business. While going to uni is not a fastlane choice, I think that it is an important phase that you must go through, not to build a career and all that stuff, but to experience the other aspects of life such as meeting new people, partying... Some of you right now are going to say " why partying?.. why wasting time ? ".. In my case, and the case of many people out there also, we need to through that just to get it out of our systems. I feel like I need to experience those things in life before moving to the getting rich and going fastlane, because I know for a fact that when I start the process of building my business, I will not give a single F*ck about any other thing in my life other than that business, my life will be out of balance ( something that even MJ advocates in Unscripted ) and I know that if I decide to go directly to that phase, I will feel like I missed out on these things and that I should have burnt through that karma that I have ( whatever thing you really feel like you need to do ).
Honestly this is how I approach the college phase as I know that a college degree will never make me live the life I want to live and will never teach me shit about entrepreneurship. Best of luck !
 
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FocusOnYourGoals

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Nov 24, 2022
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How can the study of human mind and behavior (field of psychology) cannot helps you with business?
I never disagreed with that. I know that psychology helps with business. I just don't know if the Psychology degree, taught in university, will help in business.

Much like how digital marketing can help with business, but the marketing degree taught in university might not.

A degree in psychology can help you with this:
The image is not loading for me :(

It just says msedge_qba75yq907-png.46111
There's only the degree of your execution or engagement towards the market.
Yes.
Stop thinking what academic degrees could help you in business.

Start thinking how you can apply what you have learned in university to help you in business.
Aren't these two linked together? You need to have chosen an academic degree that can help you in business at least in some way, right?
 

FocusOnYourGoals

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2022
11
8
You don't need a degree to start or scale a business.
I don't think I do. I am just looking for a degree that will help in some way, since I am going anyway.

Ideally I wouldn't go at all and self-teach, or take courses online on how to do copywriting or programming. But I already went over that point.

If my kids wanted to go to college I'd encourage them to even look at things like film-making if it was something they were interested in.
Aren't you concerned about their ability to find employment with the degree they choose?
Sorry to hear that. Some of my best memories were from high school. Maybe you are focused on things that don’t let you enjoy the experience.
Some of your best memories were from high school?? Where do you live?

What things could I have focused on that would've let me enjoy the experience?

Pragmatism has its place. I understand it better than most. I’ve moved countries, learned new languages, built a great career and a good business. Yet, experience tells me that you should enjoy EVERY part of that journey. I’m high school, learn to enjoy what it offers. Next it sounds like a university/ college… next might be a job or your own business. Next might be a family etc. enjoy.
Saying I should enjoy EVERY part of that journey implies that is within my ability to control whether I enjoy something or not.

How do I control whether I enjoy something?

If I could control whether I enjoy something, then wouldn't I just be passionate about everything in life?

What is the point of quitting a 9-5 if you can just choose to enjoy it? Or is it that you'd want to quit it because there are things you enjoy more?

How do I learn to enjoy what high school offers? I can't find anything that could be enjoyable. It just feels like I'm suppressing my authentic self.
 

FocusOnYourGoals

New Contributor
Nov 24, 2022
11
8
I am kind of in the same situation as you. I did choose a software engineer degree in a free college, which is not a bad choice. The only problem is that the work required to succeed in this university is just too much, I need to be studying for long periods of time.
Are you still doing it? Is the work required to succeed too much really because of the university? Or is it because you picked Software Engineering as a degree?

Thank you for your comment.
 
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Antifragile

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I don't think I do. I am just looking for a degree that will help in some way, since I am going anyway.

Make a quick decision on that. Accounting, finance, marketing, engineering ... even theatre could be helpful in your business. It's about keeping an open mind. But Steve Jobs said it best here:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF8uR6Z6KLc



Ideally I wouldn't go at all and self-teach, or take courses online on how to do copywriting or programming. But I already went over that point.

Aren't you concerned about their ability to find employment with the degree they choose?

Some of your best memories were from high school?? Where do you live?

I grew up in Eastern Europe, went to high-school in UK and live now in Canada.

What things could I have focused on that would've let me enjoy the experience?
That's a better question already! You are so young. Don't you want to enjoy relationships? Fun? The challenge of studying as little as possible and still getting As on your exams?

We had a lot of parties in high-school. I also worked as a lifeguard, did surfing and sea kayaking. I was a great swimmer and made life-long friendships. And yes, I still got good grades and went to a great University on an academic scholarship.

Saying I should enjoy EVERY part of that journey implies that is within my ability to control whether I enjoy something or not.
You you have your mind to help you do just that. And yes, this was key message from me (who's more than twice your age) as to what I could say to myself back when I was 20. You control, you decide if you enjoy something or not. Even boring tasks can be enjoyable if you let them become enjoyable. And yes, it is relevant to your business - because in business life won't be all sunshine and roses. The peaks of highs and the valleys of lows are higher and deeper than anything prior to starting a business. Grit is key to success. And if I chose to drink my bodyweight in beer on a Friday and still had a paper due on Monday... it's a useful lesson, even if painful.

How do I control whether I enjoy something?
Get good at it. The better you are at something, the more you can enjoy it. This book was an eye opener for me on this subject:

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


If I could control whether I enjoy something, then wouldn't I just be passionate about everything in life?

No. Of course not. Only the big things. You are already going to University - why not enjoy HUGE part of your life? Why not become passionate to extract the maximum experience out of it?

What is the point of quitting a 9-5 if you can just choose to enjoy it? Or is it that you'd want to quit it because there are things you enjoy more?
I enjoyed being an employee because it let me learn on the job without any risk (and later I got to learn from the best entrepreneur I've met in my life - directly! I owe him more than anyone the skills I developed at that time).

You are structuring your replies to me as if in life everything is an "either - or" when it isn't. I can both enjoy being an employee for what it offers and be dissatisfied enough to start my own business. Some people stay employees - that's just fine. I felt I was meant to do more in life and so I left. My business is likely one of the top 10 on this forum but I hate talking numbers. I want to be judged by the content of what I say.

How do I learn to enjoy what high school offers? I can't find anything that could be enjoyable. It just feels like I'm suppressing my authentic self.

The choice to remain bitter about where you are in life is yours. Just know, it is a choice.

If you think you can or you think you can't - you are right.

Good luck.
 

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