What classes should i take in college if i want to be an entrepreneur ?
(My advice is biased) there are three things I would focus on:
1. Figure out what field you are interested in (drugs business, software business, clean energy)
2. Learning how to build stuff in that field (so if it's software - comp. science classes, biology, materials science)
3. Interning at startups in that field
There are a lot of cool things happening in the world, what are you interested in? Almost everything is a business, which makes "learning business" in my view a secondary objective. Ultimately, it should be to learn "the drugs business".
Building/engineering/problem-solving is such an essential skill for entrepreneurs because in the beginning, you are likely building your business yourself. (some great builders did not study engineering/science in school but had to learn it) I found that learning business once you are an engineer/scientist is easier than it is for business majors to learn engineering. Not to say you should not take business classes, but I'm biased to taking more science/engineering classes
Interning is a great way to get ahead and to learn the ins and outs. More importantly, it will also give you an idea of whether it's for you
Microeconomics, macroeconomics, marketing, and anything that will teach you finance and accounting. I would also focus heavily on developing very strong verbal and written communications skills. The best training for entrepreneurship, however, is to learn by doing. Two options: (1) build a business on the side while you are in school, and (2) join a startup company and apprentice under an entrepreneur.
I agree with the answers here, in that building a strong business foundation is important through classes in economics, marketing, finance and accounting. Regardless of what type of startup you do, you will need a good understanding of these to grow and manage your own business.
I would also suggest taking courses in computer science. In an ever increasing digital world, having an even basic understanding of CS can help you more effectively market or run your business, even if it is not a tech startup. Your business will inevitably have some numbers of tech needs, and with some background in programming, you will at least be able to better evaluate potential technical hires and work with your developer colleagues. And of course if you want to build the next Google, FB, Twitter, Instagram or Angry Birds, you'll definitely want to load up on those computer science classes :)
One class that I found particularly helpful in terms of Entrepreneurship was Brand Management. This course helps you get in the mindset of thinking about how every business decision you make will impact how potential and existing customers will view your brand. When you start your own company or work at a startup, your decisions can impact more people, so it is important to learn about how to think of them strategically. Don't think of Brand Management as a responsibility of the marketing department; rather, think of it as the responsibility of every individual involved with your company. I hope this helps!
Computer science! And lots of liberal arts courses to teach you about the problems of the world.
Part of being an entrepreneur is being able to wear many hats and to be scrappy at performing all kinds of tasks, whether that's getting a big sale done, doing consumer marketing, staying on top of your finances, getting some tech spun up or figuring out how to get 1000 widgets made in 1 week.
I don't disagree with any of the other answers here, but I'd say that you should set yourself up to know as much as you can in each of these fields and take classes, do internships, attend seminars, etc. to do that. Sure, you can go deep on one subject (like I did with CS in undergrad) and that's ok, but you then need to realize the deficiencies you have in other fields. Then you'll need to figure out how to overcome those. There's no magic bullet for this, but a few ways to do it are: take intro classes in the fields (e.g. accounting, CS, finance), do internships, run a business on the side, work in on-campus student corporations if you school has it, take leadership roles in clubs. I'm sure there are others.
The reason I say this is not with the goal of being able to perform every single task of building a business, but to know enough to leverage the right resources, manage them accordingly and pay the right price for them. I've heard too many stories of entrepreneurs who are non-technical who struggle with outsourced development for example. Conversely, many startups will build awesome tech, but have no idea on how to sell it. Learn enough and learn about yourself to know when and how to leverage others.
If you want to be an entrepreneur, think of something you love doing and/or a problem you see in the world that you would dedicate your life to solving. While you should take classes you enjoy, having a sense of purpose and having a long-term goal in mind will help you to shape a meaningful curriculum for yourself and keeping your eye on what you want to do and are passionate about will give you the stamina to take and pass the classes you don't enjoy as much, but which are also necessary for you to become to the entrepreneur you wish to become.
Secondly, there is the classroom in a college or university and there is the classroom of life. If you want to be an entrepreneur in addition to formal schooling, I suggest you find an entrepreneur you admire and ask them to personally mentor you. They can provide you with advice, experience and a network. Try to land an internship in a start-up you find interesting. A mentor and a meaningful internship can provide you with real-world experience that will close the gap between what you learn in the classroom and how it is applies to owning and running a business. Also read as many books as you can by and on entrepreneurs and companies you admire.
You'll want to take a grab bag of classes that deal in general concepts of business (marketing, macro, micro, PR, Advertising, etc.) but you'll also want to join a student group that has to fund itself with products/services it sells. A student run magazine will need people to sell their ads, write their stories, manage deadlines, and work with the university to get more free resources from the general student budget. Other groups are going to need event planning, publicity people, networking, and other key skills a business will need to get off the ground.
Interning for start-ups, especially ones run by people who used to work for household names, is a great way to get a head. They'll give you important tasks, mentor you, and give you connections you wouldn't have had access to otherwise.
The biggest thing you can do is think about what problem you want to solve. If you're just looking to start a business because you want to be the boss and in the lime-light, you won't last long. If you find a problem you're passionate about/problem so big it won't go away without your solution, you'll have an easier time rallying people to your cause and getting attention from VC's.