The rise in fame and emphasis on the romantic notion of startups has also coincided with more people being drawn to these types of companies — and drawn to the idea of being an entrepreneur themselves.

To analyze this trend, we looked at the study of Entrepreneurship at U.S. colleges and universities over the last 20 years to see how much it has grown as an area of study. Then we compared that data with major milestones for some of the most successful startups over the last 20 years (many of which are now massive companies).

Some highlights from our research:

  • Degrees/certificates in Entrepreneurship-related studies have grown by 572% between 1995 and 2013
  • Larry Page and Sergey Brin attempted to sell Google to Excite’s CEO in 1998 — for $1 million. He turned them down
  • One year after opening to anyone with a valid email address, Facebook raised $240 million from Microsoft, valuing the company at $15 billion
  • Instagram went from 0 to 10 million users in just 2 years, eventually selling to Facebook for $1 billion
  • Between just 2011 and 2013 (the latest year with full data), Entrepreneurship degrees/certificates were up by 20%

Here’s our full analysis:

Graphic showing the rise of entrepreneurship as a study at U.S. colleges and universities