Five years ago, going off to university to get a degree was the norm, but when the fees rose to a whopping £9k per year in 2012, it left many prospective students wondering if it was actually worth it.
Research conducted by Voucherbox found that, with an average of 12 contact hours each week, a Business Management degree works out at £25.60 per hour. To put that into perspective, students on a science-based degree pay 3 times less per hour than those on an arts-based degree. On the flip side, a survey conducted by PeoplePerHour found that more than three quarters of micro-businesses started up for less than £2,000.
Getting a business management degree
Many universities offer a business management degree with modules such as economics, self-management, strategy, marketing, creativity and innovation, and consumer psychology.
Getting a degree in a particular discipline displays credibility; you’ve studied that subject in great detail and can start to be considered an expert in that field. A degree in business management may help you to discover which areas of business you are most interested in. It can also be a stepping stone to a graduate scheme at companies such as Deloitte, Proctor and Gamble or Aldi.
Sounds great, right? The problem is that, since the fee spike, going to university is a huge financial investment. And that is how you should see it – as an investment. If you feel that completing a degree will further your career in business and that you will get a return on your investment, then perhaps it is the path for you.
Learning on the way: Starting your own business
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, CEO of PeoplePerHour said that “the belief that it takes thousands of pounds of start-up capital to launch a business is simply not the case anymore”. 86% of the respondents of the PeoplePerHour survey said that they were a ‘spare-room’ start-up. The rise of the internet has meant that all you really need to start a business is a computer and access to a wifi connection.
I am one of those ‘spare-room’ start-ups. I launched my own copywriting and proofreading business from, yes, you guessed it, my spare-room-cum-home-office. My start-up costs were a custom domain (£6 per year) and web hosting (£70 per year). Let’s say I didn’t already have a laptop, Microsoft Office, or a mobile phone and add another £1,000. That’s still a long way from £9,000 a year.
If you’re launching your own business and feel like you’d benefit from some learning or a business qualification, there are an abundance of online courses on the subject. London School of Business & Finance offers an online diploma in business management for £1,500 which can be completed in as little as three months.
Think about your motivation
I have an English degree, something that costs even more per hour than a business management degree, but it’s something that I’m passionate about. Should your passion lie in business management, then a degree may be for you.
If, however, your motivation is to be able to start your own business rather than become an expert in the discipline, a degree may not be cost effective. Come up with a business idea, talk to someone who’s already done it, and just go for it.