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Careers in Business: Do You Need a Degree?

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In an increasingly capitalistic world, there are no longer any shortcuts into business. Time was, you could be a young buck with a head full of aspiration and a work ethic and you’d be able to wheel and deal your way up the ladder. The Del Boys of this world could strive to the top with their natural instincts.

But nowadays, the Alan Sugars are being side-lined – even crow-barring your way into the business world requires a comprehensive education.

Partly this is because universities have created such a competitive workforce. Every area of business has been filled with people who understand their role long before they’re hired – in theory, at least.

A degree (among other factors) has become the great signifier to employers that you’ve got the skills you need to join a workforce and make yourself useful from the get-go. While self-starters can still forge their own path, they’ll gain far more success with a qualification in their field.


Corporate education

To help facilitate more effective education in students, many universities have adopted a corporate structure that mimics the wider business world. But is this helping or hindering your job prospects?

According to professor of higher education Peter Scott, the enforcement of these corporate structures means losing the autonomy of university life. Activist groups, societies and resources could all be compromised in favour of giving students an experience instead of an education.

“Universities are meant to be places for exploration and experimentation,” claims Scott. “The whole point is that students do it by, to and for themselves.

“The danger with universities’ new enthusiasm for managing the student experience is that it may restrict the potential for exploration and experimentation.

“Top-down student services have to be planned. New professional staff need to be hired. The autonomy, spontaneity and even anarchy that are – or were – the hallmark of student life could be compromised. Student unions could end up as the co-deliverers of services defined by university authorities.”


Online learning

For many wannabe business pros, such restrictions could feel stifling – but other options are available for those searching for both freedom and career prospects.

Studying for an online Bachelor’s in Business Administration degree has become popular for busy professionals looking to work and study at the same time. Incorporating the net with standard distant learning tools, online courses could give you a similar experience to uni campuses and still provide you with a bona-fide degree at the end of your studies.

While the modern university relies on a consumerist vision, you can still enjoy autonomy at the start of your career path – you simply need to know how you want to study.

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