How can an online degree help you become your own boss?


05th May 2017


Careers, Business


As Steve Jobs famously said, “If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time”.

Many people would like to be their own boss. This could be motivated by the desire to control their own work hours, to work from home whilst raising a family or simply to build something from scratch. Whatever the driving force behind the aspiration, what is universally true is that achieving this goal is hard work.


The ingredients for success

It’s a common misconception that creating a successful business is just about having a great idea. Sadly, this is just not the case. The failure rate of businesses within the first four years will obviously differ between industries, but the average failure rate is over 50%.

So what are the necessary ingredients for creating a successful business? They include:

  • An idea – A concept for a product or service that meets a demand within the potential customer base; after all, an idea is only good if your potential customers think so too.
  • Funding – Starting a business is, more often than not, an expensive endeavour. Costs can include marketing costs, production costs or staffing costs and more!
  • Determination – The road to success is a bumpy one and is rarely without its low points; to succeed you’ll need to see adversity as a challenge to be overcome and thrive on hardship.
  • Knowledge – This can be knowledge of the sector you want to work in or of business principals in general. People have been starting businesses since the dawn of time and there is a science to be applied to the process.
  • Skills – These depend on the business you want to start, but it is more than likely that at some point you’ll end up needing to call upon others who possess skillsets you don’t. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just reality!
  • Luck – Somewhat intangible, but the truth is that it’s still a big part of starting a business.


How an online degree can help

University of Essex Online can’t make you lucky or magically dispense business concepts, but we can give you the knowledge required to understand business and the way it works. We offer a variety of courses that focus specifically on business studies and with courses ranging from level 4 (first year of university) to level 7 (Masters level) there is sure to be one that suits your needs.

The first step in our business programme is the CertHE Business and Management. This course introduces key business concepts and skillsets, including evaluation, managerial approaches and analysis.

You can then choose to move onto either our BA (Hons) Business and Management or our BA (Hons) Business and Marketing. These programmes allow you to specialise in an area of business that interests you, while also enabling you to critically evaluate business models and concepts and apply them to real-world situations.

Our postgraduate business programme allows you to develop your knowledge even further; our PG Cert, PG Dip and Master of Business Management prepare you to face the challenges of managing and working in a variety of organisations, both within Europe and internationally. You’ll gain confidence in strategic areas including financial decision making, leadership in practice and managing across cultures.

Whatever business you want to start, you’ll find the knowledge you gain on our courses invaluable as you take the brave step into the world of self-employment.


Student success stories

Starting your own business doesn’t have to be a pipe dream, it’s an achievable goal and can become your reality. We’ve helped many students realise their aspiration; you can read their stories below:


Oluwole Okanlawon

Growing up in Nigeria, I always wanted to have a university education. I would sometimes go to school, walking several miles with no food, but didn’t achieve any GCSEs. After moving to the UK, I enrolled at a Business School before eventually gaining admission to the University of Essex Online Business and Management Top Up degree.

I graduated in 2014 and achieving a degree is a dream come true; I am the first person in my family to hold a degree! The course has also inspired me to become an entrepreneur and I have started developing my own products. The learnings from the course will come in very useful for building my own business.


Tawa Bishi

My life has changed for the better since studying for my Business and Management degree with the University of Essex Online.

My aspirations lay in opening my own Pilates studio, so I needed a level of knowledge that matched my passion. Other business courses and seminars on the market were just not meeting my needs and so I invested in this course. I chose the University of Essex Online because of the flexibility it allowed for.

As a result of my hard work I am now the Director of my own company. I opened a rehabilitation clinic for medical conditions and as my own boss I find the experience even more rewarding knowing that my efforts have paid off.


Paul Nicholson

I was a project leader in the oil and gas industry, wanting to take my career to the next level. Learning through an online programme provided me with the flexibility I needed to manage my work and family life.

Studying in the evenings and at weekends worked well for me, but without the support and understanding of my wife and daughter it could have been very difficult. However, while I’ve made sacrifices, I’ll definitely reap the rewards in the long term.


For more information, you can download a prospectus. Alternatively, contact our friendly Admissions team to discuss your options.