Prospects for students aren’t so great these days. If you’re doing an art degree, the chances are that you won’t see a return on your investment. There are now so many students taking so many degrees that the value of having a degree is going down. In fact, going to college may soon be seen as a net negative by employers, especially if they think that you could have been spending your time building skills in the workplace.
Because of this sorry state of affairs, many students are wondering whether they should take a different career path to get the lives they want. Should they waste their time competing against hordes of other university graduates in round after round of interviews with dozens of employers who claim to be in the Times Top 100 list? Or should they just go out into the market, find a problem that people want solving, and start their own business?
According to the data, it appears that more and more people are doing the latter. They want the freedom to be able to dictate the direction of their own lives, and so they’re choosing to ditch traditional career paths and find something new that will make them money.
The question for students, however, is: what can they do today to boost their chances of entrepreneurial success in the future?
Get Access To People
In business, knowing the right people is more important than having lots of cash. If you’re a student at university right now, it’s a good idea to start developing the relationships and networks you’ll need to succeed in the future. By meeting and listening to other people in the business world, you’ll find the information and the support you need for starting out by yourself.
Large companies also offer support for students looking to start up their own businesses. Companies like Ellis Whittam offer advice on how to approach employment law. And Google has launched their “Google Campus” initiative, providing young entrepreneurs access to their facilities to building their businesses, often for free.
There’s also something called General Assembly, a hub which has many education programs and networking events for students to attend.
Look For Funding
Although access to people is important, you’ll also need quite a bit of funding to get started. Startup Loans is a scheme run by the Dragon James Caan along with Lord Young. The idea is to provide students with the capital they need to put their ideas into practice. Caan says that he shows students on the scheme how to put together a team of people and grow a brand.
Another organization called Student Upstarts is also aimed at helping students get started. It was set up by Christian Jakenfelds and Matthew Stafford. The idea is to invest fixed sums of money for a share of the equity in the company. The criteria are simple. The applicant must be a student, and they must have graduated in the last twelve months.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the best way to learn a business is to just do it.