An online university degree is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in starting their own company, a study has found.
In the most comprehensive study of its kind, researchers found that UK students are “enthusiastic” about their online education and “want to pursue a career” as soon as they have completed their course.
While the study found that students from the bottom fifth of income quintiles were most likely to pursue an online degree, the results are less clear-cut for the top 10 per cent of income earners.
The researchers say this suggests that while the degree may be “not quite as lucrative as a traditional one” it may still be worth the effort for the “highly motivated” and “competitively minded”.
But the study suggests that a “small but significant minority” of students do not want to pursue careers in the tech industry, according to the Guardian.
“This could reflect the desire of a large number of students to pursue their degree but not necessarily the desire to pursue jobs in the technology industry,” the study said.
It concluded that there was “an unmet need” for an online course that “encourages students to explore their options, engage in entrepreneurial activities and gain a real understanding of how to make their own decisions”.
This is a problem for a number of reasons.
One is that a small number of UK students would not have access to the degree.
And two, students from a smaller proportion of the UK population may be more likely to take on the online degree than a higher proportion of UK undergraduates, the study added.
While online degrees have come under fire in the past for not offering the “profound personal learning” students need to progress to a degree that could pay for itself, a new study has suggested that a degree in technology can still be a good way to learn the skills required for the future.
The study, led by Dr Michael Haines, from the University of Exeter, analysed data from more than 4,000 graduates between January and December 2014.
They found that a number were not only able to get a good job, but also to “win back” the respect of their employers, who would “likely value the skills that they acquire from their online degree”.
The graduates who did not complete their course also felt “disrespected” and less likely to be given a raise.
The University of St Andrews and Queen Mary University of London are among the UK’s most selective universities.
The three universities in the study are among more than 200 online courses that have opened since 2014.
But the “entrepreneurship” and knowledge-based degrees offered by the universities have been criticised for being too expensive and too limited.
According to the UK Government, an online education is “more likely to lead to a job in the workplace”.
The UK has about one million online degrees at present, but only a quarter of students who complete the degree actually get jobs in industries such as technology.