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MAR 18, 2020 • 22 min read
Here's the deal.
I want to change the world and make millions in the process.
I want to think up some genius app idea that no one can live without, create an electric car that can fly to Mars and save humankind, and discover a sustainable energy source that not only reduces the impact of global warming but reverses its negative effects.
Boy, oh, boy, life can be tough!
Mainly because before I achieve all that stuff (which I will), I'm probably going to have to get some sort of degree... what a drag!
If you, like me, have big plans to be an entrepreneur, you need to be willing to invest in your education. It’s all well and good to have the big ideas, but it takes skill to turn them into viable products.
Studying the right course at the right university could be the difference between becoming a high level executive at someone else's business, and developing your own innovative business and becoming the one who hires the high level executives!
I certainly know which one I'd prefer.
University has a massive influence on your career trajectory, there's no two ways about it. And while you may think your big idea is enough to set you up for success, sooner or later you’ll realise that you need a little help in the execution department.
That, my friend, is why it pays to study first! But not just anywhere...
In the Silicon Valley of Europe!
To become an innovator in the same league as Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, the obvious option would be to head to Silicon Valley.
But that's where every young and inspired whiz goes these days and it's almost become a cliche!
What if you want to differentiate yourself?
Where can you go to become a genius, millionaire app developer that isn't Silicon Valley?
Well, I'm here to tell you where...
Yep, that's right, London is currently one of the biggest tech ecosystems in Europe!
It's blossoming into a renowned epicentre of innovation, and the degrees and courses on offer in London have everything to do with it!
So why not study in the good ol' English capital?
Yes, on the whole, the UK’s education system is more synonymous with tradition than entrepreneurialism.
How could it not be? The UK is home to some of the oldest universities in the world. Oxford and Cambridge were up and running centuries before any of the Ivy Leagues!
But while Oxbridge may be sticking with the traditional, theoretical approach to teaching, the top universities in London are doing things a little different.
These more progressive universities are taking an interdisciplinary, practical approach to teaching in order to promote entrepreneurialism and innovation.
Yep, that means you can say goodbye to:
Endless essays, and...
Reading... lots and lots of reading.
(OH GOD, THE READING!)
London universities are doing great things to support and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit, and the dividends are paying off!
According to The Independent, creative industries in the UK have grown at twice the rate of the UK economy.
Twice the rate of the whole freakin' economy!
Seriously, that's bonkers!
What's more, areas of London have seen massive growth in the number of startups.
In 2016, there was a 75% increase in the number of new businesses founded compared to the previous year; the number jumping from 8,400 in 2015 to 14,710 in 2016.
South London suburb Croydon has become a significant startup hub in recent years, and is now home to over a thousand digital, creative, and technology companies.
If London is the Silicon Valley of Europe, then Croydon is the Silicon Valley of South London!
Additionally, Leicester Square – tourist destination and tech epicentre – saw a huge 142% increase in new startups in 2016.
More than double!
London currently has the fourth highest startup output in the world and the city's tech output is growing at a rate faster than both Silicon Valley and New York City.
Yep, London is the young, up-and-coming tech destination that you need to break into if you’re serious about getting your ideas off the ground.
The sooner you get there, the sooner you can start developing your app, building your energy efficient car, researching renewable energy, or just saving the world in general while making bank in the process!
So... "how can that be me?" I hear you asking.
Well, that's the easy part. You just need to pick a degree, pick a university, and start acquiring those entrepreneurial skills!
Okay, so maybe it’s not that easy, but don’t stress.
All the info you need to make informed decisions about what and where you study is right here in this blog!
First step is to decide what to study.
When choosing a degree to help develop you into an entrepreneur, you want to pick a degree at a university that offers you hands-on, practical learning.
Sitting back and reading books is great, and what the more traditional universities endorse, but entrepreneurialism is more about doing.
It’s about learning through experience and trial and error.
All the London universities on the list below understand this, and that’s why they each offer entrepreneurship degrees in one form or another.
What could be a better for an aspiring entrepreneur than a degree in entrepreneurship?!
I mean, it makes sense, right?
There’s just one catch. Unfortunately most of these entrepreneurship degrees are offered at postgraduate level, which isn’t exactly helpful if you’re a fresh blooded high school graduate who’s ready to get stuck into the startup world!
Luckily, there are some undergraduate degrees that are just as good at producing entrepreneurs.
Over the past decade, computer science has become one of the most future-proofed subject areas. Basically, you’re studying in the realm of computer programming and web development, which is the beating heart of any tech startup!
One thing to be weary of when studying computer science is that you take time away to refine your non-technical skills, too. People who go into business on their own need to wear many hats, so it will help to learn a thing or two about business management.
Some notable computer science graduates in the entrepreneur category include Larry Page and Sergey Brin, co-founders of Google, and Reed Hastings, co-founder of Netflix.
I mean, basically this is a degree that teaches you everything about working with money, and a big part of running a business is… well… working with money!
Obviously, there are other elements of running a business, but a finance degree can give you a great advantage over other entrepreneurs in the same stage of life who won’t have the same understanding of budgeting, investing, and risk management.
Entrepreneurs who started out with a finance degree include Nike co-founder, Phil Knight.
An economics degree will teach you to model and predict behaviour. You’ll learn how people and organisations make decisions about how to allocate resources, all of which are pretty important when it comes to running a company!
Two famous economics grads-turned-entrepreneurs are the founder of Walmart stores in the US, Sam Walton, and the founder of FedEx, Fred Smith, who is now worth a cool $4.5 billion USD… Yes, billion, with a ‘B’.
This one might not come as a surprise!
Business is one of the most common degrees among Fortune 500 CEOs, many of whom started out as entrepreneurs.
A couple worth noting include John Schnatter, founder of Papa John’s, and a guy who knows a thing or two about money, Warren Buffett.
So, there you have the top four. But while these degrees can support your entrepreneurial development, it's important to study something that you actually care about.
If you have a passion in a particular area, that's where you'll succeed.
Generally speaking, if you love what you're doing, you'll work at it until it starts working for you!
Entrepreneurs often strike it big when they're working tirelessly on the passion projects that they would be happy doing for no money at all.
For this reason, I recommend finding your passion and then deciding on your course from there.
Now that you know a few pointers about applying for degrees and picking a course, let's take a look at the top UK schools producing young entrepreneurs.
Now that you’re set on what degree is going to help you achieve the entrepreneur dream, you’re ready for step two: choosing where to study.
If you can believe it, there are 40 universities in London alone! I guess the Brits really take their education seriously!
It’s all good, though, I’ve done the research for you.
I now present the top six entrepreneur-producing universities in old London town, starting from the top!
UCL is one of the world’s top multidisciplinary universities, placing in the top 10 globally and the top three in the UK!
When you look at those stats alone, it's no wonder it comes in at numero uno on our list of UK universities producing entrepreneurs, tech geniuses and straight up millionaires.
In fact, UCL sits in the top 10 UK schools creating wealthy graduates.
There are three key reasons why UCL comes in first places on this list, including:
In 2011, research showed that UCL led the UK in most highly cited biomedical engineering publications.
The trend continued in 2014, when UCL was hailed in a report which suggested that it far outpaced other universities when it came to biomedical research!
Groundbreaking research continues into today at UCL with a distinct focus on global issues and improving life quality for people around the world!
2. Multidisciplinary approach
This is one of the major ways UCL differentiates itself from other UK universities and encourages curiosity, innovation, and entrepreneurialism.
Typically at UK universities, you are required to take a very in-depth look a specific subject, but not at UCL!
When undertaking your globally-minded research, UCL encourages students to explore other fields and disciplines in order to strengthen their research.
This helps students form a better understanding of the world at large and think outside the box when it comes to their own passion projects and entrepreneurial endeavours.
3. Innovative degrees
Forward thinking and unique degrees are a good sign that a university is entrepreneurial.
UCL offers a Master’s in Computational Statistics and Machine Learning (Machine what? That’s a degree?).
A recent graduate of this degree, Tobias Rijken developed Kheiron Medical, a medical imagery company that uses machine learning technologies to develop tools for radiologists that improve the efficiency and accuracy of radiology reporting. How cool is that?
His whole entrepreneurial journey was essentially founded on the niche offering UCL provided him with its innovative degree options.
UCL also offer a Master of Science and Entrepreneurship. What a combo!
But what if you don’t have the time? Well, for the impatient ones, UCL also offers a number of entrepreneurial support challenges and enterprise boot camps that encourage interdisciplinary studies and allow you to participate in and develop your entrepreneurial talents while studying an undergraduate degree.
To add a little cherry on top, UCL has had 29 Nobel laureates in its history. That's a minimum of one every decade since the establishment of the prize in 1901... Oh yeah, that's a nice shiny cherry on top!
Entrepreneurial alumni include:
Local student: £4,915–£14,370
International student: £19,010–£25,890
Graduate employability: 24
International students: 14,854
King's College London is a university producing young entrepreneurs on the reg through practical, innovative, and globally focused entrepreneurial research!
King’s has an Entrepreneurial Hub dedicated to helping students turn their business ideas into reality. The best thing is that this Hub is accessible to all students, no matter the degree you’re studying.
Additionally, King’s also has a Tech Society, and a lot of members go on to develop successful startups.
Just take a look at Clarence Ji, who played a key role in running the Tech Society’s intense Hackathon events. A recent graduate from King’s, Clarence has won his second consecutive scholarship to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference and has been voted one of London’s top ten young entrepreneurs after creating his own app, ViewLDN.
Not too shabby, Clarence. Not too shabby at all.
Clarence credits a large portion of his success to the King’s Entrepreneurship Institute which helped him expand and develop his ideas through the practical application of innovative and entrepreneurial thought.
The university itself is ranked in the top 25 globally, so it’s not just its entrepreneurial prowess and impressive alumni that make it great.
And get this! King’s is obviously so dang good that despite his success with his startup, Clarence is actually heading back to pursue a PhD in Computer Science!
If you want to be a life changing, world leading, app-making millionaire entrepreneur, King's could be the perfect place for you!
Local student: £9,250
International student: £26,750
Graduate employability: 51-60
International students: 9,451
When it comes to business education, it doesn't get much better than London Business School.
Pretty obvious, right?
It's a globally recognised university teaching business in a city with one of the world's biggest economies.
What's to fault?
Nothing, that's what!
When it comes to full-time MBA programs, LBS is ranked number one, and its executive MBA program is ranked in the top ten globally,
But it doesn't stop there, no sir.
London Business School is also ranked in the top five UK schools for producing millionaires!
The school is so good, that it's widely regarded as the best business school in Europe!
One of the main reasons the school produces top graduates and millionaire entrepreneurs is because it employs a whole faculty of strategic entrepreneurs with industry connections.
Basically, there are a whole bunch of teachers employed to help students develop into global citizens, allowing them to create industry networks the world over!
This means that once you graduate from London Business School, you'll have a global network to tap into to kick off your career as an entrepreneur.
London Business School also offers an Entrepreneurship Summer School, which allows you to sign up and practically explore the idea of starting your own business venture during the summer break.
With all the experience you'll gain, you'll be well-equipped to forego the corporate route, found your own startup, and make big bucks working for yourself.
Not bad at all, I say!
In addition to their summer program, LBS also offers a Master’s in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship that focuses on applying research to practical learnings through socially-focused organisations worldwide.
Entrepreneurial alumni include:
Local student: £29,900-£75,100
International student: £29,900-£75,100
Graduate employability: 91-100
International students: 7,795
Continuing with the theme of worldly outlook and developing global citizens is Imperial College London (ICL).
ICL is ranked eighth in the world and third in the UK, and is a true leader of the pack when it comes to innovation and education, globally!
The reason ICL has been churning out entrepreneurial geniuses for years is that it focuses solely on science, engineering, medicine and business – four of the fastest growing and some of the most "future-proofed" career paths for young grads!
While ICL limits its focus to only four key areas, it sure nails each field!
And Imperial has provided society with some pretty impressive discoveries to prove it!
Penicillin, yep, that was ICL.
The development of holography – you better believe that was at ICL, too.
The foundations of fibre optics, yes siree, that sure as heck was developed at ICL!
Not bad at all!
Oh yeah, and did I mention that Imperial has also been ranked as one of the top five institutions to create wealthy graduates in the UK?
Well it totally has!
Basically, once you gain admission into Imperial College, you're well on your way to become an entrepreneur!
Unfortunately, however, ICL is tough to get into, but for good reason:
The uni is all about breaking new ground, innovation in science, and addressing global challenges through the practical application of research!
ICL has a whole department dedicated to Innovation and entrepreneurship which is rated sixth in the world and renowned for its hands-on approach.
As a bonus, ICL’s Business School even has its own Entrepreneurship Hub – a whole freakin’ community dedicated to developing you into the next millionaire innovator!
The Hub has an online tool which facilitates an assisted entrepreneurial journey for students who are not only interested in learning about the theory but also going through the experience of developing a business case.
That’s your chance to develop a business idea and watch it thrive (hypothetically)!
They also offer a Master of Science in Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management. How could you not become a millionaire with a degree like that?!
Future-proof your career and improve your chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur by applying to ICL!
Entrepreneurial alumni include:
Local student: £9,250
International student: £28,650
Graduate employability: 20
International students: 8,746
LSE is renowned for developing the movers and shakers of the world!
Not to mention literal mover and shaker himself, Mick Jagger.
Since its foundation, LSE has produced at least 32 world leaders and 14 Nobel Prize winners.
If you're looking to become a global influencer, this is the place for you!
Unfortunately, however, LSE offers mostly postgraduate degrees, with only a few options for high school graduates to gain admission.
Despite sitting at number five on our list, LSE is in the top three UK universities producing millionaires, sitting behind only the Oxbridge schools.
Located in central location, LSE not only provides easy access the London nightlife, markets, and cultural hubs, but it's also in the heart of the burgeoning UK tech scene – an invaluable location for aspiring entrepreneurs.
If you use your time wisely at LSE, make sure you're building networks through summer internships, work experience and part-time work - this will be invaluable to your career trajectory upon graduation.
LSE understands the importance of innovation and entrepreneurialism to the modern graduate, so much so that they offer a Master’s degree in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This program has a distinct focus on applying innovative thought to practical scenarios.
What’s that? You don’t have time to complete a Master’s program and you want to start innovating now? Well, LSE has you covered there, too! It also offers an intensive course in entrepreneurship and innovation for the student in a hurry.
This is a five-day program that teaches you how to identify opportunities to innovate, scale your business and build a team, and analyse new and emerging markets, such as the tech scene in London!
If you’re an entrepreneur who simply cannot spare the years it will take you to complete a Master’s degree, this is the stuff you need, right here!
“At the London School of Economics, we recognise that to be a leader tomorrow, you have to think and innovate like an entrepreneur today.”
Seriously, that’s their catchphrase… where do I sign up?!
Entrepreneurial alumni include:
Local student: £9,250
International student: £19,152
Graduate employability: 61-70
International students: 13,514
University of Warwick has been a big brand in the startup scene since it was named the UK’s most enterprising university by the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2013. So, right off that bat, this place has credentials!
One of the major benefits of studying at Warwick is your access to its amazing and inspiring alumni network.
Take for example, Yaw Okyere, who started his own business straight outta uni.
His business, Coffee Munch, sells energy bars made from dates and oats infused with an espresso shot. It’s, like, so hot right now. All jokes aside, this dude’s killing it and he learned everything he knows at Warwick!
While at other unis it can be hard to connect with successful alumni, Warwick makes it easy with its entrepreneurship network, which puts like-minded Warwick students, alumni, and academics interested in entrepreneurship in touch with each other.
There’s also a student society called ‘Warwick Entrepreneurs’ and, if you can believe it, the university has its very own startup incubator, called ‘Warwick Ventures’. Talk about support!
Back on academics, University of Warwick also offers a Master’s degree in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Clearly, Warwick has all bases covered when it comes to entrepreneurship – amazing alumni, inspiring networks, and world-class degrees… what more could you possibly want?
Entrepreneurial alumni include:
Yaw Okyere, founder of Coffee Munch Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet Bernardo Hees, CEO of Heinz Company and former CEO of Burger King Nick Landau, co-owner and founder of Titan Entertainment Group and Forbidden Planet sci-fi, fantasy and horror bookstores
Local student: £16,230-£35,510 per year
International student: £17,460-£41,110
Graduate employability: 81-90
International students: 7,703
Now that you know the six best colleges producing entrepreneurs in ol’ London town, how the flip do you gain admission?!
Well, it’s not as complicated as you might think for international students, so there's no excuse not to make the move to London.
It's as simple as getting good grades and hitting apply!
...Well, okay, maybe not that simple.
Obviously, there's funding, scholarships, accommodation, and travel arrangements to think about.
That's right, just a bit of light reading, and you'll be one step closer to becoming a world famous entrepreneur.
Basically, pick any of these high quality universities, and your chances of becoming a millionaire drastically increase!
However, it won't just happen for you once you're enrolled.
Whatever college you end up attending, you'll still need to work hard to succeed!
But with a world class education in hand, ridiculous networking opportunities, and access to support programs like StartUp Britain, you have everything you need in London to become an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with!
Additionally, there are a few factors that an entrepreneur, student or otherwise, must possess in order to succeed.
In order to succeed, you must be willing to try and try again – venture down new and unknown paths, experiment, and learn from the mistakes you make.
Rarely, if ever, will success happen on your first attempt.
This is where research universities with an interdisciplinary outlook can help, because they encourage students to explore new avenues, assess the outcomes, and then improve.
I mentioned it earlier and I'll mention it again: if you're passionate about what you do, success will come much easier.
Pursue passion projects, interests, and hobbies, and see where they take you. The minute you stop caring about what you do, the harder it becomes to succeed.
This goes for establishing a business, developing an app, discovering a renewable energy source, and even just studying at university.
If you love what you do, success will find you!
And remember, consider your passions before choosing which course you apply to.
3. Hard work
It goes without saying that guys like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates all worked their backsides off to succeed, so it's going to be no different for you!
If you want to found a startup, work for yourself, or conduct some life-changing research, it's going to require hard work above all else!
With hard work, passion, and experience, the world will be your oyster and the sky will be your limit.
Especially if you're in a city like London, where opportunities are available in abundance.
No matter where you decide to study, I'm sure you'll change the world in one way or another.
Just remember that the UK will help you get there!
Good luck, ol’ chap.