Sponsored feature, words by Russ Thorne
View from Pearson College's Strand buildingThe right degree can give you the academic skills to help with the challenges of life after graduation, but that's not all such a programme can offer. Some can also give you the professional skills that will mean you're a lean, keen business machine ready to go right into the workplace and begin a successful career straight out of uni.

In fact some higher education providers, like Pearson College, set their sights on preparing their graduates for the business world. Pearson College is so dedicated to helping the next generation of national and international professionals that it's introduced no fewer than nine new degrees in business and international business for 2014, in addition to its existing BSc (Hons) in Business and Enterprise.

Location, location, location

Students on those programmes will find that a professional education is as much about learning to operate in the workplace as it is learning in the classroom. Pearson College is part of a FTSE 100 company, and its students spend time working in the corporate offices acclimatising to the business environment.

"We believe that there is no better place to learn about business than by being inside a real company," says Will Holt, business programme leader. "As a FTSE 100 education company we're able to provide a unique experience to our business undergraduates. Not only will our students study a great degree, they'll also learn the skills that they need to be successful in the workplace."

Big names, big prospects

A work-focused education also means learning from some of the key players in global business. It's not just theory: successful companies may directly contribute to the content of your degree, as well as coming in to speak to you and share their expertise. At Pearson College, that includes companies like BT, L'Oreal and Sony Pictures, as well as entrepreneurs.

In-class teaching"We work closely with employers when designing and running each module of our degrees," says Will. "Professional skills are developed through weekly workshops with entrepreneurs and companies. We also hold regular events with our industry partners. For example, our students recently pitched their app ideas to Blackberry."

Real world skills

Another benefit of working closely with employers is that you're preparing for life after graduation even while you're enjoying your time as a student. "Our links with employers provide students with a bridge from the classroom to the workplace," says Will, "so they can develop real professionalism."

Of course, you'll still need to study the theory side. Study methods vary, but at Pearson College it's all about small class sizes and lots of contact time. You can expect workshops, lectures and seminars with top academics and industry types, as well as plenty of online resources including free access to FT.com – the world's business news site.

Work hard, play hard

You can even improve your future career prospects during your time away from the classroom. Joining sports teams or networking societies is fun but also helps you get to know more people and improve your leadership and communication skills, for example.

It's fun to get involved with societies and it can also be a great highlight for your CV. Students at Pearson College have also been busy setting up a number of societies, dedicated to interests such as charities, sports, social, talks and lectures and peer support.

There are other opportunities too, depending on your institution. At Pearson College students can travel to India to work on a social enterprise project, or take part in international contests such as L'Oréal's 'Brandstorm'. This year a team from the college won the UK round of the contest, beating teams from Cambridge, Durham and Exeter on the way.

Students in classFinishing touches

Providing a top-quality education and helping you develop professional awareness are fundamental parts of a business-focused degree experience. A few final elements can really give you an edge, too – things like regular mentoring, spending time overseas or gaining an internship all impress employers.

Pearson College offers all of those things to students, and according to Will an internship in particular can come in very handy (the college helps students gain a placement and supports them throughout). "Aside from the invaluable contacts, an internship gives students a chance to practise and refine their skills. We find that the experience makes them much more assured."

The Pearson College approach certainly works for the students. "I’m already gaining real-life experience and building contacts with whom I can stay in touch throughout my career," says current student Nethmi Weerakoon.

It all adds up to a world-class education that will make you more confident, more worldly and above all more employable once you leave. So if your sights are set on a career in business, a degree from a business-focused higher education provider like Pearson College could be just what you're looking for.

Find out more about Pearson College

Read more about Pearson College's degrees in business