OK so it’s not quite a MOOC MBA but its all about using resources from top tier schools and with the no pay no certs deal, it seems you can learn anything you want at your own pace. Here are the first couple of pages of Jeff Schmidt’s 21 page piece. Have a read, it could be very beneficial, not to mention save you an absolute bomb! The only personal who would really have any kind of gripe, would be those who already have an elite education! They’ll tell you “It’s not the same!” But who cares!
The MOOC Revolution: How To Earn An Elite MBA For Free
by Jeff Schmitt on December 17, 2013
Boy, do I have a proposition for you!
Now, it’s a little unconventional. And it’ll require a load of self-discipline on your part. When it’s over, you’ll have an Ivy League education on your resume. And it won’t cost you a cent!
Sound too good to be true? Maybe it is. But I got your attention. And that’s one of the first things you learn in a foundational marketing class. And one of the world’s best business schools—Wharton—offers one of those for free through a MOOC.
A MOOC, you say? Isn’t that a slur? Maybe in Jersey. These days, MOOCs are considered by many academics to be the future of education. MOOCs — an acronym for massive open online courses—are courses that can be accessed globally over the internet. Thanks to their flexibility, students covet them.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MOOCs
It can be hard to pinpoint exactly what a MOOC is. To paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart, you ‘know it when you see it.’ Most MOOCs rely on set start and end dates, though a few are self-paced. They can be scaled to accommodate tens-of-thousands…or just a select community. Occasionally, students can earn grades and college credits through MOOCs. Most times, they’ll just receive a certificate of completion.
Tests can be proctored, but many MOOCs rely on the honor system. Textbooks are often optional (though some courses come with eBooks and downloadable software). Although professors deliver content through videos and PowerPoints in MOOCs, many engage with students on message boards in real time (and even keep office hours for their online students). Although MOOCs are grounded in distance education, many students form regionally-based online communities to facilitate peer support.
Still, there is one characteristic that marks all MOOCs: They are available to anyone. And that’s why they’re becoming a booming business. Sure, many MOOCs are free. But they’re also drawing millions of students. That’s why platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udacity are partnering with schools to house content. For example, edX started as a consortium between Harvard and MIT – and has since added the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Texas to its membership (along with recently joining forces with Google). Coursera was launched by Stanford professors and offers undergraduate and graduate courses from programs ranging from Wharton to Stanford.
BUILDING YOUR OWN MBA CURRICULUM FOR FREE OUT OF MOOCs
And that begs the question: With so much content available for free, do students even need to enroll in college anymore? MOOCs have democratized education globally (provided you have an internet connection). Could students conceivably treat education like a build-your-own IKEA furniture?
Take business school education. For decades, entrepreneurs have counseled professionals to find a mentor and earn your MBA in the ‘school of hard knocks.’ Sounds tempting, but knowledge is power. And it’s very costly to make those same fundamental mistakes in launching a business. So ask yourself these questions: 1) What if these would-be MBA candidates could review course catalogs and identify foundational courses and electives that would fill their knowledge gaps? 2) What if they could use this research to construct a learning plan that would build their knowledge, step-by-step, like a normal curriculum? 3) And what if they could locate these courses on MOOC platforms like Coursera and edX?
It’s a tempting proposition. Imagine taking two MOOCs every eight weeks. You could theoretically finish your MBA in the same time it takes to complete a traditional program. Now, ask yourself these two key questions: 1) Is the right content available? 2) Does it come from a reputable source? The answer is both questions is “Absolutely.” You can find much of the content covered in an MBA curriculum online at little to no cost.
And even David Wilson, the outgoing chief executive of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the GMAT test, says it may well be possible. “The next MBA degree may not be a degree but a portfolio of certificates,” says Wilson. “The market will determine the worth of it.”
A COMPLETE CORE MBA CURRICULUM IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR FREE FROM ELITE SCHOOLS
Just take a look at this list of core MBA courses (along with the available MOOCs that cover this content):
- Corporate Finance (Ross / Intro To Finance or Wharton / Intro to Corporate Finance)
- Financial Accounting (Wharton / An Introduction To Financial Accounting)
- Economics (Caltech / Principles of Economics With Calculus)
- Business Strategy (Darden / Foundations of Business Strategy)
- Statistical Analysis (Princeton / Statistics I)
- Marketing Principles (Wharton / An Introduction To Marketing)
- Organizational Theory and Behavior (Stanford / Organizational Analysis)
- Operations Management (Wharton / An Introduction To Operations Management)
In other words, you can now take the foundational MBA curriculum from the leading institutions for free. And that doesn’t count all dozens of elective courses available in areas like finance, marketing, and sustainability (far more electives, in fact, than would be available in a pricey Executive MBA program). So is this worth considering?
Let’s take a look at the advantages (besides not paying tuition). Face it: No one cares where you earned a degree once you get your foot in the door and prove yourself. Completing your MBA requirements via MOOCs shows employers that you’re a disciplined, forward-thinking first adopter who has the self-control to be trusted to work on your own. With MOOC drop-out rates hovering around 90%, your approach also demonstrates that you possess the grit to survive difficult circumstances.
STUDY WITH A NOBEL PRIZE WINNER AND OTHER SUPERSTAR PROFESSORS
And disregard that quaint notion that MOOCs are watered down curriculum. Leading institutions are using their teaching and research stars – not adjuncts or TAs – in their MOOCs. At Yale, Nobel Prize winner Robert Shiller is conducting a MOOC on Financial Markets in February. Similarly, Columbia Professor Jeffrey Sachs, who moonlights as a Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, is holding a MOOC on Sustainability beginning in January.
Why? First, the best teachers are usually the most innovative and passionate faculty members. And MOOCs are the new frontier in education. They bring together thousands of students from around the world – more students than professors might reach in years of teaching. And MOOCs are still in their infancy with plenty of room for growth. Who wouldn’t a forward-thinking professor not want to be part of such a ground-breaking educational trend? What’s more, institutions realize that MOOCs are a way to show their best face to the world. They are a vehicle to build brand and attract students to programs. As a result schools are taking extra pains to make sure these courses work. Bottom line: You will probably receive higher quality instruction on a MOOC than in a classroom environment. And that gives you another advantage over your brick-and-mortar peers.
And you can enjoy all of these benefits without quitting your job, losing two years of work experience, and shelling out six figures for tuition. In fact, you won’t even need to study for your GMAT, pony up for consultant, or face those daunting odds of getting into a top 10 business school. And you can start your MBA immediately from home, rather than uprooting your life and waiting for the fall. Plus, you’ll interact with students from around the world, mastering an educational medium conducive to life-long learning. Imagine adding a page to your resume, listing courses and completion dates alongside names like “Wharton” or “Stanford.” It stands out. And it suggests that you can succeed at the highest levels.
One more benefit: If you can’t find a MOOC for a particular area, you can always take a paid brick-and-mortar or online course at some institution (or enroll with Udemy, whose course prices range from $19-$500).