It sounds crazy, right? After all, I’ve been known to rant every now and again about people taking on crippling debt to get their MBA with zero plan for the future.
Now what if I told you that you can have a top-tier MBA for less than $1,000?
You’d probably laugh me out of the room, but that’s exactly what one young lady (Laurie Pickard) is doing through the use of massively open online courses, affectionately known as MOOCs. She cleverly named this effort “The No Pay MBA”. Many institutions now opt to make their courses available to the public at no cost online, and Laurie is aligning those free courses with actual MBA curriculum to patch together an elite MBA.
Brilliant concept but I’m not fully sold on how practical a MOOC MBA is.
If I understand correctly, Laurie took on this project for the content and personal learning, not the degree. As it stands, it’s hard to tell what school, if any, would even be willing to award a degree based on MOOC studies.
On the other hand, showing a potential employer the curriculum for your “no pay mba” or mentioning the project would be a great conversation starter and possibly be enough on its own to win a job.
Even With a Lower Price Tag, The No Pay MBA Still Costs You
While MOOC classes are cheap, going this route means less flexibility for electives, which might be a deal-breaker for some. You also have to know the price of business school grants you member ship and access to the alumni network. Being a part of the HBS or Kellogg alumni is far more valuable than the actual degree. It also means much less value gained from interaction with other students. Online learning already loses some of the interactive value but when the course is self-study, building on discussions within in the classroom doesn’t play the prominent role that it does in a classroom setting.
While online learning, especially MOOCs, still has some work to do on the student experience, for $250,000 in my bank account, I think I’m ok with that.
Do you think this is a game-changer in education or just a gimmick for one person to gain a little internet fame? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Photo Credit: mkhmarketing via Flickr Creative Commons