Want An MBA For Free? Check Out These Illinois University MOOCs...

Massive Online Open Courses, better known as MOOCs have long been known for their silly name and idealist view on democratizing the college education. This week, one Illinois university gave MOOCs a little bit more cred. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign announced it would offer all its MBA courses online, for free. That means you can essentially get an MBA from UIUC, ranked in the top 50 nationwide, without paying a dime. Unless you actually want the degree– that will cost you about $20,000, the university said. Regardless, opening up their MBA program as a MOOC is a great way for you to gain a lot of knowledge, on the cheap. And UIUC is not the only Illinois university offering popular online courses for free. Whether you’ve got some extra time on your hands, or are just looking to gain a new skill, MOOCs from a top university can be the way to go. Here are the top MOOCs from universities in Illinois: iMBA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign The flagship University of Illinois school made headlines for offering its MBA program online on Coursera, and rightfully so. Starting in June, MOOC-only students get to sit in on classes such as managerial accounting, and focus on specializations such as Leadership and Management, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation. What’s even better is that you can actually get a degree from the university via Coursera, but you will have to be admitted to the certificate program and pay about $1,000 per course. That’s a total of $20,000, which may seem like a lot, but the on-campus price ranges from $50,000 to $100,000. You also get special support from faculty and advisors that students who don’t pay won’t get. Right now UIUC is only...

Mooc Maker To Compete With B-Schools With Tuition-Free Online MBA...

The University of the People – a digital non-profit university – has become the latest tech upstart hoping to disrupt the business education industry. UoPeople is in the process of developing two MBA programs in management and entrepreneurship, to complement its two undergraduate business administration degrees. Not only will they be taught entirely online but they will be offered entirely tuition-free. Other online learning providers have launched a plethora of programs similar to the executive education courses offered by business schools – short customized programs sold to corporations that generate much revenue – but UoPeople is thought to be the first to reveal plans for a full MBA program online, for free. It is collaborating with academics from leading business schools. Roxie Smith, vice president, is developing the MBAs with Russell Winer, a marketing professor at NYU Stern School of Business in the US, along with UoPeople’s board. As well as Russell, other board members include Stephan Chambers, former director of the MBA program at Oxford’s Saïd Business School in the UK. Founded in 2009, UoPeople is one of a cadre of technology organizations, including Coursera, FutureLearn and Udacity, which are encroaching into business schools’ territory with their free business content, often developed by top academics. Known as Moocs, or massive open online courses, these digital programs have been deployed as marketing tools by a legion of universities and their business departments, including Europe’s Henley Business School, HEC Paris and IESE Business School, while elite institutions in the US like Harvard and Wharton have pioneered the concept. UoPeople has grown to have about 2,500 students from more than 150 countries, a third of whom are from the US but many are from the African continent and Middle Eastern region....

Stanford Bets Big on Virtual Education

Stanford’s Graduate School of Business took its relationship with online education to the next level on Wednesday, when it announced that a new program for company executives will be delivered entirely by way of the Internet. “I don’t know of anything else like this,” says Audrey Witters, managing director of online executive education at Stanford GSB. “We’ve put together something for a very targeted audience, people who are trying to be corporate innovators, with courses where they all work together. That’s a lot different from taking a MOOC [massive open online course].” Stanford said it will admit up to 100 people to the LEAD Certificate program, which will begin in May 2015 and deliver the “intimate and academically rigorous on-campus Stanford experience” to students from the comfort of their computer screens. In an effort to make students “really feel connected to each other, to Stanford, and to the faculty,” the eight-course program will encourage students to interact through message boards, online chats, Google Hangouts, and phone calls over the course of its yearlong duration, Witters says. “We really want to create the high-engagement, community aspect that everyone who comes to Stanford’s campus feels,” she says. STORY: Steve Ballmer Goes to College: On Campus With Stanford’s New Professor The classes will be offered on a platform supplied by Novoed, a virtual education company started by former Stanford professor Amin Saberi and Stanford Ph.D. student Farnaz Ronaghi. The B-school has invested a significant chunk of its resources in launching the program: About 10 to 15 faculty members are slated to teach the courses. In addition to building a studio where it will film course videos, the school has hired a growing pool of educational technology experts and motion graphic designers to...

Can MOOCs Compete With Traditional MBA Programs?...

Companies want employees with the best credentials, which is why professionals in all fields use continuing education to improve their expertise – and their salaries. For senior managers, an MBA has traditionally been a credential that gives them an edge in the jobs market. However, getting an MBA can take time and money, and fewer companies are willing to help fund employees’ education; too often managers get an advanced degree only to leave for a better job elsewhere. Enter the Mooc. Massive open online courses are a relatively new phenomenon, providing distance learning to people interested in specific subjects. Some institutions believe that Moocs are going to change the way we think about business education. This is because they are generally free and open to anyone who is interested in a subject, without pre-qualification. There are currently more than 1,200 Moocs available with an estimated 10 million registered participants. While Moocs are available in diverse subjects, from advanced calculus to opera, they don’t help students earn college credits, at least not yet. Courses are starting to be recognized by educational institutions. The American Council on Education has already approved five Moocs for university credit, although it’s still up to each institution to decide whether or not to accept them. Moocs are being offered by major universities and business schools, and do give students an opportunity to learn from some of the finest educational institutions in the world. Harvard Business School, the Wharton School, and HEC Paris are among the latest institutions to offer Moocs in business, law, and corporate finance. The advocates for free online learning say that Moocs provide an opportunity to those who can’t afford college to get a better education. However, a 2013 study indicates that...

Forget the MBA

When Luis Ochoa wanted to make the leap from investment banking analyst to corporate strategist, he didn’t follow the usual path of getting a master’s of business administration degree. Instead, the Stanford University graduate took a few free strategy and financial accounting classes on Coursera, one of the major providers of so-called MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which have grown in popularity globally over the past few years. “I gained a foundation with those courses that helped me transition into corporate strategy” at Oppenheimer Funds, the 29-year-old New Yorker said. “Now, I’m not interested in an MBA because I’m where I want to be.” Like Ochoa, a growing number of people are hoping MOOCs will be a ticket to a new job or promotion —without the cost and time required to secure a traditional university degree. The challenge is to increase employers’ awareness and appreciation of the value of online courses. “We still get questions from companies about how good MOOCs are, but we’re finding that businesses are more and more willing to consider them to help fill skill gaps,” said Sebastian Thrun, chief executive of the MOOC platform Udacity, based in Mountain View, California. “For some jobs, companies are looking for specific credentials that MOOCs can provide, and not necessarily a degree.” For some jobs, companies are looking for specific credentials that MOOCs can provide, and not necessarily a degree. — Sebastian Thrun A Bainbridge Strategy Consulting study of US human-resource professionals found that only about a third were aware of MOOCs, while about half of the managers and directors in a global survey by CarringtonCrisp said they are “uncertain of what a MOOC offers.” “There’s a generation gap between those doing recruiting and the younger people taking...