Opting for a business degree such as MBA requires one to consider various parameters - ROI (Return on Investment) being one of the key attributes taken into account, especially by the working professionals with 3-5 years of work experience. This ROI is measured not just in terms of job placement and compensation, but even in the context of networking opportunities, industry experts’ participation, latest course content, hands-on skills and training, etc. In order to achieve a balanced mix of these factors professionals opt for top B-schools such as IIMs, ISB, XLRI, etc. However, the recent spike in the tuition fees has further rendered these institutions out of reach for many aspirants. It is a grim situation with many forced to opt for tier-2 or lower business schools, particularly when renowned companies are defaulting on job offers made to even IIM students.
The following table further presents the ROI scenario in a nutshell by presenting the expenses of a full-time management program against the part-time online management program. The data considers various costs of an MBA degree along with the loss of pay incurred by the working professionals enrolling for a full-time program:
These discouraging figures clearly indicate that apart from the loss of pay, working professionals need to pay almost 20x more for a full-time MBA program from the top Indian B-school as compared to a part-time online PG diploma program. These stats might go down well only among the few chosen ones who receive $100,000 job offers or international placements. However, it is a worrisome picture for those who end up in the lowest rung of placement, or whose offers get repealed, or they belong to lower tier schools and didn’t get a placement.
Global Online Education Enters India
The online programs referred to so far in the article are the ones offered by global Ivy League business schools such as Harvard Business School, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, Columbia Business School, Tuck at Dartmouth, Georgia Tech and many others that are deemed to be the best around the world. These institutes develop robust platforms or collaborate with high standard providers and offer online postgraduate diploma programs at a fraction of the cost compared to top tier Indian B-schools. Additionally, the online-weekend hybrid model of learning doesn’t require the working professionals to halt their careers and jobs for management education. Recently, these courses came to be known as Small Private Online Courses (SPOC) that boast of features such as interactive video lectures from world-class faculty (Professors from Harvard, MIT, Columbia Business Schools), course content and case studies adapted from similar courses taught in the respective Ivy Leagues schools, weekend webinars/seminars that bring together peers from all over the world and unmatched networking opportunities.
There are numerous other online education portals or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) with their sub-par content and certification which are cannot be considered as a substitute for MBA programs from leading business schools.
Harvard Business School Adopts SPOC Culture
Harvard Business School’s HBX Core offering is their way of acknowledging that a world class education should be both affordable and accessible to every deserving aspirant, especially the working professionals who bring with them distinct industry experience, wherein peers can learn and network in the true sense – which is one of the key factors of a business management education. A full-time MBA from Harvard would cost around $150,000 or more and not everyone can uproot their lives and career to move to an international destination to pursue an MBA. This is where a SPOC in the form of HBX Core came in to existence with a price tag of $1800 and 10,000 enrolments so far. The program is designed with similar finesse and standard expected from the brand. It features entrance exam, group discussions, grading and feedback and a proctored final exam. An average class size is about 300, much smaller than a MOOC, and claims a 90% completion rate, much higher than a MOOC.
Online Education Advantages
An online PG diploma program from premier institutes has lot more to offer than convenience and affordability:
Global Peer Group: Today’s dynamic work environment needs professionals from multinational companies to possess skills that go beyond their daily jobs. They are expected to understand and manage cross-cultural intricacies while dealing with clients/customers from different countries. Learning with a global peer group offers that skill and exposure.
Real-World Application: As with the SPOC mode participants have their professional career running simultaneously, they can almost immediately apply the ideas and frameworks learnt in the course. The online programs are designed and specialized to match specific industry and job roles, thus resulting in career acceleration.
World Class Faculty: Participants get an opportunity to learn with the crème-de-la-crème of schools, faculty and industry experts. For instance, leadership skills taught by world-renowned leadership guru Prof Marshall Goldsmith, innovation taught by Dr. Vijay Govindrajan – both being the top ranked experts in their fields, globally. Participants can explore Design Thinking course from MIT, Computer Science from Georgia Tech, or learn management course from Columbia Business School with course content being similar to the one offered in its full-time MBA program.
These are merely few of the ways in which such SPOC programs can bring about a professional transformation and put careers on fast track. With Ivy League schools bringing their world class education to one’s doorstep, all that the aspirants need to do is simply click the right option!