Wharton Offers First-Year MBA Courses Online for Free
Ever dream of taking a post-graduate business course from an Ivy League school but couldn’t afford the exorbitant fees? Your dream may well have come true this week as the University of Pennsylvania’s elite Wharton School of Business has announced that it has integrated the MBA Foundation Series into the school’s Coursera course catalog. The best part for cash strapped MBA wannabes is that the courses are free. All of the classes are massive open online courses, or MOOCs, and are expected to draw students from around the world.
The four courses in the foundation series are six to 10 weeks long, with the first, An Introduction to Financial Accounting, having kicked off on September 16. Each module combines prerecorded lectures and interactive features that allow students to ask questions and get answers from the professor or a teaching assistant. Some of Wharton’s finest business professors are involved in the series and will be teaching the courses. Classes in the series also include: An Introduction to Operations Management, An Introduction to Marketing, and An Introduction to Corporate Financing. All of the classes are core MBA courses and are the same as those that are offered face-to-face on campus, and what you would take in your first year of the program.
The caveat to the school’s largesse is that the classes will not count towards an MBA from the school, but they will look mighty fine on a resume and (for $49) you can get a verified electronic certificate stating that you have mastered each class. Also be aware that Wharton has no plans to accept the certificates should students decide to subsequently enroll in the school.
Why is Wharton offering the classes gratis? Simply put, exposure. It’s a win-win situation for both student and school. Students get access to a superior education, Wharton gets exposure to hundreds of thousands of people that may not know it.
In another piece of news, Wharton also announced this week that it will be featured on a new Sirius XM Radio Inc. channel, allowing listeners to get business tutorials directly from qualified professors. The live programs will cover everything from equity markets to retailing, with many of them including call-in segments from listeners. The move will create the first full-time radio station focused exclusively on business management. Sirius approached Wharton earlier this year and the school agreed almost immediately. The station will debut in early 2014.
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