Home' acuity : Acuity Oct 14 Contents vocational training where people are time poor and they
are not so interested necessarily in the degree qualification
but they are interested in broadening and deepening their
knowledge,” he says.
“ They may not be particularly interested in the
qualification, they’re interested in the content. Those who
are interested in the qualification will go to their local
university offering an MBA or postgraduate qualification of
These MOOC courses aren’t necessarily what employers
are going to look for when hiring graduates. And HR
managers might look askance at them.
A 2010 report published by the Society for Human Resource
Management found that only 34% of the nearly 450 HR managers
viewed job applicants with online degrees as favourably as
alumni of traditional programmes; 55% said they wouldn’t
penalise online degree holders with the same job experience as
candidates holding traditional degrees but, significantly, only 15%
thought online degrees were appropriate for executive-level hires.
Still, the push for online courses will continue to develop.
Business schools are using them to increase their reach in
a global market. Furthermore, the focus on upskilling now
means that online education will continue to grow.
But the courses themselves are more about broadening
knowledge than getting a qualification. They might not
substitute for an MBA, for now. They’re the beginning of the
journey, not the end.
An interesting note is that universities are now starting
to roll out MOOCs as part of their MBAs. At the end of 2013,
the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania
announced it had four MOOCs on Coursera’s platforms
offering first-year MBA courses in marketing, corporate
finance and operations, and it plans to add accounting.
More MBA MOOCs are being rolled out around the world.
All of this will challenge business schools globally. None of
the traditional business education programmes can match
the global reach of MOOCs. Massey, for example, is New
Zealand’s largest university provider of distance and online
learning, with about half of its 34,000 students studying
by distance. For business schools like the one at Massey,
the MOOCs could become a critical strategy as they are
a tremendous opportunity to expand into under-served
markets. Nearly half of the international students enrolled in
Wharton’s MOOCs hail from developing countries.
There is no doubt that business schools in Australia and
New Zealand will move towards MOOCs, perhaps even
incorporating them into MBAs.
They can afford to do so because Australian and New
Zealand business schools are viewed well in the marketplace.
The Australian Graduate School of Management and the
Melbourne Business School are in the Financial Times top 100
business schools 2014 rankings. Similarly, 12 Australian and
one New Zealand business school make the Global 200 for the
QS TopMBA.com Global 200 Business Schools report.
That’s important for our education economies because the
digital trend is for education to become a global business.
“We are in
an age when new
creative, innovative thinking
is needed on the part of managers.
But many business schools offering MBAs
teach more or less the same material.”
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acuity | OCTOBER 2014
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