As someone who has spent their professional life devoted to reducing costs out of operations; a cost-conscious ethos becomes quite ingrained. Challenging the 100% solution to find the best “bang for the buck” is part of my role and what I do on an allmost daily basis.
It was with this mindset I approached the challenge to study an MBA that would also work with my family and travel constraints. Online degree programmes have been around for years, and distance learning as a whole is much older. So with the increase in online course popularity/availability; I decided to look into the feasibility of being able to blend together an online MBA developed entirely out of MOOCs from some of the worlds top business programmes.
After doing some research into the curriculum of some reputable university’s (Harvard / Berkeley / Wharton / Stanford etc) I have come to the following list of course content that needs to be covered as the “core curriculum”
- Business Strategy
- Statistics / Data Analysis
Most information I found had suggested somewhere between 8-12 hours per week per subject is required to complete the courses. As a father of two and quite a demanding job, I had decided to look at this as a long-term goal and take one subject at a time.
I have a reasonable distance to travel to work so generally allocated one hour per work day to study during transit on my tablet. All in all, it was a 2.5 year effort; but the flexibility this way of working gave really allowed me to manage it well within my schedule. The quality of the courses was phenomenal and I would highly recommend to all. If you have any questions or would like to know more from my experience on the topic, please drop me a line.
Financial Accounting (Wharton University)
Master the technical skills needed to analyze financial statements and disclosures for use in financial analysis, and learn how accounting standards and managerial incentives affect the financial reporting process. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to read the three most common financial statements: the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows.
Foundations of Business Strategy (Darden School Of Business)
In this course, we will explore the underlying theory and frameworks that provide the foundations of a successful business strategy. We will develop your ability to think strategically by providing you the tools for conducting a strategic analysis. Strategic analysis is critical for analyzing the competitive context in which an organization operates and for making reasoned and reasonable recommendations for how that organization should position itself and what actions it should take to maximize value creation. Aspiring managers, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, analysts, and consultants all may find value in mastering these fundamentals.
Microeconomics Principles (University of Illinois)
This course offers an introduction to the functions of individual decision-makers—both consumers and producers—within the larger economic system. Emphasis is on the nature and functions of product markets, the theory of the firm under varying conditions of competition and monopoly, and the role of government in promoting efficiency in the economy.
Corporate Finance (Wharton University)
This course provides the fundamentals of finance, emphasizing their application to a wide variety of real-world situations spanning personal finance, corporate decision-making, and financial intermediation. Key concepts and applications include: time value of money, risk-return tradeoff, cost of capital, interest rates, retirement savings, mortgage financing, auto leasing, capital budgeting, asset valuation, discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, net present value, internal rate of return, hurdle rate, payback period.
Marketing (Wharton University)
This course will teach the fundamentals of marketing by getting to the root of customer decision making. The course will focus on branding strategies, customer centricity and new market entry.The course explores practical, go-to-market strategies to help students understand the drivers that influence customers and see how these are implemented prior to making an investment.
International Leadership and Organizational Behavior (Bocconi University)
Leaders in business and non-profit organizations increasingly work across national boarders and in multi-cultural environments. You may work regularly with customers or suppliers abroad, or be part of a globally dispersed cross-functional team, or an expatriate manager on an international assignment. You may be a member of a global online community, or a development aid worker collaborating with an international network of partner organizations. In all of these contexts, your effectiveness as a leader depends on how well you understand and are able to manage individual and collective behaviors in an intercultural context.
Operations Management (Wharton University)
This course will teach you how to analyze and improve business processes, be it in services or in manufacturing. You will learn how to improve productivity, how to provide more choice to customers, how to reduce response times, and how to improve quality. Along the way, you will learn about topics such as Lean Operations, Six Sigma, and the Toyota production system, you will learn about bottlenecks, flows rates, and inventory levels. And, much, much more.
Statistical Thinking for Data Science and Analytics (Columbia University)
This statistics and data analysis course will pave the statistical foundation for our discussion on data science. You will learn how data scientists exercise statistical thinking in designing data collection, derive insights from visualizing data, obtain supporting evidence for data-based decisions and construct models for predicting future trends from data.
Business Ethics for the Real World (Santa Clara University)
The course provides an understanding of the nature of ethics, the role ethics plays in business, and the most commonly encountered ethical dilemmas in a business career. It provides practical advice on how to identify ethical dilemmas when they arise, how to get enough information to assess one’s responsibilities, how to analyze a complex ethical choice, and how to marshal one’s own resources and courage to act ethically. While the course includes some ethical theory, it is designed to be approachable by the seasoned manager, the novice businessperson, and students in business schools.
Entrepreneurship 101 (MIT / Sloan University)
This is entrepreneurship – so don’t expect a lecture. Every class session is an in-depth and focused case study of MIT entrepreneurs from areas as diverse as mobile applications, 3D printing, power electronics, international development, and watchmaking. You will learn, through the stories of MIT entrepreneurs, how to go from idea or technology to the necessary understanding of who and why will want to buy your product.