Is this a game changer of MBA in a digital economy, isn’t it?

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Hi friends, I am Toshi. Today I update my weekly letter. This week’s topic is about online MBA.  If you have a plan to obtain an MBA, I hope it is good information to you.

I love MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Because I can choose any topics from computer programming to languages.  In addition, I can learn anytime and anywhere I want. Finally, Most of courses are free. You do not need to pay any cost to take these courses. So as CEO of start-up, this is the best choice to learn new things I need. However, it might not be applicable to persons who want MBA titles. Because most of the certificates on MOOCs are not regarded as formal academic credit, although MOOCs are provided by many famous universities. For example, I took “Machine learning” by associate professor Andrew.Ng in Stanford university last year and got the statement of accomplishment of that course.  I think this is one of the best courses to learn state of the art algorithm of Machine learning. But unfortunately  Stanford university does not provide academic credits to learners of this course.

 

But when I found this article of new online MBA course from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I thought it can be a game changer. Because, firstly this is a full MBA course with credits.   Second, the cost of the MBA is around 20,000 USD and significantly lower than similar online courses.  Third, we have opportunities to take courses without certain projects in the MBA program before paying fees.  Third one is significantly important to lower the entry barrier, especially for the beginners of MOOCs.  “Digital marketing“, one of the parts of the MBA program, is already open for everyone.  So we can try this and confirm how this online MBA works before applying the admission processes. Therefore, there are few risk where we have mismatches between the contents of the program and the needs of students.

 

I think one of the reasons why this new online MBA is developed may be that a lot of students cannot repay student loans in the United states.  Some financial experts warn that these bad loans might be the biggest risk in the credit market. So high cost of higher educations are not only students’ problems, but also society’s problems.  This is not sustainable anymore. This new online MBA can be one of the solutions to this problem. Since major MOOCs platforms such as edx and Coursera  opened in 2012,  MOOCs certificate has not been considered as equivalent to academic credits.  However, this new online MBA may change this situation.  I would like to see what other top MBA schools do, going forward.

 

If you are beginners of MOOCs,  how about start “Digital marketing”?  You can do it without any fee. If you like it and want to be an MBA holder,  this new-online course can be one of the candidates of MBA for you to consider in addition to residential MBA.  I have already started “Digital marketing” by myself in order to enhance my expertise.  Could you join us?

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This course is the best for beginners of data analysis. It is free, too!

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Last week, I started learning on-line course about data analysis. It is “The Analytics Edges” in edx, one of the biggest platforms of MOOCs all over the world (www.edx.org).  This course says “Through inspiring examples and stories, discover the power of data and use analytics to provide an edge to your career and your life.”   Now I completed Unit one and two out of  total nine in the course and found that it is the best course for beginners of data analysis in MOOCs. Let me tell you why it is.

 

1. There are a variety of data sets to analyze

When you start learning data analysis, data is very important to motivate yourself to continue to learn.  When you are sales personnel, sales data is the best to learn data analysis because you are interested in sales as professional.  When you are in financial industries, financial data is the best for you.   This course uses a variety of data from crime rate to automobile sales.  Therefore, you can see the data you are interested in. It is critically important for beginners of data analysis.

 

2. This course focuses on how to use analytics tools, quite than the theory behind the analysis

Many of data analysis courses take a long time to explain the theory behind the analysis.  It is required when you want to be a data scientist because theory is needed to construct an analytic method by yourself. However, most of business managers do not want to be data scientists.  All business managers need is the way to analyze data to make better business decisions. For this purpose, this course is good and well-balanced between theory and practice.  Firstly, a short summary of theory is provided, then move on to practice. Most of  the lectures focus on “how to use R for data analysis”. R is one of the famous programming languages for data analysis, which is free for everyone.  It enables beginners to use R in analyzing data step by step.

 

3. It covers major analytic methods of data analysis.

When you see the schedule of the course,  you find many analytic methods from linear regression to optimizations.  This course covers major methods that beginners must know.  I recommend to focus on linear regression and logistic regression when you do not have enough time to compete all units because both of method is applicable to many cases in the real world.

 

 

I think it is worth seeing only the video in Unit 1 and 2.  Interesting topics are used especially for people who like baseball. If you do not have enough time to learn R programming, it is OK to skip it. The story behind the analysis is very good and informative for beginners. So you may enjoy the videos about the story and skip videos of programming for the first time. If you try to obtain a certificate from edx, you should obtain 55% at least over the homework, competition and final exam.  For beginners, it may be difficult to complete the a whole course within limited time (three-month).  Do not worry.  I think this course can be learned again in time to come.  So first time,  please focus on Unit1 and Unit2, then a second time, try a whole course if  you can. In addition, most of edx courses including this are free for anyone.   You can enjoy anytime, anywhere as long as you have an internet access.  Could you try this course with me (www.toshistats.net) ?