“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”
― Mark Twain
Recently, I took a brief online business course led by Canadian-born entrepreneur Chris Haroun. It gave me a few nuggets of wisdom and insight he picked up along the way. While perusing his other offerings I noted that he has done something that seems risky. However, it also suits his personality and bold business philosophy.
He distilled an entire MBA course into an online training program. At times, it’s been available for as little as $10 USD. Houran claims students will learn everything taught in a traditional Master of Business Administration course. An MBA can take years to complete. I know people who have put their lives on hold to earn an MBA. It requires sacrifices and a lot of money.
This is the conundrum I’ve always had about education. I left the Broadcast: Radio & TV course at Niagara College after the first year. A radio station in Red Deer, Alberta offered me full-time work. I thought it was better to learn on the job. It’s fair to say that I long ago “earned” my diploma. Not having it in hand was never a barrier to a job in my field. However, it was a problem long ago when I applied to become a full-time college instructor. Regardless, I’m glad that this career path never panned out back then.
I’m not down on education or degrees. However, the late futurist Dr. Tomorrow (Frank Ogden) sure was. He believed that we were wasting time by learning stuff that’s already been learned. Forge your own path. Discover something new. He wanted us to think for ourselves, not relearn the stuff discovered by others.
Had I invested years in earning the letters MBA after my name – something i never once wanted to do, by the way – I wonder how I’d feel about the cheap, quick alternative? “Graduates” of the online course will – apparently – acquire the same knowledge. Is that enough? How do you prove you have the knowledge when you’re looking for a job? Is the college admissions scandal in the US proof that wealthy parents are willing to do whatever it takes so their kids can use prestigious letters?
One of my Ph.D. friends insists on being called Dr.. He will correct you if you happen to forget. Another doesn’t care. For her, it’s less about titles and more about putting her education to good use. I’m just left wondering how much of it is about the show and not the know? Is there another way to prove you acquired everything you need from the online course? If it was your kid, would you care whether they went the traditional route if they could get to the same conclusion for $10USD?