free online courses and education
January 2, 2008 7:25 PM   Subscribe

10 Places to Get a Free Business Education Online
posted by nickyskye (12 comments total) 51 users marked this as a favorite
A business education is worth what you pay for it. Send me $50 to start yours today!
posted by b1tr0t at 7:40 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I have three degrees. I don't know about you, but without the external pressures of education --- professors prodding me to get papers done, critiquing my work, shooting down comments in seminars --- I don't think that "education" would have added up to much.

Maybe other are more self-starting than me, but I am deeply skeptical of the idea that many people are getting top-flight educations sitting at home and consuming the course materials online.

So, I agree with B1tr0t --- at least for me, a free education would have been worth as much as I paid for it.
posted by jayder at 8:05 PM on January 2, 2008

I am a bit surprised that the MIT Sloan courses are listed as the best source, as most of the notes are not that useful without the readings and cases that are not included in OCW. Some classes that might be of interest, grouped by subject:

Innovation and Products:
First, I'd strongly reccomend anything by Eric Von Hippel, who is the leader in user and distributed innovation. As such, his books and notes are online, as are some videos. (Full disclosure: I have worked with Eric)

Also on innovation, Jonathan Cummings has good lecture notes on managing the innovation process and Rebbecca Henderson also has excellent notes, if only a few, on technology strategy. Key popular readings here include Crossing the Chasm and the Innovator's Dilemma. And the Product Design class has great notes as well. You will want to read the short book by Ulrich and Eppinger. Product Design and Development, if you like this topic.

The marketing classes are all pretty case-heavy, so hard to read without the actual cases. But there are good lecture notes for the intro marketing class, as well as for the class on marketing management.

Neil Hartman's communication course from 2002 (15.281 and 15.280) has some good notes, as does the class on Power and Negotiation. You should also read Cialdini's Influence.

For accounting, 15.501 has good notes, but you'd be better off reading a text book. There is more depth in the more advanced business analysis course. The strategy consulting course has good materials, if that is your thing. And, if you are interested in the hard-core academic sociological approach to management and organizations, Ezra Zuckerman's reading list can't be beat.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:13 PM on January 2, 2008 [4 favorites]

Forgot to mention:

Diane Burton's strategic HR classes (15.660 and 15.394) have good notes, but reference a lot of cases you won't be able to read.

To see what a case is like, by the way, check out Harvard Business School Professor Karim Lakhani's Gnu Documentation-Licensed case on Wikipedia.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:23 PM on January 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Today Kevin Kelly had a good post on business self-education:

I once dabbled with the idea of getting an MBA. After a life avoiding any work in a business, I wanted to start one of my own and knew zero about it. Like many folks, I thought a heavy-duty school program would cure my ignorance and inexperience. But an official MBA degree can easily cost $100,000. I figured out I would learn more spending $500 in self-education. So I devoted $200 for books and the other $300 actually starting a small mail-order business (the fee went for an ad). In two years I learned more about how business really worked than any MBA graduate I had met. No matter what they tell you, an MBA is not essential for landing or handling a good business job. The chief "skill" you'll come away by your degree is a diploma, and a network of indebted friends in business. The latter is actually useful.

posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 8:25 PM on January 2, 2008 [3 favorites]

Hey, I have Three Degrees too...

Not trying to belittle those with more education than I have (one BA), but I just love this song...
posted by wendell at 9:38 PM on January 2, 2008

business and sex are two things you can learn a lot more about by doing than by reading about online.
posted by bruce at 9:42 PM on January 2, 2008

I got paid for my business education.
posted by subaruwrx at 9:47 PM on January 2, 2008

posted by dhammond at 10:12 PM on January 2, 2008

I have 98.6 degrees, except when I'm sick and then I sometimes crack 100!
posted by jamstigator at 3:34 AM on January 3, 2008

As with any education, you get out of it what you put into, be it a $100,000 MBA or $500 in self education.

But from a business perspective, the $500 is lot easier to recoup.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:13 AM on January 3, 2008

I think that the professor interaction in invaluable. I would not trade a face to face class for an online one.
posted by prk14 at 8:45 AM on January 3, 2008

« Older Is the whole better than the sum of its parts?   |   Questioning the banality of evil Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments