Harvard Business School Online: What Is It Really Worth It?

Harvard is a famous university for many reasons, especially for its business school: Harvard Business School. As proof, his MBA was at the top of the Forbes 2018 rankings. Although training on campus (on site) is hegemonic, HBS has since 2014 developed its online offering called “HBS online”. But what is it really worth?

Course quality

From the launch, HBX (the original name of HBS online) wanted to embody the interactive and engaging learning that characterizes the programs on campus from school. It was also an additional means of asserting ideological supremacy among new audiences: international and connected. To do this, HBS has created certification programs in three different categories:

  • Pre-MBA, named CORe (acronym for Credential Of Readiness), which covers the basics of finance, trading and strategic analysis.
  • Expert courses for managers: innovation, disruption, strategy, competitiveness, etc.
  • HBS Live: virtual classroom that allows direct and real-time interaction. Dozens of students around the world interact with a faculty member as if they were all in a classroom on campus.

The caliber of the faculty testifies to the level of expertise for the courses offered. Among them, Michael E. Porter, Clayton Christensen, Bharat Anand, etc …

In my work, my mission is to help multinational companies develop their innovation capability. My online HBS education helped me get the most out of some theories developed by Clayton Christensen. I get practical tools to install the reflexes of innovation in large companies.

Vincent Pirenne, CEO of the Board of Innovation, in New York.

An innovative platform

The first element to highlight is that HBS online is NOT a MOOC. The education goes beyond the simple offer of video courses. It offers a playful, graphic and conversational format.

“I was pleasantly surprised by the structure and organization of Harvard’s online course platform. The order of the presentations and videos and the little text kept me on my toes throughout the course. This way of doing things actually forces the student not to cut corners. It was impossible to move on to a next sequence without completely ending the current sequence. Harvard has probably found the solution to a recurring and common problem with online courses: participation and low student rates that actually complete their learning. “

Rodrigue Koudoro, Project manager for Public Service Commission of Canada, Montreal.

Benefit from a community

Learning is performed by cohorts. That is, students from different offer begin, develop and complete their education at the same time. They have an obligation to collaborate on group work, feed discussion forums, read and enrich their peers’ contributions. This is to replace the exchange with the faculty, non-existent outside HBS Live, but also to bring together a community of students who are happy with the network of leaders and international leaders who put it together.

“With HBS online, I discovered the power of crowd learning. We are constantly asked to answer questions and contribute to group discussions. Seeing the answers of my classmates has greatly increased my knowledge as I gain new perspectives on the topics covered. “

Nathan Kizilirmak, Digital strategy consultant for Accenture in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The members of the various cohorts chat on the site’s dedicated platform, but also via private groups on Facebook, Linkedin and Whatsapp. An annual meeting is held at the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Impact on CV

Thanks to the Internet, knowledge is no longer exclusive, it is now available to everyone in unlimited quantities. We are talking aboutinfo possession. Paid training is first needed to select, sort and organize knowledge as well as format it in a digestible format. But if students choose HBS online, it is also (mainly?) For its influence on the resume. The latter have the opportunity, for a few thousand euros and after several weeks of training, to show the “Harvard” stamp on their CV and on their Linkedin profile. In a professional world, where recruiters regularly receive hundreds of applications for the same position, candidates must excel by all means. HBS online can be one.

“I have already received praise and positive comments about my participation in the HBS online program, just by mentioning it in my Linkedin profile. Many people are impressed with the Harvard brand and ask me about the content. Disruption strategy (the course I chose) is a trend topic that is generating a lot of interest right now. “

Rose Hoyle, Strategic Operations Manager for Risk Management, AXA XL, North Carolina.

And in the interview?

If the mention “Harvard” is certainly a marker that attracts attention to a resume, then can we say that this element also contributes to the success of an interview?

“Online training is a real plus on a resume. They prove the candidate’s ability to question themselves as well as their sensitivity to new trends. But beware, recruiters know how to read between the lines. They will be able to distinguish candidates with a genuine personal enrichment approach from those who make them to illustrate their resume! “

Dorian Gaitan, Business Manager, in Marseille.

It seems that HBS online, like many other online courses, is not intended to replace teaching in its physical format, but more to meet a need for flexibility and accessibility. HBS online is not hunting down the ground on its physical counterpart, it comes to satisfy those who did not consume or little continuing education in the past.

After decades of career, I felt a need to refresh my skills and learn new ones. I’m now considering taking the next step and why take my MBA at Harvard! “Jan-Willem Borsboom, VP Ex-machina Group, in Amsterdam.

Although Harvard Business School’s online education is not, nor does it claim, equivalent to an MBA, it seems useful at many levels for executives who want to continue their learning process throughout their careers. .

To find out more about Havrad Business School online, visit their website.

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