Who Earns an MBA on Facebook?

Facebook MBA

Upload pictures, poke friends, earn an MBA??

Last month The London School of Business and Finance (not to be confused with the far better known London Business School) made waves by announcing students can now earn an MBA on Facebook. The course is free, to a point — students have to pay if they want to be granted a degree — and over the past month the more than 30,000 students have reportedly enrolled in the program. What gives? Is this a scam, or has LSBF gotten the jump on all other business schools by making use of social media platforms to deliver a graduate management education?

We hesitate to call it a scam, but we suspect that those who complete the course and pay for the degree — we’re willing to bet that only a tiny fraction of those first 30,000 students will do so — will be disappointed by the weight that their LSBF Facebook MBA carries in the real world, for the same reasons that U. of Phoenix and Kaplan University grads are often disappointed by how far their degrees carry them. The program isn’t selective, is academically unproven, and doesn’t lend a brand to its graduates that helps them stand out in a crowded job market.

So, at the end of the day, we’re willing to wager that this does not represent the tip of a new iceberg in online education. It is, however, an easy way for anyone — including prospective MBAs, young professionals, and small-business owners — to learn some managerial basics without spending a dime. In this way, services such as the Facebook MBA, MIT’s OpenCourseWare, and the Khan Academy truly are changing the game. It’s hard to see any of these ever delivering the prestige and connections that a top-tier degree provides, but if knowledge and know-how are truly what you want, you could do worse than to browse their online lessons.

Just be realistic. Don’t expect Goldman Sachs to come banging down your door.

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