Harvard Business School Online: What Is It Really Worth?

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

Course quality

From its 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 with new audiences: international and connected. To do this, HBS has created certification programs in three distinct categories:

  • The pre-MBA, named CORe (acronym for Credential Of Readiness), covering the basics of finance, commerce and strategic analysis.
  • Expertise courses for executives: innovation, disruption, strategy, competitiveness, etc.
  • HBS Live: virtual classroom, allowing direct and real-time interaction. Dozens of learners around the world interact with a faculty member, as if they were all in a classroom on campus.

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

In my work, my mission is to help multinationals develop their capacity to innovate. My online HBS training 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 Board of Innovation, in New York.

An innovative platform

The first element to highlight is that HBS online is NOT a MOOC. The training 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 sequencing of the presentations and videos and the little text kept me on my toes throughout the course. Indeed, this way of doing things forces the learner not to cut corners. It was impossible to move on to a next sequence without completely finishing the current sequence. Harvard has probably found the solution to a recurring and common problem with online courses: attendance and low rates of learners who actually complete their learning. »

Rodrigue Koudoro, Project Management Officer for the Public Service Commission of Canada, Montreal.

Benefit of a community

Learning is done by cohorts. That is to say, learners from different specials begin, progress and complete their education at the same time. They have an obligation to collaborate on group work, feed discussion forums, read and enrich the contributions of their peers. This is to replace the exchange with the faculty, non-existent outside of HBS Live, but also to federate a community of learners delighted with the network of executives and international leaders who compose it.

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

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

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

Impact on CV

Thanks to the Internet, knowledge is no longer exclusive, it is now accessible to everyone in unlimited quantities. We’re talking aboutinfobesity. Paid training is first necessary to select, sort and organize knowledge as well as format it in a digestible format. But if learners choose HBS online, it is also (mainly?) for its impact on the CV. The latter have the opportunity, for a few thousand euros and after several weeks of training, to display the “Harvard” stamp on their CV and on their Linkedin profile. In a professional world where recruiters regularly receive several hundred applications for the same position, candidates must distinguish themselves 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. A lot of people are impressed with the Harvard brand and ask me about the content. The Disruption Strategy (course I chose) is a trending topic that is generating a lot of interest right now. »

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

And in interview?

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

“Online training is a real plus on a CV. 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 real personal enrichment approach from those who do them to illustrate their CV! »

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 does not hunt on the land on its physical counterpart, it comes to satisfy those who did not consume or little continuing education in the past.

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

Although Harvard Business School’s online training is not, nor does it claim to be the equivalent of an MBA, it appears useful on many levels for executives wishing to continue their learning process throughout their careers. .

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

Leave a Comment