UPenn’s Wharton Expands Online Business Education Offerings


The University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business will be releasing more massive open online courses (MOOCs) to expand its ever-growing online catalog.

In the next year, Wharton plans on launching two dozen new courses and three more specializations through the online education platform Coursera. Wharton is hoping to double its MOOC revenue to at least $10 million.

Three of these new courses will be SPOCs (or small private online courses) on digital marketing, gamification, and advanced product design, which will be offered through the edX platform.

Wharton was the first business school to offer a MOOC via Coursera in 2012, keeping with its history as the world's first collegiate business school. Its alumni include Warren Buffet and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, according to Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas of GMA News.

Since 2012, about 2.7 million people have enrolled in the 18 MOOCs created by Wharton, writes John A. Byrne of Fortune.

Wharton Dean Geoffrey Garrett said:

Coming into the job, I had two conjectures about it that have been borne out. One, there is a real market for a taste of Wharton education for lots of people who can't be on campus. And second, we now know how to smartly integrate technology in the on-campus courses.

Marketing professor Peter Fader was one of three professors to build Wharton's first online class. To construct the curriculum for Introduction to Marketing, he combined material from a variety of elective marketing courses. In the three years since, Wharton's Intro to Marketing has been taken by more than 300,000 people and has become one of the top ten business MOOCs on Coursera.

Another 100,000 have taken his second course, Consumer Analytics. His third was on the Strategic Value of Customer Relationships.

Fader said:

These people are every bit the caliber of our MBA students. I'd get an email from an engineer in Pakistan and lots of other people who would never have had the chance to come to Wharton.

More than 90% of MOOC learners have some college experience, and many have a bachelor's or higher. Their ages are usually from 25 to 44, and many are employed full time.

Wharton has different packages available for students with differing needs. Interested students can take individual MOOCs for free, or they can enroll in the signature track, individual business analytics or business foundations courses for $95 each. For $595, one can take an entire business analytics or business foundations specialization, which amounts to a mini-degree.

An eight-week program entitled the Executive Education Online Program costs $3,700. All registration is handled by the Coursera education platform, which also offers financial aid for students who have demonstrated economic need.

For more information about its courses and specializations, you can visit the online home of Wharton.

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