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HES vs DL MBA

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realist
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 26
HES vs DL MBA
Thu May 17, 2012 04:47 PM
With $25K budget, Harvard Extention Master in Mgt vs an accredited DL MBA. Which one goes long way?
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Duncan

Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 6010
HES vs DL MBA
Thu May 17, 2012 09:38 PM
The ALM cannot be completed by distance learning only. It will probably cost more than that if you don't live in Boston, because you'll need to attend the expensive summer schools to get the on-campus requirement. But the experience will be totally different: very individual learning and no real project work, or selectivity with applicants. I'd go for an accredited MBA or EMBA (if you can afford the on-campus time which the ALM requires, then an EMBA is the real competition).
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ezra

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 643
HES vs DL MBA
Fri May 18, 2012 01:59 PM
Which online MBA programs are you looking at? As far as I know, there aren't a lot of accredited US distance learning programs that are under $25k. Florida State, maybe? I guess there are some lesser-known ones like Ball State/Miller that might work.
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realist
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 26
HES vs DL MBA
Fri May 18, 2012 08:42 PM
But I am too reluctant to take any unknown names in my cv, as I have a brassrat equivalent but not having a deep pocket :( to do a top brand emba.
Name is all important in the long run?
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Duncan

Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 6010
HES vs DL MBA
Sun May 20, 2012 08:39 AM
Here are some good online US MBAs: www.geteducated.com/online-college-ratings-and-rankings/best…
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ralph

Joined: 07 Jul 2009
Posts: 1004
HES vs DL MBA
Mon May 21, 2012 09:05 AM
But I am too reluctant to take any unknown names in my cv, as I have a brassrat equivalent but not having a deep pocket :( to do a top brand emba.

Well, with your budget you don't have a lot of selection in terms of online MBA programs. Look at the ones in the list Duncan referenced: Southeast Missouri State and Texas A&M University - Commerce rank highly, but these (and the ones that ezra mentioned) are generally considered regional programs, and pull in their cohorts from local professionals. However, I'd still argue that if you were to do one of these programs, as they are all accredited, you'd be better off in the longrun than if you did that Harvard Extension program. Which leads me to your next question:

Name is all important in the long run?

Not necessarily. To me, that Harvard program is a little sketchy. For one, it's not really a masters in management program, it's a "graduate program in management." I think that this certificate language game they're playing, along with the fact that when you do this program, you'll probably see no faculty from the actual business school, makes this program worthless besides the fact that it says "Harvard." If that's all you want, then by all means, you should do it - but you won't get the same kind of learning experience that you would in an accredited MBA program, and this will be obvious when you look for work.
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Duncan

Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 6010
HES vs DL MBA
Mon May 21, 2012 12:07 PM
Ralph is a little unfair. The HES program in management can lead to an ALM (Masters in Liberal Arts in Extension Studies), specialising in management or finance. Students have to take most of their courses with Harvard instructors, many of whom are alumni or staff of the University. However, Ralph is right that few if any students will study with HBS faculty and that the learning experience is that of a classic distance learning program without much group work or interaction.

I was registered with HES for a while, for a course in a different program, and I found the lectures really clear and felt that the instructors where committed and responsive.
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ralph

Joined: 07 Jul 2009
Posts: 1004
HES vs DL MBA
Wed May 23, 2012 10:11 AM
Ralph is a little unfair. The HES program in management can lead to an ALM (Masters in Liberal Arts in Extension Studies), specialising in management or finance. Students have to take most of their courses with Harvard instructors, many of whom are alumni or staff of the University.

Point taken, and maybe I was a little too harsh about HES. In general, I do think that this management program waters down the Harvard brand name, if only because of the slack selectivity and the fact that profs usually don't come from the actual business school.

However, I'm skeptical that this can be compared in any way with an MBA program, distance-based or otherwise. This is more like a traditional masters in management, and is for candidates with different needs altogether. Apples to oranges.
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Duncan

Joined: 18 Apr 2011
Posts: 6010
HES vs DL MBA
Wed May 23, 2012 10:33 AM
It's not an MBA, and it doesn't pretend to be one. It's like comparing a part-time, evening MSc in a University of London college with the London Business School MBA. No-one confuses them, and it doesn't dilute the UoL or LBS brands. Harvard has really strong policy on how people describe the degree: "On your résumé, the degree should be listed as Master of Liberal Arts, General Management or Finance (depending on your chosen track), Harvard University Extension School."
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ralph

Joined: 07 Jul 2009
Posts: 1004
HES vs DL MBA
Wed May 23, 2012 02:24 PM
It's not an MBA, and it doesn't pretend to be one.

Yet the original poster in this thread is trying to decide between one or the other - which makes me think that the program is perceived as something comparable to an MBA.

It's like comparing a part-time, evening MSc in a University of London college with the London Business School MBA. No-one confuses them, and it doesn't dilute the UoL or LBS brands.

On the contrary, I think people looking at programs like these are expecting the same level of faculty, curriculum, and cohort selectivity that are provided by the well-branded MBA programs. I don't know about how that MSc program you referenced works, but I know that if people came into that HES program with expectations of an HBS MBA, they're going to be disappointed.
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