An MBA is more than the sum of its parts, but it’s possible to pick up much of the knowledge and skills the degree provides at a fraction of the cost. From “mini-MBAs” to spruced-up online programs, there are a plethora of MBA alternatives. These alternatives to MBA programs are not just ‘MBA lite’ programs, but are offered by business schools themselves, and in many cases are designed by top professors. They often come with the option to purchase a certificate that can be shown to prospective employers. Or the chance to buy academic credit that can be applied to a full MBA.
Here are the top-10 alt-MBAs:
The Gies College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, runs a popular online MBA (the iMBA). Every module is available for free on the Coursera platform, and students can pay for academic credit and apply it towards the iMBA, or pay a smaller fee for a certificate that would bolster their CV: it may be valued by employers.View School Profile
The UK’s Open University runs alt-MBA business courses through FutureLearn, its online learning platform. Students can buy a certificate proving attainment, and if they want to end up on the MBA, they can pay an extra sum to do an assessment granting academic credit. But the courses are designed to stand up on their own two feet: they cover the digital economy, essential know-how for twenty-first century managers.View School Profile
Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management offers a MicroMasters in global business leadership, an online program on the edX platform, which in many ways serves as an alternative to an MBA. MicroMasters are designed to develop standalone skills for a career, with many students placing them on their LinkedIn profiles so as to raise their standing with recruiters.View School Profile
Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, in Texas, runs a series of online short courses designed by leading professors for executives who are too busy to take two years out of work for a full-time MBA. These courses cover topics such as real estate development. Students get a certificate from Rice Business, tangible proof of new skills and knowledge.View School Profile