Should business education be free?

It’s hardly surprising that the appeal of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) continues to grow. In the United States, the average college student graduates with almost $30,000 in debt, while federal and student loan debt exceeds $1 trillion, Forbes reports.

More free courses would certainly help lift that costly burden, and I’ve written about the pros and cons of MOOCs from the perspective of institutions of higher learning.

But there’s an equally compelling argument for MOOCs from the perspective of the business world, for fast and efficient partner and customer education. This is particularly true in the technology industry where companies depend on a thriving ecosystem of partners to help develop and implement solutions. Just as important, these companies rely on close partnerships with customers to align development with market needs. Customers need a thorough understanding of new technologies and how to use them for greatest advantage.

To find out more about MOOCs from a business viewpoint, I recently spoke with John Appleby, Global Head of the SAP HANA practice at Bluefin, a long-time SAP partner.

Appleby attended the first SAP MOOC, Introduction to Software Development on SAP HANA, earlier this year. Since his responsibilities include building out Bluefin’s HANA offerings, he couldn’t be happier about SAP’s willingness to embrace this new educational model.

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