Getting a gilt-edged biz education for less? MOOCs may make it possible

After nearly two decades working for the University of Chicago’s executive MBA program, associate dean Patty Keegan thought she had heard just about every question a prospective student could ask, Chicago Business reports.

Last month, however, she heard a new one: Why should I pay you for this program when I can just cobble together my own with MOOCs?

If that term hasn’t blipped on your acronym radar yet, here are the basics: MOOC stands for massive open online course. And it is shaking up the education business.

MOOCs allow anyone to sign up. There are no limits on the number of participants in a particular course, and usually, there’s no fee.

These free lectures come from some of the best universities in the world. During the past few years, several MOOC sites have launched, making hundreds of courses readily available online.

… Increasingly, business topics are part of that menu. Consider Coursera, the largest MOOC site, with 611 online courses from about 100 institutions. In 2012, Mountain View, Calif.-based Coursera Inc. offered nine business courses. In 2013, it offered 66, with a total enrollment of nearly 3.7 million.

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