How are The Thunderbird School of Global Management online courses?
March 25, 2014 1:05 PM   Subscribe

I’m looking at several certificate programs they offer. I am considering the certificates in Global Marketing, Global Leadership, Global Management, or Global Negotiations. Each one consists of 3 courses to be completes one at a time with 2-3 hours of content per week. I’m not sure if this means just total time spent or time going over content not including assignments. 2-3 hours total seems a bit low for an executive course, plus it’s expensive, $1980 per course for only 1.5 credit each. I also know that they have been having some financial issues and academic controversy for trying to sell their campus to a for profit education company Laureate Education Company. The deal was rejected by their accreditors, The Higher Learning Commission. I have been contacted by a recruiter several times by phone and email. She seems a little aggressive, much like I’ve heard for profit online school recruiters can be. Do you guys think these courses seem like they have value or not? I appreciate the input in advance.
posted by Che boludo! to Education (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
There are sooooo many other options with better and more reputable content. I've been looking at online MBA programs with my husband, and our regional state school nearby (because it offers the IT concentration he wants) costs $619 per credit, with 3-credit courses, including textbook rental. Many out-of-state programs with online options will give you close to in-state tuition for non-residency programs because they don't need to pay for the infrastructure.

The recruiter sounds a lot like people from Capella, where my husband attended for a year or so until he got state residency. Their entire front was recruitment marketing, not actual advising (nonexistent). The teaching was subpar in so many ways.

Just don't.
posted by Madamina at 1:15 PM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

The people that take these kinds of courses usually get it paid for by the company they are working for in an industry that appreciates seeing professional development certificates on a resume. If you are in the marketing industry already and you want to take courses to develop professionally you should talk to your HR department.

If you aren't in the marketing industry and are looking to get in and/or are unemployed, the only degree you should be pursuing is a full Masters degree or MBA from an accredited university. Not that those are for-profit enterprises too, but they may actually lead to networking and potential jobs, while as far as I know online unaccredited online programs will not. I'm not intimately familiar with Thunderbird School of Management but this sounds like a waste of money to me.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:18 PM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

What exactly are you trying to get out of these certificate programs? Are you looking to do them in order to be more marketable to a hoped-for future job? Or is it something that your current employer wants you to do (and will potentially pay for and will potentially fund)? If it's the latter and you're just trying to check off boxes, that is I think a different situation from if you are looking to be more marketable in general and/or command a higher salary.
posted by ClaireBear at 1:19 PM on March 25, 2014

Hi Again!

I took some classes at the Vanderbilt Executive Education Institute..

If you have Tuition Aid Plans available, and you have a few days and want to go to Nashville, I can recommend these types of workshops.

This stuff is expensive, mostly because the tab is picked up by your company. It's a write off. I mixed and mingled with folks doing similar stuff, networked a bit and I learned a lot.

Daniels College of Business in Denver has similar certifications and classes.

Try a few of them out. See if you like them. See if they do anything for you.

Steer clear of "on-line" executive, anything. I just don't see how it could be useful.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:23 PM on March 25, 2014

Response by poster: I was going to try and get my company to pay for it. I work internationally in sales and marketing and am studying cross-cultural work psychology for a masters degree so I thought the cross cultural business aspect might be good for my own personal development. I might also be able to apply the credit to my masters program as an elective.
posted by Che boludo! at 1:26 PM on March 25, 2014

Your master's program will probably not accept transfer credits from a for-profit. Find that out first.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:30 PM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I doubt it.

If you're currently enrolled in a Master's Program, check with your University to see if they'll accept the credits. It's been my experience that most Master's Programs will NOT accept credits from other institutions, and most assuredly not from a place like Thunderbird.

If you think you might go to graduate school, but you haven't started yet, don't just take a bunch of crap-tastic classes that sound like they'd apply to your degree.

You will be surprised at how proscribed most Master's Programs are. I had NO choice in the classes I took for my MBA. They told me exactly what to take, and I took it.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:32 PM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you don't actually need the credits for something, a lot of MBA kinds of classes are not particularly interactive, and especially not the online variety. I didn't do an MBA but did get my Master's in Accounting, which at my institution required some classes that were cross-listed for the low-end MBA, and I was honestly shocked how much of what the MBA students were learning was information you could glean just as effectively by figuring out who the new hotness was in business books and reading those instead, at a fraction of the price and time commitment. I would be very surprised if you couldn't learn just as much about global marketing by reading up on it on your own. What these places are exploiting generally is not so much people who want to learn to do X, but people who feel like an MBA or a certificate in X is going to get them jobs they can't get already.

It is very rarely true that this credential is actually going to be that helpful, if it's not from somewhere with a very good and respected name.
posted by Sequence at 3:25 PM on March 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

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