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Will certificates obtained online help you to find a prestigious job?

Today, the whole world says that classical education is living its last days and soon everyone will learn remotely over a lifetime. However, there is an alternative opinion: online courses educate people with a distorted view of their professionalism.

More than half of people (52%) never open acquired online courses — the American Association for the Advancement of Science published such a data by reviewing Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, edX, Harvard University, and MIT online courses. The certificates they received are not impressive for employers, and the skills needed today cannot be developed remotely. However, despite this, online education remains a profitable business. What do people prefer to study online?

The head of HR-department of Google, Laszlo Bock, notes that diplomas do not guarantee at all that an employee will be able to solve the tasks needed while working for a company. However, at the same time, the system of screening and selection of candidates for Google and most international companies is built on the selection of people precisely because they have the necessary diplomas. People go for certificates in the hope of passing the "sorting point" and get an invitation for an interview. On the other hand, they expect to get a promotion by confirming the new level of their competencies. They play according to the rules set by the companies: employees value life-long learning, contribution to their education, perseverance and advanced training. 

Online courses do not increase employee competence, and employers refuse to promote people who possess just online certificates.

Most graduates of MBA programs respond that the value of an MBA is not about educational material. Value is people, networking and opportunities to find a job with a degree from a well-known business school. However, online learning does not imply networking and communication.

This does not stop universities from raising prices on their programs. The cost of online MBA courses at the best universities in the world today varies from high to very high: $42,000 is the price for studying at the Wharton School of Business (the best MBA online program of 2019 according to the Financial Times). MBA course at Indiana University (program No. 1 in the USA) will cost you around $80,000. Moreover, a diploma from a similar course at Carnegie Mellon University will cost no less than $132,000. At the same time, even graduates of the prestigious Wharton School of Business (like many EMBA graduates) complain that employers do not value their acquired knowledge, and they return to the same position as before the MBA. Training does not provide position-relevant skills.

Graduates of the MBA Kelley School of Business say that there is a certain prejudice on the part of employers regarding those who received the certificate online. Moreover, reviews of online programs from various universities show that the quality of education is much lower than expected and student don’t obtain such demanded skills as an essay writing.

Strayer online MBA review: “First of all, they take everyone in a row. Faculty members are being pressured to have people taking exams. Training is unreasonably expensive. 33% of all the money that students pay is profit for stakeholders, 33% is marketing expenses, and 33% is education expenses. The goal of the school is to take your money and keep you in school; therefore, the standards of education are getting lower. Graduates are not supported to find a job, and many companies do not hire those who paid for an MBA. In addition, there are too many writing stuff so students have to go with such supportive services as Pro-Papers to be able to cover everything.”

The people who paid for the course add it to the resume and sincerely confuse the presence of a certificate with the presence of professional skills that are gained over years of practice. The problem of business today is the distorted perception of their competencies by millions of employees who receive certificates of leadership, business management, and communication skills for three days or three months and believe that they have received a skill worthy of improvement.

The fact that people do not increase the availability of certificates cannot compete with the number of offers in the niche of additional online education. Powerful propaganda “Become a leader in 3 days” distorts perception and leads to conflicts in companies. Simon Sinek says a lot about this, emphasizing that certificates of leaders are useless - constant practice is needed. Jason Barger writes about this, quoted by many experts in education: “Training programs for leaders are a failure. Most courses are eight hours of a continuous flow of information instead of the transformation of human consciousness. ”

Online courses do not imply feedback or communication with the teacher. The content of most courses is an entertainment library of video content. Of all the soft skills development courses that Udemy offers, for example, none implies human feedback and confirmation of a developed skill other than a certificate.

“Knowledge can be obtained through mass online programs, but the formation of human skills requires a lot of individual feedback from the teacher to each participant and work in mini-groups, where the material is tailored to the people”, - the professor at the New Jersey Technology Institute notes.

Online education will definitely develop, and at the same time, the most critical will be the skills of human communication, which, as practice shows, is the most difficult to learn online.