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Don't Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need

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Who needs a mountain of debt? Each year, the nation’s top business schools are flooded with applications from people eager to pursue their MBA dreams. But those aspirations come at a steep price. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average debt load for graduates of NYU’s Stern School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and other top business schools Who needs a mountain of debt? Each year, the nation’s top business schools are flooded with applications from people eager to pursue their MBA dreams. But those aspirations come at a steep price. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average debt load for graduates of NYU’s Stern School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and other top business schools exceeds $100,000.Like most, author Laurie Pickard couldn’t shoulder that. But she faced a dilemma: despite two degrees and a Peace Corps stint, she needed a business education to land her dream job in international development. She decided to take her education into her own hands, and found that some of those same prestigious business schools offer MOOCs (massive online open courses) for low or even no cost. By picking the right classes from the best schools, she gained the skills — without all the debt.In Don’t Pay for Your MBA, Pickard shows self-starters, career changers, and budding entrepreneurs how to navigate the expanding universe of online education. Building on her popular No-Pay MBA blog, Pickard reveals how to:Define your goals and tailor a curriculum that works for you ● Master the language of business ● Build a strong network ● Choose a concentration and deepen your expertise ● Showcase your nontraditional education in a way that attracts offersSelf-directed learning fills gaps in your training, positions you for promotions, and opens up new opportunities. Why pay exorbitant tuition when you can MOOC your way to success?


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Who needs a mountain of debt? Each year, the nation’s top business schools are flooded with applications from people eager to pursue their MBA dreams. But those aspirations come at a steep price. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average debt load for graduates of NYU’s Stern School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and other top business schools Who needs a mountain of debt? Each year, the nation’s top business schools are flooded with applications from people eager to pursue their MBA dreams. But those aspirations come at a steep price. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average debt load for graduates of NYU’s Stern School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and other top business schools exceeds $100,000.Like most, author Laurie Pickard couldn’t shoulder that. But she faced a dilemma: despite two degrees and a Peace Corps stint, she needed a business education to land her dream job in international development. She decided to take her education into her own hands, and found that some of those same prestigious business schools offer MOOCs (massive online open courses) for low or even no cost. By picking the right classes from the best schools, she gained the skills — without all the debt.In Don’t Pay for Your MBA, Pickard shows self-starters, career changers, and budding entrepreneurs how to navigate the expanding universe of online education. Building on her popular No-Pay MBA blog, Pickard reveals how to:Define your goals and tailor a curriculum that works for you ● Master the language of business ● Build a strong network ● Choose a concentration and deepen your expertise ● Showcase your nontraditional education in a way that attracts offersSelf-directed learning fills gaps in your training, positions you for promotions, and opens up new opportunities. Why pay exorbitant tuition when you can MOOC your way to success?

30 review for Don't Pay for Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need

  1. 5 out of 5

    DeAnna Knippling

    An overview of how to start on a self-study program, focused on MBA topics. This book is organized to help get you on the path to an online MOOC-based degree. However, the author has no hesitation in throwing you in over your head in order to accomplish that as a goal. "Here, pick some courses," she says, then only explains a few chapters later which courses you might pick and why. It sounds frustrating, right? But it turned out to be the right thing to do. While reading this book, I went throug An overview of how to start on a self-study program, focused on MBA topics. This book is organized to help get you on the path to an online MOOC-based degree. However, the author has no hesitation in throwing you in over your head in order to accomplish that as a goal. "Here, pick some courses," she says, then only explains a few chapters later which courses you might pick and why. It sounds frustrating, right? But it turned out to be the right thing to do. While reading this book, I went through the first of the online classes that the author recommended, Learning How to Learn, and did the "easy" tasks in the end-of-chapter assignments, while building and rebuilding the course list. I went through my course list one more time today. I feel good about it. When you're learning how to design your own education, you don't actually want a traditional college advisor, and you really don't want that kind of advice. Learning how to pick your own courses is part of the process! While I did take a lot of the author's suggestions on which courses to take, I tossed out a lot of them, and plan to look for the latest courses in each area as I get ready to take them, rather than just follow my class outline mindlessly. This book is about re-orienting you away from a mindless perspective, really, when it comes to learning. You don't just have to take the only "appropriate" course from the in-person school you're at. You have a pick of a dozen "appropriate" courses. Which one(s) will you take? You get to choose. A book about reclaiming your choices. I found it heartening, and recommend it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is one of those books that could've been a pamphlet to get to the point fast. However, the author wants to motivate you to learn more about MOOCS, so she adds the story of multiple people and why they decided to take online courses. This is one of those books that could've been a pamphlet to get to the point fast. However, the author wants to motivate you to learn more about MOOCS, so she adds the story of multiple people and why they decided to take online courses.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chelle

    This book had a lot of useful and practical tips on contiuning your education without burying yourself in more debt. That's what I liked the most about this book. The practically. If you read this book you can immediately take action. I recommend this to anyone who wants to further themselves without having to sign over their first born to get an education. #dontpayforyourmba #netgalley This book had a lot of useful and practical tips on contiuning your education without burying yourself in more debt. That's what I liked the most about this book. The practically. If you read this book you can immediately take action. I recommend this to anyone who wants to further themselves without having to sign over their first born to get an education. #dontpayforyourmba #netgalley

  4. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    Man, I love this book. It really helped me target what I want to do and make some decisions! I’d long considered getting my MBA and actually started it two different times. But I fizzled out both times, thinking, “I don’t want to be in school and working. That’s just nutty.” True, and yet, I also hadn’t found something I liked enough to out in any kind of similar effort. And that’s one of many challenges with the MBA...time, and money. I didn’t want to shell out money (even if work was going to c Man, I love this book. It really helped me target what I want to do and make some decisions! I’d long considered getting my MBA and actually started it two different times. But I fizzled out both times, thinking, “I don’t want to be in school and working. That’s just nutty.” True, and yet, I also hadn’t found something I liked enough to out in any kind of similar effort. And that’s one of many challenges with the MBA...time, and money. I didn’t want to shell out money (even if work was going to cover it) for something I wasn’t truly passionate about or willing to put in a sustained, long-term effort on, especially if I didn’t see myself doing said career for however long. Enter this book. It’s literally just what I needed to articulate what I want to do and how to go about pursuing education without the same level of monetary or time commitment. Perfect for business classes as well as any other topics you might be interested in...consider applying it to any other program you might be interested in before fully committing (or if it’s one where you don’t have to have the piece of paper necessarily...unlike medical school, where yes, it’s be very necessary to attend the actual program). Incredibly versatile and informative.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    This is exactly the book about MOOCs that I’ve been waiting for. It has full of insights and practical ways on how you can get an equivalent MBA level of business knowledge without paying as much as the traditional class. I started taking MOOCs since 2013 and I would say that there were a lot of things the changed. Before I can just take the course from Coursera and once done you will get a certificate. There were verified certificate before and I paid for like two courses I really enjoyed. This This is exactly the book about MOOCs that I’ve been waiting for. It has full of insights and practical ways on how you can get an equivalent MBA level of business knowledge without paying as much as the traditional class. I started taking MOOCs since 2013 and I would say that there were a lot of things the changed. Before I can just take the course from Coursera and once done you will get a certificate. There were verified certificate before and I paid for like two courses I really enjoyed. This book provides the structure one needs to make the most of MOOCs. I for one cannot make sense of the number of courses so tempting to take and I ended up not finishing a lot of it. This book will provide me direction moving forward.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

    I got a copy of this book from my library, and I think it was definitely worth it-- from a library. This book had a ton of useful information. I don't read the author's blog, but I suspect most of this information was available on her blog. My main issue with the book is that I was not the target audience. This book is aimed at people who didn't get a bachelor's in business. A significant chunk of the book is geared towards people getting a basic understanding of accounting, finance, etc. It just I got a copy of this book from my library, and I think it was definitely worth it-- from a library. This book had a ton of useful information. I don't read the author's blog, but I suspect most of this information was available on her blog. My main issue with the book is that I was not the target audience. This book is aimed at people who didn't get a bachelor's in business. A significant chunk of the book is geared towards people getting a basic understanding of accounting, finance, etc. It just wasn't relevant to me. I also think that the book could've been shorter, even though it was already pretty short to begin with. If you haven't had any traditional business education, then this may be much more useful for you.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jaap Grolleman

    This book is based on the genius idea that you can assemble your own MBA, low-price and high quality, and it offers practical tips to pick courses and what to do with it, for instance, how to explain to a future employer the difference between your self-assembled MBA and a traditional MBA. This core is great, but it’s surrounded by so much filler, either obvious truths passed on as insights, or constantly rehashed material, chapter-after-chapter. I wish editors or publishers would stop wasting m This book is based on the genius idea that you can assemble your own MBA, low-price and high quality, and it offers practical tips to pick courses and what to do with it, for instance, how to explain to a future employer the difference between your self-assembled MBA and a traditional MBA. This core is great, but it’s surrounded by so much filler, either obvious truths passed on as insights, or constantly rehashed material, chapter-after-chapter. I wish editors or publishers would stop wasting my time in order to push a book to 200 pages. This should really have been a 20-page essay for which I would have gladly paid the same.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Tai

    Absolutely brilliant! I am a self-directed learning junkie and reading this book has inspired me to form my own learning plan to beef up my skillsets in my current job (and for an entrepreneurial venture). Thanks to Laurie Pickard, I realised that I needed to beef up my business basics. As a writer for a company that services 11+ industry (phew) I had trouble understanding the language each industry uses. This means I've got a looooot of learning to do! I hope that in the future, especially in de Absolutely brilliant! I am a self-directed learning junkie and reading this book has inspired me to form my own learning plan to beef up my skillsets in my current job (and for an entrepreneurial venture). Thanks to Laurie Pickard, I realised that I needed to beef up my business basics. As a writer for a company that services 11+ industry (phew) I had trouble understanding the language each industry uses. This means I've got a looooot of learning to do! I hope that in the future, especially in degree-obsessed Malaysia, learning will be this flexible and freeing, and that employers will not judge a person by what uni they came from or what qualification they held.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Dave Irwin

    Pretty much preaching to the choir on this book, since I am a huge fan of MOOCs but it was a good thing to hear how some people are using these courses to leverage their own careers and launch into new industries. I really need to start doing this more and this book gave me some great tips to get started.If you have taken an online course through Edx, coursera, udacity or even udemy, read this book for tips and tricks to use these courses to launch your own career.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Great overview of how to get MBA learnings via MOOC's, also appreciate the inspiration chapters around having a growth mindset and constantly learning. Most of the content you can probably scrape together online, but this is a nice intro for those who have no/little knowledge of MOOC's to start out with. Great overview of how to get MBA learnings via MOOC's, also appreciate the inspiration chapters around having a growth mindset and constantly learning. Most of the content you can probably scrape together online, but this is a nice intro for those who have no/little knowledge of MOOC's to start out with.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Viraj

    The author gives a good background, motivation, and path and shares good stories of other successful candidates. I contacted author myself and got immediate response. I will want to reread the book after I finish my MOOC MBA.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Adam Pardo

    Embarked on my own nopaymba! Inspiring and very pragmatic! Taking “financial accounting “ and “a whole MBA in 1 course” as suggested by the book, right now. Enjoying so far!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Felipe Rueda

    Wasn't expecting much from this book but I'm glad I read it. Really good pieces of advice and ideas, specially those on networking, volunteering and building a community online . Great book! Wasn't expecting much from this book but I'm glad I read it. Really good pieces of advice and ideas, specially those on networking, volunteering and building a community online . Great book!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Glenn

    Interesting advice for those autodidacts interested in furthering their career by assembling MBA equivalent courses by yourself for free. Certainly worth a read if you can't stomach the idea of spending thousands of dollars for for an education that is 'almost' being offered for free. (The caveat being that you will not have an official certificate at the end but you can certainly demonstrate your 'portfolio' of experience) Interesting advice for those autodidacts interested in furthering their career by assembling MBA equivalent courses by yourself for free. Certainly worth a read if you can't stomach the idea of spending thousands of dollars for for an education that is 'almost' being offered for free. (The caveat being that you will not have an official certificate at the end but you can certainly demonstrate your 'portfolio' of experience)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jihana Sapta

    Love this book I purchased this book just out of curiosity and I wasn’t expecting anything special. But the book turned out to be very informative with detailed explanation. Overall, this can be very useful for someone who loves learning and wants to try to tailor his/her own education program.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mike Kurrus

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mike Maus

  18. 4 out of 5

    просто

  19. 5 out of 5

    Trey Young

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steve Foerster

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sergio

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beso Alghamdi

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rocio

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Lumpkin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Awerto Awerto

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hilary Evans

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sam Chao

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hamza

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