Online Masters: What are your perceptions about them? Lets consider the Harvard Extension School for Example


How good is the msc finance there? Will my future employers take the degree seriously?

Background: I am working at a startup and overlook business development and Valuations in my current role. I had been admitted to the master in finance at Arizona State, SMU, UCD, Trinity college, HEC Lausanne, Nova, etc but the visa processes stand suspended in my country hence I was looking at some courses on Coursera and I stumbled upon the HEC Paris Online Master. I realised that, at many of the schools, the degree we get in the end is the same as an on campus degree while the curriculum remains the same.

Hence, would you actually suggest someone to complete an online masters in finance or any other field for that matter? I have looked at the following options -

1) Harvard Extension School Finance
2) CASS Global finance Msc.
3) UNC MBA In Finance
4) Boston University MBA

However, I have less than 2 years of work experience but would like to explore options in this domain. In fact, i would also like a brand name on my CV and would like to know if a program from Harvard Extension is considered to be any good or will it be better if I attend an on campus program at a mid tier school like HEC Lausanne or UCD or ASU, SMU etc. I would like to start as an analyst at any of the tier 1 (GS, JP, BOA) or Tier 2 banks (BNP, Macquarie, RBS, HSBC etc) in corporate banking. Would a CFA be a better bet than all this? What would the advantage be for me to undertake an online Master in finance over the CFA? What other online options would you suggest?

The main difference I noticed in the curriculum and correct me if i am wrong is that CFA is a lot more practical. The coursework at Hec lausanne for example is a lot more theoretical and involves a lot more math than the CFA (proofs of theorems, advanced econometrics, machine learning, real analysis) while the CFA has a lot more formulas geared towards the industry jobs.

On a totally unrelated note, lets consider a degree like the Columbia university master in social work. The online curriculum is the same as the on campus curriculum and hybrid options are also available. Would such degrees from Ivy Leagues be looked on favorably by employers? Can I complete such a degree while working full time to only get a brand name on my CV?

Surprisingly I have met more people working in high finance from unrelated degrees from Cambridge or Oxford, LSE like History, Economic history, Geography than Bath or Strathclyde finance grads. 

[Edited by frasier12345 on Apr 27, 2020]

How good is the msc finance there? Will my future employers take the degree seriously?

Background: I am working at a startup and overlook business development and Valuations in my current role. I had been admitted to the master in finance at Arizona State, SMU, UCD, Trinity college, HEC Lausanne, Nova, etc but the visa processes stand suspended in my country hence I was looking at some courses on Coursera and I stumbled upon the HEC Paris Online Master. I realised that, at many of the schools, the degree we get in the end is the same as an on campus degree while the curriculum remains the same.

Hence, would you actually suggest someone to complete an online masters in finance or any other field for that matter? I have looked at the following options -

1) Harvard Extension School Finance
2) CASS Global finance Msc.
3) UNC MBA In Finance
4) Boston University MBA

However, I have less than 2 years of work experience but would like to explore options in this domain. In fact, i would also like a brand name on my CV and would like to know if a program from Harvard Extension is considered to be any good or will it be better if I attend an on campus program at a mid tier school like HEC Lausanne or UCD or ASU, SMU etc. I would like to start as an analyst at any of the tier 1 (GS, JP, BOA) or Tier 2 banks (BNP, Macquarie, RBS, HSBC etc) in corporate banking. Would a CFA be a better bet than all this? What would the advantage be for me to undertake an online Master in finance over the CFA? What other online options would you suggest?

The main difference I noticed in the curriculum and correct me if i am wrong is that CFA is a lot more practical. The coursework at Hec lausanne for example is a lot more theoretical and involves a lot more math than the CFA (proofs of theorems, advanced econometrics, machine learning, real analysis) while the CFA has a lot more formulas geared towards the industry jobs.

On a totally unrelated note, lets consider a degree like the Columbia university master in social work. The online curriculum is the same as the on campus curriculum and hybrid options are also available. Would such degrees from Ivy Leagues be looked on favorably by employers? Can I complete such a degree while working full time to only get a brand name on my CV?

Surprisingly I have met more people working in high finance from unrelated degrees from Cambridge or Oxford, LSE like History, Economic history, Geography than Bath or Strathclyde finance grads. 
quote
Duncan

Broadly speaking, the fact that a degree is online doesn't matter to employers. The difference is that the on-campus experience is richer for the student.

Many MiF degrees are taught by universities in the CFA partner programme. They have curricula that overlap greatly with the CFA. The MiF equips people for a wider range of roles than the CFA.

Around one in eight of Goldman employees in the UK studied at Oxbridge, the LSE or Warwick. Your friend's desk is not a statistically significant sample.

Broadly speaking, the fact that a degree is online doesn't matter to employers. The difference is that the on-campus experience is richer for the student.

Many MiF degrees are taught by universities in the CFA partner programme. They have curricula that overlap greatly with the CFA. The MiF equips people for a wider range of roles than the CFA.

Around one in eight of Goldman employees in the UK studied at Oxbridge, the LSE or Warwick. Your friend's desk is not a statistically significant sample.
quote

Broadly speaking, the fact that a degree is online doesn't matter to employers. The difference is that the on-campus experience is richer for the student.

Many MiF degrees are taught by universities in the CFA partner programme. They have curricula that overlap greatly with the CFA. The MiF equips people for a wider range of roles than the CFA.

Around one in eight of Goldman employees in the UK studied at Oxbridge, the LSE or Warwick. Your friend's desk is not a statistically significant sample.


You are right but i have never seen anyone from a non top university getting front office jobs. Even In India there must be a lot of non IIT/ IIM graduates at JP, GS etc but most of them are in risk management, operations or back office jobs etc. Infact, in India most of the analyst openings of such banks even mention that they are looking for IIM/ IIT/ XLRI/ CA/ Top 20 MBA candidates.
You are right that the on campus degree experience is richer but what about the significant cost savings?

Lastly i wanted to ask a question which i decided to make this thread-

I saw that there is not a lot of clarity regarding the Harvard Extension School. How good do you think the school and the programs it offers are?

What do you think about the Global Finance Online Msc at CASS and the more generalist HEC Msc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship? Do you suggest any other programs?

[quote]Broadly speaking, the fact that a degree is online doesn't matter to employers. The difference is that the on-campus experience is richer for the student.

Many MiF degrees are taught by universities in the CFA partner programme. They have curricula that overlap greatly with the CFA. The MiF equips people for a wider range of roles than the CFA.

Around one in eight of Goldman employees in the UK studied at Oxbridge, the LSE or Warwick. Your friend's desk is not a statistically significant sample. [/quote]

You are right but i have never seen anyone from a non top university getting front office jobs. Even In India there must be a lot of non IIT/ IIM graduates at JP, GS etc but most of them are in risk management, operations or back office jobs etc. Infact, in India most of the analyst openings of such banks even mention that they are looking for IIM/ IIT/ XLRI/ CA/ Top 20 MBA candidates.
You are right that the on campus degree experience is richer but what about the significant cost savings?

Lastly i wanted to ask a question which i decided to make this thread-

I saw that there is not a lot of clarity regarding the Harvard Extension School. How good do you think the school and the programs it offers are?

What do you think about the Global Finance Online Msc at CASS and the more generalist HEC Msc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship? Do you suggest any other programs?
quote
Duncan

You are right that the on-campus degree experience is richer but what about the significant cost savings?


I don't think the pool of students the same, and I don't think the outcomes are comparable. For example, IE's EMBA students earn much more than its online MBAs, but Warwick's Online MBAs earn more than it's EMBAs. Different students, different locations, different currencies, not the same pool. If you need the on-campus benefits, like organized hiring, acculturation and soft skills, then the price of the online course doesn't matter. The difference in fees is so small that whichever has the highest NPV is the right choice, other things being equal.

I saw that there is not a lot of clarity regarding the Harvard Extension School. How good do you think the school and the programs it offers are?

What do you think about the Global Finance Online Msc at CASS and the more generalist HEC Msc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship? Do you suggest any other programs?


HES is an excellent school with strong degrees. I hear good things about the Cass MSc. The HEC MSc seems very insubstantial and rather like a vanity qualification, similar to the ESCP EMIB.

PS I don't think there's any lack of clarity about HES. Many people feel that Harvard College is the only real Harvard and that any other degree from the university is suspect, and that graduates of other school act in bad faith if they call themselves Harvard graduates. That is immaterial to the actual HES experience, which doesn't concern those critics. Having participated in a HES course, my experience is that the school is not really any very from any other big university. The students are different, and I suspect that's critics' real objection.

To make a comparison: I have an MBA from the University of London, awarded at London Business School. Someone else has an MBA from the University of London, awarded at the Institute of Education. This person clearly has an almost identical diploma to mine. Did they learn accounting as well as me? Honestly, I could only tell by looking at their transcript. I would be an utter asshole to suggest that they didn't have an MBA. But no-one who knows MBA programmes would confuse LBS for the IoE. Now, if someone had an UoL MBA from the IoE and just said they had a UoL MBA without mentioning the IoE, many people would think they were trying to mislead.

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 24, 2020]

[quote]You are right that the on-campus degree experience is richer but what about the significant cost savings? [/quote]

I don't think the pool of students the same, and I don't think the outcomes are comparable. For example, IE's EMBA students earn much more than its online MBAs, but Warwick's Online MBAs earn more than it's EMBAs. Different students, different locations, different currencies, not the same pool. If you need the on-campus benefits, like organized hiring, acculturation and soft skills, then the price of the online course doesn't matter. The difference in fees is so small that whichever has the highest NPV is the right choice, other things being equal.

[quote]I saw that there is not a lot of clarity regarding the Harvard Extension School. How good do you think the school and the programs it offers are?

What do you think about the Global Finance Online Msc at CASS and the more generalist HEC Msc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship? Do you suggest any other programs? [/quote]

HES is an excellent school with strong degrees. I hear good things about the Cass MSc. The HEC MSc seems very insubstantial and rather like a vanity qualification, similar to the ESCP EMIB.

PS I don't think there's any lack of clarity about HES. Many people feel that Harvard College is the only real Harvard and that any other degree from the university is suspect, and that graduates of other school act in bad faith if they call themselves Harvard graduates. That is immaterial to the actual HES experience, which doesn't concern those critics. Having participated in a HES course, my experience is that the school is not really any very from any other big university. The students are different, and I suspect that's critics' real objection.

To make a comparison: I have an MBA from the University of London, awarded at London Business School. Someone else has an MBA from the University of London, awarded at the Institute of Education. This person clearly has an almost identical diploma to mine. Did they learn accounting as well as me? Honestly, I could only tell by looking at their transcript. I would be an utter asshole to suggest that they didn't have an MBA. But no-one who knows MBA programmes would confuse LBS for the IoE. Now, if someone had an UoL MBA from the IoE and just said they had a UoL MBA without mentioning the IoE, many people would think they were trying to mislead.
quote

You are right that the on-campus degree experience is richer but what about the significant cost savings?


I don't think the pool of students the same, and I don't think the outcomes are comparable. For example, IE's EMBA students earn much more than its online MBAs, but Warwick's Online MBAs earn more than it's EMBAs. Different students, different locations, different currencies, not the same pool. If you need the on-campus benefits, like organized hiring, acculturation and soft skills, then the price of the online course doesn't matter. The difference in fees is so small that whichever has the highest NPV is the right choice, other things being equal.

I saw that there is not a lot of clarity regarding the Harvard Extension School. How good do you think the school and the programs it offers are?

What do you think about the Global Finance Online Msc at CASS and the more generalist HEC Msc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship? Do you suggest any other programs?


HES is an excellent school with strong degrees. I hear good things about the Cass MSc. The HEC MSc seems very insubstantial and rather like a vanity qualification, similar to the ESCP EMIB.

PS I don't think there's any lack of clarity about HES. Many people feel that Harvard College is the only real Harvard and that any other degree from the university is suspect, and that graduates of other school act in bad faith if they call themselves Harvard graduates. That is immaterial to the actual HES experience, which doesn't concern those critics. Having participated in a HES course, my experience is that the school is not really any very from any other big university. The students are different, and I suspect that's critics' real objection.

To make a comparison: I have an MBA from the University of London, awarded at London Business School. Someone else has an MBA from the University of London, awarded at the Institute of Education. This person clearly has an almost identical diploma to mine. Did they learn accounting as well as me? Honestly, I could only tell by looking at their transcript. I would be an utter asshole to suggest that they didn't have an MBA. But no-one who knows MBA programmes would confuse LBS for the IoE. Now, if someone had an UoL MBA from the IoE and just said they had a UoL MBA without mentioning the IoE, many people would think they were trying to mislead.


So how good is the reputation of Harvard ES? What do you think about the following program


https://sps.columbia.edu/academics/masters/wealth-management/curriculum-courses

Out of Cass, Harvard ES, Columbia Wealth management what would you suggest?

When you say the HEC degree is a vanity degree do you mean that it is not rigorous? Do you think employees will not really look at the degree in favourable light?

[Edited by frasier12345 on Apr 24, 2020]

[quote][quote]You are right that the on-campus degree experience is richer but what about the significant cost savings? [/quote]

I don't think the pool of students the same, and I don't think the outcomes are comparable. For example, IE's EMBA students earn much more than its online MBAs, but Warwick's Online MBAs earn more than it's EMBAs. Different students, different locations, different currencies, not the same pool. If you need the on-campus benefits, like organized hiring, acculturation and soft skills, then the price of the online course doesn't matter. The difference in fees is so small that whichever has the highest NPV is the right choice, other things being equal.

[quote]I saw that there is not a lot of clarity regarding the Harvard Extension School. How good do you think the school and the programs it offers are?

What do you think about the Global Finance Online Msc at CASS and the more generalist HEC Msc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship? Do you suggest any other programs? [/quote]

HES is an excellent school with strong degrees. I hear good things about the Cass MSc. The HEC MSc seems very insubstantial and rather like a vanity qualification, similar to the ESCP EMIB.

PS I don't think there's any lack of clarity about HES. Many people feel that Harvard College is the only real Harvard and that any other degree from the university is suspect, and that graduates of other school act in bad faith if they call themselves Harvard graduates. That is immaterial to the actual HES experience, which doesn't concern those critics. Having participated in a HES course, my experience is that the school is not really any very from any other big university. The students are different, and I suspect that's critics' real objection.

To make a comparison: I have an MBA from the University of London, awarded at London Business School. Someone else has an MBA from the University of London, awarded at the Institute of Education. This person clearly has an almost identical diploma to mine. Did they learn accounting as well as me? Honestly, I could only tell by looking at their transcript. I would be an utter asshole to suggest that they didn't have an MBA. But no-one who knows MBA programmes would confuse LBS for the IoE. Now, if someone had an UoL MBA from the IoE and just said they had a UoL MBA without mentioning the IoE, many people would think they were trying to mislead. [/quote]

So how good is the reputation of Harvard ES? What do you think about the following program


https://sps.columbia.edu/academics/masters/wealth-management/curriculum-courses

Out of Cass, Harvard ES, Columbia Wealth management what would you suggest?

When you say the HEC degree is a vanity degree do you mean that it is not rigorous? Do you think employees will not really look at the degree in favourable light?
quote
Duncan

These are e great courses. It depends on your goals: a core finance degree, a management degree with a flexible finance buffet, or a wealth management focus.

These are e great courses. It depends on your goals: a core finance degree, a management degree with a flexible finance buffet, or a wealth management focus.
quote

These are e great courses. It depends on your goals: a core finance degree, a management degree with a flexible finance buffet, or a wealth management focus.


I want a finance degree but somehow feel that the brand name of Columbia or HEC will help me out more than a Cass finance degree

[Edited by frasier12345 on Apr 25, 2020]

[quote]These are e great courses. It depends on your goals: a core finance degree, a management degree with a flexible finance buffet, or a wealth management focus. [/quote]

I want a finance degree but somehow feel that the brand name of Columbia or HEC will help me out more than a Cass finance degree
quote
Duncan

This depends on the roles you are looking at. Even in France, a City MSc in finance is more impressive in the finance sector than a HEC MSc that is not especially selective. Personally, when I interviewed for the MBA at HEC, they spoke of City as an impressive MSc on my resume.
PS Sure, outside the experienced international recruiters, HEC is a bigger brand in France than Wharton or LBS. It all depends on what your goals are.  

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 25, 2020]

This depends on the roles you are looking at. Even in France, a City MSc in finance is more impressive in the finance sector than a HEC MSc that is not especially selective. Personally, when I interviewed for the MBA at HEC, they spoke of City as an impressive MSc on my resume.<div><br></div><div>PS Sure, outside the experienced international recruiters, HEC is a bigger brand in France than Wharton or LBS. It all depends on what your goals are.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div>
quote

This depends on the roles you are looking at. Even in France, a City MSc in finance is more impressive in the finance sector than a HEC MSc that is not especially selective. Personally, when I interviewed for the MBA at HEC, they spoke of City as an impressive MSc on my resume.
PS Sure, outside the experienced international recruiters, HEC is a bigger brand in France than Wharton or LBS. It all depends on what your goals are.  
So Cass would be better than Harvard or Columbia too? What about Johns Hopkins

[quote]This depends on the roles you are looking at. Even in France, a City MSc in finance is more impressive in the finance sector than a HEC MSc that is not especially selective. Personally, when I interviewed for the MBA at HEC, they spoke of City as an impressive MSc on my resume.<div><br></div><div>PS Sure, outside the experienced international recruiters, HEC is a bigger brand in France than Wharton or LBS. It all depends on what your goals are.&nbsp;&nbsp;</div>[/quote]<div>So Cass would be better than Harvard or Columbia too? What about Johns Hopkins</div>
quote
Duncan

This depends on your goals and needs. If your career plan benefits from the on campus advantages, if you need international mobility, if your network is weak in your target countries.... Like, HES is intriguing and via the micromasters very good value. But you won't get a US work permit that way. 
Given that you don't seem focussed on one country and may require a work permit, a top full-time degree is probably better.

This depends on your goals and needs. If your career plan benefits from the on campus advantages, if you need international mobility, if your network is weak in your target countries.... Like, HES is intriguing and via the micromasters very good value. But you won't get a US work permit that way.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Given that you don't seem focussed on one country and may require a work permit, a top full-time degree is probably better.</div>
quote
Duncan

A full time Cass MSc in finance is a better tool for labour market entry in Western Europe than a HES master's. 

A full time Cass MSc in finance is a better tool for labour market entry in Western Europe than a HES master's.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

If you have your own networks or don't need extensive career support, I think Harvard is a really intriguing option. But a local business school network gives you a huge inside edge. 
I think you can focus on specific countries, firms and roles. 

If you have your own networks or don't need extensive career support, I think Harvard is a really intriguing option. But a local business school network gives you a huge inside edge.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>I think you can focus on specific countries, firms and roles.&nbsp;</div>
quote

If you have your own networks or don't need extensive career support, I think Harvard is a really intriguing option. But a local business school network gives you a huge inside edge. 
I think you can focus on specific countries, firms and roles. 

Dear Duncan 
I need your help urgently. Css has offered me a place in thier PG certificate in finance which is taught online and covers 4 courses of the Msc global finance. The course starts next week and i can directly transfer to the msc global finance after the completion of the certificate and will not have to redo these 4 courses. i am seriously considering it. It costs about 7500 pounds and is part time and will help me to apply to better schools next year and be more sure of the future as the pandemic has caused a lot of disruptions in the visa applications etc. Kindly advise. i will be very grateful.

[quote]If you have your own networks or don't need extensive career support, I think Harvard is a really intriguing option. But a local business school network gives you a huge inside edge.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>I think you can focus on specific countries, firms and roles.&nbsp;</div> [/quote]<div><br></div><div>Dear Duncan&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>I need your help urgently. Css has offered me a place in thier PG certificate in finance which is taught online and covers 4 courses of the Msc global finance. The course starts next week and i can directly transfer to the msc global finance after the completion of the certificate and will not have to redo these 4 courses. i am seriously considering it. It costs about 7500 pounds and is part time and will help me to apply to better schools next year and be more sure of the future as the pandemic has caused a lot of disruptions in the visa applications etc.&nbsp;</div><div>Kindly advise. i will be very grateful.</div>
quote
Duncan

You say that you want a core finance degree, rather than a management degree with a flexible finance buffet, or a wealth management focus, so Cass sounds the best of the online options. However, I don't think you have enough clarity on your career goals to rule out that a full-time programme would not be a better investment. 

You say that you want&nbsp;a core finance degree, rather than a management degree with a flexible finance buffet, or a wealth management focus, so Cass sounds the best of the online options. However, I don't think you have enough clarity on your career goals to rule out that a full-time programme would not be a better investment.&nbsp;
quote
Larry

To answer your original question, for the schools you are looking at, the overall quality of the education will be roughly similar to what you'd see in an in-class program. 
What will be different is networking opportunities, in that you obviously won't have access to on-campus recruiting fairs, fo example - and employment services. You'll want to look closely at what kind of career services are offered by the schools running these online programs, because that's a huge selling point of in-class programs. 

To answer your original question, for the schools you are looking at, the overall quality of the education will be roughly similar to what you'd see in an in-class program.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>What will be different is networking opportunities, in that you obviously won't have access to on-campus recruiting fairs, fo example - and employment services. You'll want to look closely at what kind of career services are offered by the schools running these online programs, because that's a huge selling point of in-class programs.&nbsp;</div>
quote

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