UoLondon/LSE vs. Boston U. vs. eCornell

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by scotty, Jun 20, 2005.

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  1. scotty

    scotty New Member

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    I'm not sure where I'm going with this, to be honest with you. I have reached a point where I need to decide what direction to head with my career and academic pursuits. I know I want to complete an MBA at some point within the next 5 years. But until then, I am hoping to get some certificates online in order to boost my job prospects.

    I am looking at the U of London/London School of Economics "Diploma for Graduates" in either Finance or Management. I live in Europe, but will probably wind up back in the U.S. permanently before 2007. The programs are described as taking "between 1 and 5 years to complete." Does anybody know how easy it is to complete one of these 4-course diplomas in one year? Also, is a "Diploma for Graduates" roughly equivalent to a Graduate Certificate? Are HR managers and other hiring decision makers aware of the London School of Economics' reputation? It should be at least as good as eCornell's and better than Boston University's, although the name recognition might be weaker in the States.

    I am also considering Boston University's 4-course certificate in Finance. It looks very good and would be recognizable to any American HR manager. It is noticeably more expensive than the UoL program, but I am sure to finish it within a year.

    Finally, I am considering the eCornell certificate in Financial Management (for Making Business Decisions). The pros to this one are that Cornell on a resume has to be damn good. The price is not too bad, just $1900. The time commitment is fabulous, just two months and I'm done. The downside is that there is no academic credit given for the eCornell programs. I'm not sure academic credit is that big a deal for me, though. I have a grad cert in business from UMass, Lowell and will have no problem getting into a decent MBA program, so why would I need scholastic credits?

    I guess I'd like to hear some fresh perspectives on these choices. Ideally, I'd like to hear from people that have gone through some of these programs. And for all of you who live in Europe, are Cornell and Boston University recognised as decent schools in Europe...there is a chance I won't be returning to the States by 2007.
     
  2. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

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    I have completed a couple of the eCornell certificates and I must say their online presentation is the best so far. I completed my MBA recently, a University of Oxford course and several other items on the list.

    I have had some positive comments from others when I mention the Cornell certificate and so in that respect it is working well for me in Canada. Cornell is a very important name to add to your resume, for me it was to suppliment my MBA program.

    I would do another program at eCornell if only they would make it more indepth.

    Good Luck

    MP
     
  3. triggersoft

    triggersoft New Member

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    Cornell certainly belongs to the top of the tops in the States.
    Everybody here in Europe knows that.

    I would even dare to say that the schools that are most known (and considered as the very best) here are

    Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Berkeley, MIT (did I leave one out? most likely).

    Boston University on the other side is not THAT known...

    Cheers,
    Trigger
     
  4. qvatlanta

    qvatlanta New Member

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    While a Cornell name would be valuable, I just took a look at their courses in the Financial Management series, and it looks like there's a good reason they don't have academic credit... I really don't know how much you'd learn, since if you go for an MBA later you would duplicate all of it.

    1. Mastering the Time Value of Money (Understanding the value of future cash flows.)
    2. Making Capital Investment Decisions (Using finance techniques to evaluate project viability.)
    3. Understanding and Analyzing Financial Statements (Reading and understanding income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements.)
    4. Using Ratio Analysis to Evaluate Financial Performance

    Each of these courses looks like it equals one to two chapters in my textbook for my Financial Management graduate course, and we covered 12 chapters throughout the course. The eCornell course outlines don't really suggest any super in-depth treatment, although I'm sure they present it very effectively.

    From a value perspective the Cornell name might be worth it, but if you are really getting the knowledge equivalent of half a graduate course, but without academic credit, that could be taken into consideration.

    The UoL diploma, on the other hand, looks pretty advanced! Here's one lesson description from Financial Intermediation: "Derivatives pricing and hedging: linkages between the state preference model and arbitrage pricing, between option pricing models and delta hedging, and between forward pricing and hedging. Hedge ratios; Managing credit risk with derivatives, including forwards, options, swaps, credit linked notes, and collateralized debt obligations; Managing interest rate risk with swaps; Managing foreign exchange risk with the forward hedge, money market hedge, and currency swaps."
    :eek: We certainly didn't cover any of this stuff... now you're really getting beyond the introductory level.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 20, 2005
  5. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

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    You need to remember that the UoL course will take 1 to 5 years to complete. There is a huge difference in the two programs.

    The eCornell Cert. is much more than the one line comparison you are making. I have both the MBA and the Certificate and I can tell you the eCornell is presented well, with bright instructors who are open to indepth discussion and the entire Cert. is only 2 months long.

    The program is very well presented despite the one sentence description. In some circumstances it isn't duplicating the average FM textbook and it does come down to what you try to get out of the course, not necessarily what you get with a minimal effort.
     
  6. scotty

    scotty New Member

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    Yeah, Qvatlanta, I definitely hear what you say and agree, but in the eCornell option, I'm mainly looking for a resume bullet. I already had a graduate class in finance and the eCornell certificate description doesn't seem to introduce anything more than we covered in the class. However, I think that the instructors at eCornell would probably be able to pull more out of me (or put more into me) than my UMass class did. It seems that the eCornell cert would be a great credential, although it might not give me the deep skills needed to construct a business' annual budget...even though the description says it is meant for those tasked with budgeting.

    I'd do the LSE and Boston U. programs for more in-depth coverage and true skill development. But I could have the eCornell cert in two months, and that is pretty attractive. I should note that I have been unemployed for a bit and am looking to make myself more marketable as quickly as possible. Only the Cornell cert will give me a strong resume bullet in such a short time. Villanova offers something similar, but it definitely doesn't carry the same weight.
     
  7. morganplus8

    morganplus8 New Member

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    I think you have it figured out! Take the program and pick the professors' brain. It's what you get out of it that counts and the Cornell name has to stay on your resume forever. In two months you can hang the Cert. on the wall.
     
  8. JNelson467

    JNelson467 New Member

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    My experience with completing a Master Certification in Hospitality management ( about $6800 I believe I paid with part contributed by my employer) was a great value and I have seen many doors open for me in the Hotel field if I chose to seek them. Cornell appears to carry a name for itself and I tend to always get compliments or comments on my certification certificate when a visitor visits my office.
    It is a definite compliment to my DETC accredited MBA.

    I would love to do another certificate through ECornell as I found the entire course curriculum well thought out and delivered in a high quality format. Discussion board was also a benefit as well.
     
  9. scotty

    scotty New Member

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    JNelson, I plan on doing the Hospitality Cert at some point in the future because I want to get into the Hotel industry. It looks really great and I plan on getting it in the future. Due to the cost and time commitment, though, I will do the shorter Finance cert. Once I land a job that pays some nice money, and offers to supplement my tuition, I will do some of the longer eCornell certs.

    One question, the Hospitality cert looks as if it is geared toward people already working in the Hospitality field, in other words, seasoned professionals. I am considering getting into the Hotel industry as a career change. Do you think the eCornell Hospitality cert would be good for someone with no background in Hospitality or Hotel Management? Would it facilitate a career change like that? The eCornell reps said "yes" but I have yet to talk to someone that was not trying to get me to hand over my Visa numbers.
     
  10. JNelson467

    JNelson467 New Member

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    Scotty,

    First, as someone who has been in the hotel business and knows a fair amount of what is considered a valuable trait in a candidate seeking to enter this field, I will tell you that experience in this field is definitely the key element as probably in most fields of work.
    As far as the Master Certification in Hospitality Management through ECornell, YES... I honestly feel that it would be a terrific program to assist in getting you into a good entry management position in the hotel industry. The deciding factor for you is to what type of lodging/ hotel property do you see yourself seeking...Full-service, limited, extended stay. All can offer a good salary and benefits, depending on the compnay you seek to work for.
    So again, I feel the Master Certification would be a good program to not only obtain valuable and practical knowledge along with a good reputation, but I also would suggest seeking a entry position in the hotel field while pursuing the certification.
    Experience and who you know are definitely key attributes in climbing the ladder so to speak.

    I hope I answered your question.
     
  11. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    Occupation:
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    My area is not business and so perhaps my thoughts will be a bit more objective (or maybe not). My first thought upon reading the above posts is: What does 1-5 years mean? That's a huge range. Can you do it in 2 years? Then think in terms of 2 years. To me, if someone says, "You can finish in 1-5 years," this means nothing to me. How many hours of study per week would you have to put in in order to finish in 2 years? Now THAT means something. If it takes longer, are you in any rush?
    Seond thought. The price difference. Can you actually afford the BU program? If "no" then let it go. Mind you, when I say "afford" I do not mean 'can you sell all your possessions in order to pay your fees?' I mean can you afford it easily.
    Third thought. Will anyone, anywhere really appreciate the difference? What I mean is, if you pay the big bucks for the BU cert will that actually buy you something tangible? Is it really worth that much more? (I know that this is, essentially, the question you're asking us) What purpose is this supposed to serve? A raise? A promotion? Admission to an MBA program? Don't pay for a Corvette when a Honda will get the job done.
    Fourth thought. When you say that you're moving back to the USA someday does that mean San Diego? Houston? Chicago? Boston? The closer to Boston you plan on landing, the more a BU degree will mean. On the other hand, a University of London degree will mean pretty much the same thing across the USA.
    In any case, good luck.
    Jack
     
  12. jimwe

    jimwe Member

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    Occupation:
    Case Manager
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    I have an MS Ed from Cal State Hayward in Online Teaching and Learning. I've taught ESL for the last 10 years and want to make a change to HR/Training. Since I already have a Master's and don't want to spend 2 years pursuing another Masters in HR, I opted for the e-Cornell certificate in HR. I’m finishing the 6th class out of 12 and will be done in early October.

    I bought the HCRP prep program for HRP/SHRP and realized it was a 600 page (plus) SNOOZE-FEST! It has a lot of information, but after 20 pages, you are pretty much in a coma.

    http://www.hrcp.com/

    e-Cornell has made a lot of difference in terms of understanding the material. The current instructor is a lawyer who teaches the course, and makes it very interesting. I wish they had more time to go far more in-depth, but in a 6 month format it’s difficult to do. They do a very good job of introducing you to very complex, convoluted material. HR is (as I am finding out) very involved complicated and mistakes can cost a company LOTS of $$$$. Bottom line, e-Cornell's program does a very good job of "fleshing out" an abstract, convoluted and complicated subject.

    I paid $1175,00 to start and am paying $429 to continue per month. As far as I’m concerned, it’s well worth the effort for the name recognition, but mostly for how well it’s presented and done.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 21, 2005
  13. scotty

    scotty New Member

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    My thoughts exactly. I suppose 5 years is the limit they put on it to allow for the lazy approach. The 1-year minimum must be for the full-time student, but since this is a 4-class certificate I don't see how anyone could be "full-time." It is, after all, geared toward the working professional. I am surprised it would take a full year to complete 4 online classes through any university. I understand if you can only take one class at a time and each semester is 16 weeks long, but I don't see it taking me any more than the minimum amount of time.
    It is expensive, but I get VA benefits so it shouldn't be a problem. Plus, the payments are spread out over a long period. With eCornell, there is no VA help available. I just wonder if the value of the BU program is higher than that of the UoL/LSE program. The LSE program is soooo cheap when compared to the BU program. I don't think that BU can compare to LSE, but I'm not sure how much an LSE credential helps me in the States.
    At this point, Atlanta is my top choice, but Boston is a close second. The reason I am considering BU is because I have the grad cert from UMass Lowell and plan to get my MBA online through UMass Amherst. I'm trying to avoid having credentials from schools scattered across the country so that the "distance" aspect is so obvious. These Mass schools all seem to fit my needs pretty well and the geographical consistency is nice, but I may be putting more value on that than it is worth. The Cornell cert is recognised all over as a great online program, so I am not concerned with HR departments seeing that "distance" aspect. The UoL program might work because I have spent so many years in Europe that they may not ask if the program was online or brick-and-mortar. But what exactly does a UoL degree mean "across the USA?"
     
  14. wh431

    wh431 New Member

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    Occupation:
    System Analyst
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    Price wise BU and UOL programmes arent very different, if i remember right the BU Finance cert prog costs 2200 $ and UOL 1800 $. Contentwise both are entry level Finance certifications, consisting 4 courses.

    Reputationwise LSE has a good reputation in Europe but i guess BU is also a 1st or 2nd Tier School in US.

    I guess UOL is a good choice if one has time and want to persue a career in Europe/Asia/Australia. The only drawback with the UOL prog is that it will take atleast 2 years to finish (unless u sit all 4 required exams in one go), since the exams are offereed only once a year in May whereas the BU runs on a 14 Week Semester and u can finish ur certificate at ur own pace.

    regards

    W2H
     
  15. Jack Tracey

    Jack Tracey New Member

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    Occupation:
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    I have an answer but before I offer it I'd like to mention a periphally related item. Every once in a while someone will post a thread asking a question such as "What will the business community think of my TESC degree?" (fill in the DL school of your choice). I understand completely the origin of the question. The poster wants to get a sense of whether the degree will be generally accepted and will lead to gainful employment. The part that amuses me is the idea that there is some single entity known as "the business community" and that all members of that community think alike about this and other issues. Of course that's not true and I understand that even the poster of the question doesn't really believe that it's true. With all that having been said I'd offer my answer to your question. Seeing a University of London qualification on a resume, I believe that most employers would say, "Hmmm. That sounds familiar. If I remember correctly, that's a pretty good school in England." I'll bet that U of L degrees receive a generally positive reception but that you rarely run into anyone who's an alumnus or even anyone who knows much in the way of details about the school or its programs. This is not a knock on the U of L. I think that aside from a few places like Oxford or the Sorbonne, most people in the USA know next to nothing about non-US universities.
    Jack
    (please don't pepper me with stories that "prove" I'm wrong. I know that there are exceptions. I'm simply trying to state what I believe is generally true across the country.)
     
  16. scotty

    scotty New Member

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    Good answer, Jack. I had never heard of UoL before looking into distance learning, but I always assumed there was a University of London, just like I assume there is a University of St. Petersburgh, or University of Lesotho. You get the picture. I also assume, rather naively, that large, public universities named for large cities or states are generally well-funded and can give a fairly high-quality education.

    Now, that said, my mom was an educator and told me about elite schools when I was a kid. I had heard of the London School of Econimics in high school. The programs offered by UoL that I am interested in are connected with LSE. Even though the diploma would say "UoL" I feel justified in finding a way to make the LSE connection somehow on my resume. Perhaps by putting "Graduate Diploma in blah blah blah from the University of London/London School of Economics." I could certainly justify the reference, though I'm sure some would try to dispute it. In the end, getting my resume noticed by HR managers is the goal, and I think that LSE is more well-known and better-respected than UoL in the States...but I may be way off there.
     
  17. JoeyFBW

    JoeyFBW New Member

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    LSE

    One question I have regards the "certificate" qualification from LSE generally. Are people going to think anything less than an actual degree is a joke? I think the certificate program from LSE looks interesting but unfortunately, there is not much universal agreement on what a certificate program is and thus, there are some joke certificate programs out there.
     
  18. scotty

    scotty New Member

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    Well, having talked to an HR expert, this is what I feel about certificates. When comparing JUST a certificate in a specific area to a full BA, BS, MA or MS in the same area, perhaps the certificate doesn't stand up. But, a certificate is quite helpful on a CV when you have a full degree already, some experience, and the certificate complements the other two in some way. For instance, you are a network administrator with no programming experience but you want to get into web design. Completing a simple certificate at a local college or online might give you just the boost you need to land a job in your company's web design department. Certificates with academic credit that represent substantial effort certainly mean more than $100 online studies of 6-hour seminars. But HR managers do see certificates as proof of desire, motivation, and training, to an extent. Of course, you are right that some certificates are worthless. A non-credit, 2-month certificate from eCornell, though, might carry more weight than a 10-month in-class certificate at Podunk Mississippi Technical Community College...might.

    ...besides, it puts the Cornell name on your CV which might prompt the HR rep to stick yours in the short stack. And some electronic resume scanners do look for school names such as Harvard, Duke, Stanford...I'd say Cornell would be on the list, too.

    I went to my local CC and got a networking certificate and my A+, back in 99. That helped me land my first computer gig. A year later, I had Net+ and Server+ on top of a year's worth of experience. This enabled me to land an even better job with a fortune 500 computer company. Then, I went to the CC again for my CCNA and after a year, I landed an even better job as a net admin. I have a BA in Communications from a small, liberal arts college and graduated in 92. Without that first CC certificate, I would have had a hard time making the transition into IT. Each subsequent certification helped me jump to the next rung on the ladder. My employers said they liked the fact that I had expended time, money and effort to complete certificates and certifications.

    Does the above hold true for an eCornell, BU, or UoL online certificate? All indicators point to yes. They are expensive, come from reputable schools, and take substantial time to complete. But I am also looking at completing some AMA/Corpedia online certificates to get some business-related bullets on my CV. These are cheap and very fast. $189 and you can complete them in a weekend. Do they carry any weight? My HR friend says that yes, they do, if they somehow complement your more substantial credentials/experience. They can definitely help you transition to another field or move up in your current one. It shows that you are serious, if nothing else.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2005

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