Stanford GSB | Mr. Entrepreneurial Bassist
GMAT 740, GPA 3.61
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Second Chances
GRE 310, GPA 2.4
Rice Jones | Mr. Back To School
GRE 315, GPA 3.0
Cornell Johnson | Mr. IT To IB
GMAT 660, GPA 3.60
Kellogg | Mr. Green Business
GMAT 680, GPA 3.33; 3.9 for Masters
Duke Fuqua | Ms. Account Executive
GMAT 560, GPA 3.3
NYU Stern | Mr. Military Officer
GRE In Progress, GPA 2.88
Kellogg | Mr. Real Estate Finance
GMAT 710, GPA 3.0
Kellogg | Mr. Finance To Education
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Ms. Artistic Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 9.49/10
Emory Goizueta | Mr. Multimedia
GRE 308, GPA 3.4
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Commercial Banker
GMAT 700, GPA 3.3
IU Kelley | Mr. Construction Manager
GRE 680, GPA 3.02
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Fanatic
GMAT 770, GPA 3.46
Harvard | Mr. Sovereign Wealth Fund
GMAT 730, GPA 3.55
Harvard | Mr. Smart Operations
GMAT 760, GPA 4.0
Darden | Mr. Strategy Manager
GRE 321, GPA 3.5
Ross | Mr. Airline Engineer
GMAT 730, GPA 3.73
Stanford GSB | Mr. Corporate VC Hustler
GMAT 780, GPA 3.17
Wharton | Mr. Marketing Director
GMAT 710, GPA 3.3
Ross | Ms. Healthcare Startup
GRE 321, GPA 3.51
Georgetown McDonough | Ms. Air Force
GMAT 610, GPA 3.8
Stanford GSB | Mr. JD To MBA
GRE 326, GPA 3.01
Harvard | Mr. MacGruber
GRE 313, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Poet At Heart
GMAT 740, GPA 3.7
Yale | Mr. Ukrainian Biz Man
GRE 310, GPA 4.75 out of 5
Darden | Mr. Former Scientist
GMAT 680, GPA 3.65

Jack Welch Will Have More MBAs Than HBS

Legendary General Electric Chairman Jack Welch believes his Jack Welch Management Institute will have more than twice as many MBA students than Harvard Business School by 2016. In an interview with Poets&Quants, Welch said his goal is to enroll 5,000 students studying for online MBA degrees within five years, far eclipsing Harvard’s 1,800 MBA candidates or Stanford Graduate School of Business’ 800 students.

Welch’s ambitious goal comes in the aftermath of an announcement Friday that he is moving his institute from for-profit education provider Chancellor University to Strayer Education Inc. The deal is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Welch launched his institute two years ago and currently offers a $30,000 executive MBA degree and a pair of executive certificates via online instruction. The certificate offerings — “Becoming a Leader” and “Creating a Winning Strategy” — last six weeks long and are priced at $2,400 each. The MBA program currently has 198 students, while another 75 students are enrolled in the certificate courses.

Welch said he believes Strayer’s purchase of the Welch Institute will help it achieve its goal of becoming the “number one online business school in the world.” He said Strayer has the reach, marketing muscle and know-how to increase the institute’s brand value. “We’re hoping to get 5,000 students by 2016,” said Welch. “It’s very doable. The students we have now love the program.”

The MBA program features video lectures from Welch, while the certificate programs feature two-way videoconferencing with the former GE chairman, whose involvement takes up between 10 to 15 hours a week of his time.

Unlike Chancellor, with its handful of campuses in Ohio, Strayer has 92 locations in 22 states and in Washington, D.C. “We have a chance to create a hybrid of in-person and online classes,” said Welch, of his new partnership.

“The world is going this way,” Welch said. “The thing about the online school is that the student doesn’t have to pay the opportunity costs of quitting a job and yet still gets a recognized brand MBA.”

Besides his goal of having 5,000 MBA students, Welch believes the biggest market in business education will be in shorter and more focused certificate programs. He said his institute will likely increase its certificate programs to a dozen within three years. Welch plans to offer courses in all the core business disciplines, such as finance and marketing, as well as industry-specific programs in a number of areas including health care.

“We enrolled 75 students in 60 days,” says Welch, about the certificate programs. Welch said that the tuition for all of the certificate students have been paid for by their employers.

Welch said he believes certificate programs have potentially more upside because they don’t require a large investment in time and money, making them more attractive for time-starved managers and executives who want to hold on to their jobs. “The decision [to earn a certificate] is much easier,” he says. “It’s only $2,400. It’s a six-week commitment. The MBA is a deeper two-year commitment and a family decision.”

The granting of a certificate is something that an upwardly mobile manager can put on his or her resume as a credential. There’s also less competition from the major business schools in this area as only a few of the top B-schools currently offer certificate programs.

The University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School has a 60-hour Essentials of Business certificate, with six required courses in basics that range from marketing to business communications, for $3,200. Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business and Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business also offer online certificate programs. But in general, the major brand name providers of executive education have steered clear of both certificate programs and online instruction.



About The Author

John A. Byrne is the founder and editor-in-chief of C-Change Media, publishers of Poets&Quants and four other higher education websites. He has authored or co-authored more than ten books, including two New York Times bestsellers. John is the former executive editor of Businessweek, editor-in-chief of Businessweek. com, editor-in-chief of Fast Company, and the creator of the first regularly published rankings of business schools. As the co-founder of CentreCourt MBA Festivals, he hopes to meet you at the next MBA event in-person or online.