Looking back, the 2008 financial crisis seems so long ago. Much of the wealth lost has been recovered. And the hundreds-of-thousands who lost their jobs have moved on. But the event was a reminder of just how powerless we truly are against larger global economic forces. Sure, we learned the value of transparency and regulation and the dangers of complexity and risk. As George Santayana warns, “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” As markets swing and debts accrue, many wonder, ‘Have the lessons of the financial crisis really sink into our imaginations?’
That’s one question posed in “The Global Financial Crisis,” the most exciting free business MOOC being launched in December. Why? For starters, it is being co-taught by Tim Geithner, who served as U.S. Treasury Secretary during the first term of the Obama administration. Geithner was no passive observer. In 2008, he was the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York as Wall Street firms teetered on the brink. Under Obama, he helped engineer the bank bailouts. He was the man who knew the key players, pored over the data, crafted the policies and helped make the decisions. Agree or disagree with Geithner’s actions, you won’t find a better witness to what happened and why.
Indeed, this 11-week course is as comprehensive as it gets. Partnering with Yale professor Andrew Metrick, Geithner will expose students to the terminology and causes of the crisis, including the housing bubble, the ratio of savings-to-debt, regulatory failures, and unethical conduct. He’ll also cover the psychology behind the panic, as well as providing an inside look at what happened at Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers and AIG. Even more, Geithner will outline the rationales behind the government’s responses, delivering lessons learned for addressing future threats like the Eurozone.
PEOPLE ANALYTICS AND MANAGEMENT COURSES TOP DECEMBER OFFERINGS
Of course, Geithner isn’t the only big name out there. In December, Wharton comes out swinging with “People Analytics,” a course designed to introduce students to this increasingly appealing field. What is people analytics exactly? Take a college GPA, for example. By coupling this data point against other variables, analysts can identify certain similarities between the most successful candidates, enabling firms to better target their recruiting to avoid costly hiring mistakes. Similarly, organizations can peg employee (and supervisor) value through associations based on which teams they have participated in. Although people analytics is in its infancy, this MOOC provides students with a ground floor understanding of a science that could potentially revolutionize human resources in the coming decade.
December also features an array of MOOCs in management, headed by “Leading Teams,” which includes the former head of General Motors’ executive education program as one of its instructors. Darden returns with its acclaimed “Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management,” while the University of California-Irvine offers a three course specialization for more in-depth study on the topic. Not to mention, the University of Illinois continues its four course Digital Marketing specialization, covering everything from 3D printing to search engine optimization.
This month, quants can enjoy “Gamification,” a six-week course from Wharton tech guru Kevin Werbach which applies game design and theory to pressing social and business issues. Wharton continues to take the lead in business MOOCs, with at least four essential offerings that start in December. The school now has an impressive menu of 18 MOOCs overall and plans to introduce an additional 25 courses over the next year.
Wharton and the University of Illinois each offer introductory courses to operations management. For those who want to learn finance but are afraid of being overwhelmed, the University of California-Irvine is signing up students for “Finance for Non-Financial Professionals.” To learn more about these courses – and register for them – click on the links below.
Marketing and Management
Finance and Operations