altMBA Programs: 4 Considerations Before You Enroll

By: brunchwork

altMBA Programs: 4 Considerations Before You Enroll

Great job! If you landed here, you are critically examining your options for business education, including alt-MBA programs.

Traditional MBA programs don’t make sense in a post-coronavirus world. Many business schools expect enrollment to decline significantly this fall. MBA applications have been declining for years, even at the top schools. And now, the gulf between value and price has never been greater.

At the same, management training has never been more important. COVID-19 will accelerate automation and outsourcing across industries, leaving many jobs vulnerable. Management jobs are safe, as they require leadership skills, creative problem solving, and emotional intelligence.

A number of alt-MBA programs have started in recent years, including brunchwork. More will pop up after COVID-19. As you weigh your options, consider these four key factors before enrolling:

  • How interactive is the alt-MBA program?

  • How relevant is the alt-MBA program?

  • How long is the alt-MBA program?

  • How much does the alt-MBA program cost?

Keep reading for a deep dive on each question.

1. How interactive is the alt-MBA program?

At almost no cost, you can gain business knowledge with just a reading list and an edX/Coursera login. Google can answer almost any technical question you have.

The real benefit of a guided program is the curation of study materials and the facilitation of active learning.

The best alt-MBA programs center around interactive projects so students can learn by doing, while simultaneously building connections.

In business, your network is your net worth. Look for programs that devote a significant amount of time to peer collaboration.

At brunchwork, we don’t believe in passive lectures. We believe in co-learning. We host weekly interactive workshops with the world’s top business and tech leaders. Our members are active participants in the workshops. They jump in with questions and comments throughout.

Each brunchwork session ends with an Audience Challenge. Members work in small, curated teams on a business case and get real time feedback. A Challenge can be positioning Peloton’s brand strategy for the current crisis, or brainstorming an idea for a new music platform— and getting feedback from leadership at Peloton and Spotify.

2. How relevant is the alt-MBA program?

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that the business world changes at breakneck speed. An alt-MBA program must keep pace with new industries and rapidly developing trends. Outdated lectures and topics must be avoided.

The alt-MBA curriculum must focus on trends and ideas that are relevant right now. After all, to gain a competitive advantage in the business world, young professionals must develop a sophisticated understanding of the latest trends.

Rather than reviewing case studies written two decades ago, a co-learning experience at brunchwork might look like a CMO speaking to a group of marketers about a current growth challenge, asking them to brainstorm solutions, then giving feedback on their ideas and presentations. Instead of having analysts study innovation theory, a Fortune 500 company might pair employees with startup players to workshop new product ideas.

brunchwork speakers— notable names like 2020 Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang, Y Combinator cofounder Trevor Blackwell, the Peloton cofounder Graham Stanton, and many more— are not only top of their fields, but hyper relevant to the world we live in.

3. How long is the alt-MBA program?

The constant industry disruption our generation has faced—now accelerated by Covid-19—means lifelong learning is paramount. Too many alt-MBA programs only last a few weeks or, worse, a few hours.

At brunchwork, we work with thousands of students each year, both MBAs and non-MBAs, on their career needs. Our members are not looking for one-and-done education. They are brunchwork members for years— bringing their growing insights and connections with them from job to job, company to company.

4. How much does the alt-MBA program cost?

A traditional two-year, MBA program sets students back $200,000, not to mention the opportunity cost of lost wages. Most students sacrifice their financial freedom as they take out massive loans to pay for the degree. No alternative MBA program requires anywhere close to that level of financial sacrifice.

However, some alt-MBA programs cost between $5,000 and $10,000 dollars. That feels like a lot of money to spend on leadership and management training— especially when there are cheaper alternatives to consider.

After all, at this very moment, U.S. unemployment is 15% and the economy is in free fall. $5,000 to $10,000 is still a big hit to your emergency savings fund. It’s a few months of peace of mind.

At brunchwork, we strive to keep our program accessible. As the educator at the fairest price, we also believe we deliver the most value. And, we have flexible monthly payment plans.

As you you weigh your choice for your business education, we hope you find these 4 considerations helpful.

We encourage you to consider brunchwork. At our weekly workshops:

  • Explore cutting-edge ideas with top business leaders

  • Connect with smart peers and experts in intimate sessions

  • Build your business savvy by solving cases

We have passes available for first-timers if you want to check out a session.

You can learn more about brunchwork on our website or by reading our profiles in Business Insider and Fast Company.

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