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Should Graduate Degrees Be Earned on Facebook? Should Graduate Degrees Be Earned on Facebook?

Should Graduate Degrees Be Earned on Facebook?

by Amanda M. Fairbanks
December 1, 2010

In The Social Network, Justin Timberlake, who plays Napster's founder Sean Parker, proclaims: "In the beginning we lived in caves. Then we lived in houses. Now, we’ll live on the Internet."

And now, apparently, we'll also earn graduate degrees on Facebook.

Today's Times reports that the London School of Business and Finance Global M.B.A., which bills itself as “the world’s first internationally recognized M.B.A. to be delivered through a Facebook application,” is not only open for business but already claiming to enroll 30,000 active users.

Users can test drive the program free of cost, taking courses in such things as corporate finance, strategic planning, and ethics. A fee is only incurred if they opt to take an exam for credit. In total, the Facebook Global M.B.A. degree, which is certified by the University of Wales, amounts to a $23,000 investment.

Granted, statistics for online M.B.A. programs aren't great. “Fewer than one in four students who begin an online M.B.A. ever graduate," explains Aaron Etingen, its founder. One way of increasing the graduate rate in one of his existing online programs requires that distance learners show up in person several times during the course of the semester. Such an option is clearly not viable for the Facebook application.

All of which begs a larger question: Should graduate degrees be earned on Facebook? And do you find such a program to be as credible as, say, a traditional degree-granting institution?

Photo (cc) via Flickr user Robert Scoble

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