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EdTech: Google Latest Tech Company To Edge Into Online Business Education

Search giant launches digital degree for tech entrepreneurs

Wed Oct 28 2015

Google has become the latest big tech company to edge into business schools’ territory with the recent launch of a mini online degree for tech entrepreneurs.

The search giant’s push into the nascent educational technology market follows the recent $1.5 billion purchase of online learning company Lynda.com by LinkedIn, which could see management courses hosted on the social network. It also comes as business schools strive to offer a market to entrepreneurs.

Google’s partnership with Udacity, one of the top Mooc or massive open online course providers, will bear a four-to-seven-month long digital course on how to design, validate, prototype, monetize, and market a tech start-up. It is priced at up to $1,400.

The Silicon Valley based company has signed up big-wigs of the start-up scene to develop the program, including Kevin Hale, a partner at Y-Combinator, the San Francisco accelerator that backed Airbnb and Dropbox, and Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube, now owned by Google.

All of the raw content is free — but Udacity provides additional paid services, such as access to coaches, career counselling, and a certificate upon completion of the course, costing $200 a month.

Top graduates of the Tech Entrepreneur Nanodegree program will be able to pitch their final product to venture capitalists at Google.

Udacity’s Nanodegree’s are part of a growing set of monetized online courses on everything from finance to marketing that are said to be disrupting business education.

But Oliver Cameron, VP of engineering and product at Udacity, told BusinessBecause: “We expect online education and traditional education to coexist, supplement and increasingly intertwine with one another in the coming decades.”

The announcement follows news of a growing pool of entrepreneurs warming to formal business education, and word that top business schools are developing new courses for the swelling number of MBAs launching companies.  

Jeff Skinner, executive director for the Deloitte Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at London Business School, said many students at LBS go on to “create very successful enterprises”.

“We make extensive use of entrepreneurs on our courses,” he said, adding that for the Entrepreneurship Summer School LBS recruits 50 successful entrepreneurs to act as mentors to students.

The flurry of business-related online programs offered by Mooc developers such as Coursera, edX or ALISON, however, is increasingly viewed as an alternative to schools' expensive and often longer business masters degrees.

Julia Stiglitz, director of business development at Coursera, which has nearly 16 million online learners, said: “Traditional degrees will remain as relevant and important as ever for the foreseeable future. But online learning will continue to emerge as a new category that propels lifelong personal and career growth.”

Simon Nelson, chief executive of FutureLearn, the online learning company with two million users, said there are large elements of business school and university education that “can’t be replicated online”. But he added that online learning can make the experience of studying for a degree more flexible, convenient, and affordable.

“We are just scratching the surface,” he said.

Google’s online degree for tech entrepreneurs will ultimately be proved a success or flop by the fortunes of its graduates.

However, while many MBA programs still pump students into investment banks and consultancy firms, an increasing number lay claim to greatly successful entrepreneurs.

Graduates of Spain’s IE Business School, for example, have raised $360 million in venture capital for 39 start-up companies; at HEC Paris the figure is $275 million for 42 start-ups.

INSEAD, another top business school, has produced 165 start-ups that have raised funding of $1.9 billion. These include BlaBlaCar, the French ridesharing start-up that recently secured $200 million based on a valuation of €1.4 billion, and MongoDB, a US database company that was valued at around $2 billion this year.  

Student Reviews

HEC Paris




On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.




On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.




On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.





Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.




On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.




On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.




On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.





A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!




On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.