Note: This is a paid review.
Kaplan Distance Learning asked for a review on their UK Distance Learning product. You may have heard the name Kaplan before as they are a very popular preparatory course offerer for graduate school admissions tests and the like. The company itself is quite large and is in fact owned by the Washington Post.
The particular website they asked me to review was for their online foundation degree courses:
1. Business and Management Foundations Degree
2. Entrepreneurship Foundation Degree
3. Marketing and Sales Management Foundation Degree
4. Internet Marketing Foundation Degree
These degrees are aimed at those who are already in the workforce who are looking for an educational program that can accomodate today’s hectic schedules. For those who feel like they are stuck in a rut and cannot afford to stop working to enrol in a traditional bricks and mortar classroom environment, this is a viable option for career enhancement although I imagine it won’t have nearly the currency of an MBA (these foundation degrees afford you the FdA designation instead). There may be some stigma associated with online learning and certainly for any programs in management, I believe a major benefit missing is the instant network you can create (for example with a traditional MBA program).
However, costs of traditional programs are shooting through the roof and the reduced costs of online programs are becoming more and more mainstream. Kaplan is certainly a leader in North American prep courses, and by teaming up with the University of Essex they may be gaining a competitive advantage over other distance learning programs. Foundation degrees are native to the UK, so they may have limited transferability to North America.
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