By Gabriel Kahn
Posted Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013
“The rapid rise of online ‘certificates’ and how they threaten traditional university degree programs.
“It’s nearly impossible to get into MIT, very expensive to enroll there, and exceedingly hard to graduate, which are some of the reasons why MIT degrees are so coveted. But very soon you’ll be able to take a series of online courses in computer science and earn an official certificate from one of the most prestigious engineering schools in the world, all for only a few hundred dollars—and without having to meet any admissions requirements. MIT will be launching these XSeries Certificate programs in the next few months, including one in ‘supply chain management’.
“EdX, which also counts Harvard University, Rice University, and others among its consortium, is not far behind. It, too, is now considering charging for official recognition of completing a single course. ‘We’ve been giving these things away for free, but we’ve always talked about putting a price on it,’ says Anant Agarwal, edX’s president. ‘Every survey tells us that people are willing to pay.'”