EMBA vs MBA: The Best Degree for Your Growth

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There are hundreds of business degree programs offered globally. Navigating the business school landscape is challenging. There are tons of options.

This article will put you on the right path. 

At Quantic School of Business and Technology, we understand how big this decision is. After all, picking the right MBA or Executive MBA will propel your career forward

To help equip you with the information you need to make an informed decision, we’ve developed  a program comparison guide. 

Use it as a tool to determine which program is best suited to your unique situation and desired career outcomes. 

MBA Programs

MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs are most commonly suited to those with less work experience — often, those who have recently graduated. These are people who require more introductory courses in business administration. 

Therefore, MBA candidates are commonly required to maintain a heavier workload and a more demanding schedule during their full-time studies. 

By working on a full-time schedule, MBA programs tend to offer more freedom within the denser school schedule. For instance, selecting electives or choosing a subject specialization or “track.” (Although this is not entirely uncharacteristic of Executive MBA programs, it’s rarer.)

EMBA Programs

Executive MBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) programs are developed with working professionals in mind. Those who want to keep working full time, while advancing their skills.

This is frequently done on a part-time basis. Some schools offer specializations in industries like healthcare and technology; the Quantic Executive MBA’s award-winning curriculum offers elective specializations in management, leadership, entrepreneurship and advanced strategy.

MBA and EMBA Statistics

A good approach to researching which type of program is right for you is by looking at MBA and Executive MBA programs by the numbers—or in business terms, through a cost-benefit analysis. 

Cost of an MBA vs. an EMBA

Approaching your selection of a program through a financial lens is one of the most common methods of analysis. Pursuing  an MBA or Executive MBA costs time and money — it’s a commitment that’s worth taking the time to think about in-depth. 

The key lies in determining which type of program is best suited for where you are in your career, and which stands to be of most benefit to you in terms of career growth. one major difference between Executive MBA and MBA programs is the format of their delivery and associated costs. 

Executive MBA programs, mostly delivered part time, allow students to keep their jobs. This means that Executive MBA candidates can bring in a steady income while they study, thus increasing the ROI of their EMBA degree by reducing its overall cost. 

MBA programs, on the other hand, are most commonly delivered in a full-time format, requiring candidates to put income-earning on hold. They may also require students to incur additional living costs (like room and board), if they have to relocate to pursue the degree. 

Average Age

Executive MBA programs typically attract more mature professionals (with the average EMBA applicant age being 38), with greater work experience. They have competitive résumés and are poised to move into more senior leadership roles with their current employer, change industries, or perhaps, branch out on their own to start a new company. 

MBA applicants, by contrast, tend to be younger (with the average MBA applicant age being 28) and have their applications reviewed on the basis of academic credentials. That said, many programs, including Quantic’s MBA, value unique and sometimes less traditional backgrounds. 

With either program, there are always outliers so one of the most useful ways to determine which program is best for you, is to consider the kind of peers you stand to gain. Will learning alongside those who are just starting out in their careers challenge you? Will you be able to contribute to your cohort in a way that’s valuable and challenges others? These are the types of questions that can help you choose a program that stands to benefit you the most.

Work Experience

Each type of program is delivered with a unique purpose and student needs in mind. 

Executive MBA candidates often compete for admission on the basis of their work experience rather than academic scores. And they are typically required to apply with a minimum of five years’ work experience (though their average work experience is 14 years) and demonstrated managerial or leadership roles. 

MBA applicants, on the other hand, typically compete on their GMAT and academic credentials, as well as their work experience to-date. Quantic’s MBA and Executive MBA, however, do not require students take the GMAT. Both programs require a bachelor’s degree. 

Program Duration

How long an MBA takes to complete depends on the type of program you choose. Executive MBA programs are typically part-time programs that run on weekends and weeknights and vary in duration (between 18 and 24 months, though some take as few as 12 months, like the Quantic Executive MBA); more traditional MBA programs, by comparison, usually take more time, often requiring 4 semesters of full-time study (following a typical university schedule), amounting to two years total (24 months). 

Some online MBA programs are shorter; for instance, the Quantic MBA takes 10 months to complete. Though, this is not an indication of a lighter curriculum — Quantic’s program length is a direct result of its proprietary pedagogy that uses Active Learning to teach. They’ve done away with time-consuming lectures entirely and deliver content via fast-paced, interactive, and personalized modules. Plus, shorter programs  mean you can start earning faster. Quantic’s MBA also has the added benefit of a built-in career network, too, so you’re likely to put your skills to use immediately.

Fees

Whether you choose a traditional MBA or Executive MBA program, the cost of tuition, plus any additional expenses, tends to be substantial. 

As per EMBAC’s 2019 Membership Program Survey, the average executive EMBA cost runs at just under $83,000 (US), though higher tuition costs are not uncommon; many ranked MBA and EMBA programs’ tuition can easily exceed $100,000, and the most prestigious business schools can cost double that (upwards of $200,000). 

MBA programs, on the other hand, while costing somewhat less in tuition (on average $60,000), quickly add up in day-to-day living costs that aren’t offset until graduates return to regular employment. 

Quantic offer’s a hyper-competitive free MBA. How is it free? Tuition is subsidized by the built-in career network, Smartly Talent. Employers pay to recruit from the school’s high-caliber student and alumni network, thus, shifting the burden of tuition costs from student to employer. The Executive MBA, while not free, is just 5% the cost of a traditional program. 

Company Sponsorship

Another stark contrast between the two program formats is funding. 

It’s far more common for Executive MBA candidates to be funded by their employers, while MBAs are typically self-funded. 

This creates a landscape in which MBA students often have more options for applying for scholarship funding, should they invest their time in this additional research and application process. 

It should be stated, though, that over the years schools have begun  to offer more Executive MBA scholarships in response to a changing trend whereby EMBAs are seeing less employer sponsorship and need to be self-funded. Quantic’s Executive MBA offers candidates pathways and resources for employer-funded tuition reimbursement. 

And of course, even for students who are company-funded, conditions may apply, such as requiring that Executive MBA graduates complete a term of employment with the sponsoring company after graduation. Additionally, most require that the school is accredited (Quantic is accredited).

Lifestyle

A student’s lifestyle is heavily influenced by the program they choose to undertake. 

Since Executive MBA candidates tend to have significant and continual work obligations alongside their academic pursuits, course schedules will typically run outside the usual 9-to-5, during what many working professionals consider to be their leisure or personal/family time. This, of course, will also have significant social implications—although course attendance and networking with their newfound community can help fill that social gap. The latter is true for MBA candidates too, who will undoubtedly spend much more time in person with classmates, whether in the classroom, in the library or at networking and MBA events on evenings and weekends.

Because Quantic’s programs are entirely online, it enables both Executive MBA and MBA students to learn on their own schedule, with most students spending between 5-15 hours a week on course work. And with group projects, virtual classrooms for discussion and debate, and optional in-person meet-ups and conferences, there are plenty of opportunities for networking and connecting with fellow peers.

Executive MBA Benefits

Learning Experience

The “E” in EMBA often has prospective students mistaking the EMBA as a more “elite” form of study in comparison to the “more basic” MBA program.

The reality is the two programs are simply designed to suit different kinds of students. They offer different curricula and educational experiences. While much of the core curriculum is shared between the MBA and EMBA, Executive MBAs offer more in the way of advanced courses in C-level management, strategy, and leadership.

MBA programs tend to include more introductory courses for those with less managerial experience with the option to specialize in more focused courses, similar to those seen in an EMBA curriculum. 

Due to constraints on EMBA candidates’ schedules, EMBA programs also offer more classes on the weekends, on some weeknights, and in more condensed formats. 

This results in a program that tends to offer fewer elective options than a typical MBA. However, EMBA cohorts tend to have students from all kinds of backgrounds who bring different experiences, perspectives, and knowledge to the table, which massively enhances the learning experience in its own unique way

Salary Increase?

A Master in Business Administration program offers candidates significant monetary returns upon graduation. 

While salary increases vary by candidate and industry, according to the 2019 Executive MBA Council Survey, EMBA graduates saw an average salary boost of 13.5%. 

While this number is lower compared to MBAs (who by virtue of being younger and earlier in their careers have more to gain in terms of earning potential), the same survey also saw 53% of EMBA candidates reporting that they received more responsibilities, with 40% of those surveyed reporting that they received a promotion during the program. 

There’s no doubt that a degree of either type is well worth pursuing.

Skills Acquired

The skills acquired during study vary by program, depending on the specialties and concentrations  chosen, as well as the type of program. 

The primary skills gained from an EMBA degree are those related to effective leadership, strategy and corporate governance. 

According to the 2019 Executive MBA Council Survey, EMBA graduates reported learning skills that included strategic thinking, decision-making and leadership, in addition to gaining insight into economic factors affecting businesses today, as well as accounting skills and financial acuity. Such skills can help candidates who wish to take their consulting work to the next level, as well as those wanting to move into executive leadership roles and the C-suite within an organization. 

The Quantic School of Business and Technology EMBA prepares students to meet a variety of career aspirations and goals by developing advanced strategy skills, skills in leadership. Watch one student describe their experience here.

Full-Time Job Placement 

The most competitive degrees have gained that reputation by way of the opportunities they afford their graduates, the network and career support. Programs with a strong career network offer candidates avenues to new jobs as well as mentorship opportunities. These are particularly beneficial to students who are hoping to change industry

MBA and Executive MBA Admission Requirements

Because MBA and EMBA programs tend to attract candidates at different stages of their careers, they often differ in their requirements for admission. For instance, most MBA programs require a bachelor’s degree at a minimum. Whereas EMBA programs require more work experience (typically 10 to 15 years).

Since most Executive MBA candidates already have a strong foundation of business experience,, standardized tests like the GMAT (Graduate Management Assessment Test) are less commonly required for admission. 

Conversely, most MBA programs put more emphasis on GMAT scores when reviewing candidates’ eligibility, and, though some programs do waive it, it’s important to know whether you need a GMAT for the MBA as well as the minimum score required to apply. While many Quantic students have taken the GMAT (and scored on par with students at top schools!), it’s not a requirement for admission. 

In the MBA world, application essays are also weighted quite heavily in admissions and some applicants might vie for a spot through more creative approaches (some schools even require video essays). And though most global programs are offered in English, students who aren’t native English speakers are often required to get a minimum score on a standardized language test, such as the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). 

In terms of recommendation letters, both the MBA and EMBA programs often require at least one, if not several. For the Executive MBA, where work-life balance is important, candidates are also required to supply written proof that their current employer actually supports their pursuing the degree. This is true for EMBA applicants who are being sponsored by their employer to study, as well as for those who aren’t, because chances are that candidates will have to do some coordinating with their company (including potentially taking some time off) to complete the program. Quantic’s employer-funded tuition reimbursement program makes this conversation easy with a downloadable guide.

Choosing the Right Program for Your Lifestyle Goals 

The delivery format of a business degree can have huge implications for the success of a candidate during their studies as well as beyond graduation.

In-person programs provide the traditional grounding of an academic environment, but this comes at a premium — higher tuition costs, relocation, and putting a budding career on hold to attend full time

Luckily, competitive online programs are on the rise. They are changing the landscape and reducing the barriers to entry.  Some programs even incorporate cutting edge technology into their Learning Management Systems. For some candidates this is a better option. It increases their competitiveness in the job market,but doesn’t involve a massive investment of time and money. . 

Traditional (On-Campus) MBA/EMBA Programs

Residential programs are a suitable choice for students who wish to be more fully immersed in campus culture. 

On-campus programs also offer candidates more opportunities to network and socialize with their cohort, professors, and the wider academic community outside of their structured MBA or EMBA schedule.

Part-Time MBA/EMBA Programs

A part-time program, whether an EMBA or MBA, is best suited to students who wish to continue working while earning their degrees. Coursework for these programs is most often scheduled on weekends and weeknights. Of course, those choosing this option may find they require a high level of discipline, as their “free time” will be largely occupied by coursework. 

Those with children or other personal commitments and responsibilities may have to assess their priorities during their course of study to ensure they stay organized.

Online MBA/EMBA Programs 

More non-traditional programs, like those delivered online, are gaining popularity, as they offer more flexible schedules and learning environments for the modern student—and with much lower financial barriers. 

By removing overhead costs, these programs can offer a valuable curriculum, experienced faculty, and deep industry expertise at a fraction of the cost of an in-person program (and sometimes even free). 

By virtue of not being overseen by large regulatory bodies, the curriculum of these programs is often more customized and responsive to the changing needs of industry, and not simply academia. 

For example, Quantic EMBA cohorts follow a guided sequence of coursework especially developed by a team of specialists who collaborate with professors from top elite business schools to bring the program to life. Students are offered bite-size lessons and individualized feedback (every eight seconds!) so that they feel supported throughout the course of their studies, in addition to online and in-person group work and networking opportunities that round out the program.

Today’s business professionals are already seeing the signs of a growing remote workforce, heightened interconnectivity, more collaborative tools, and changing operational structures that are altering how we do business globally. 

More flexible online-first programs can be seen as an extension of these wider trends and can, simply by virtue of their delivery format, offer candidates unique insights into the evolving contexts of work as well as the skills necessary to succeed as leaders in this changing environment.

Summary: Choose the Right Degree for Your Career Growth

Is a particular MBA or EMBA program right for you?

That’s the fundamental question. 

To answer it accurately, you need to look at your own eligibility first and foremost (e.g. career maturity, academic experience and work experience). 

After that… you should evaluate your own ability and desire to commit to it.

If you still want to do one, then the delivery format is important. 

You now have the choice of online MBA’s, as well as more traditional full time and part time options. 

Pick one that works for you. 

Your own learning style, lifestyle habits and personal responsibilities and commitments — these things play a large role in what you get out of whatever format you choose. 

Not everyone is primed for success right out of the gate.

So do your due diligence and learn from those who did it right

That way, you can select the program that will give you the highest chance of success. 

The business degree landscape is full of success stories. 

Will you be next? READ THE CASE STUDY.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Quantic’s Online MBA Program

Let’s face it, earning an MBA can be a big ask. Sure, it can help advance your career and provide the leadership skills and professional network you need to get to the top of your field, but traditional MBA programs often require a two-year hiatus from your job and can include a $200k price tag. This is a tall order for many working professionals in the United States who are already suffocating under the weight of student debt. 

The financial aid debt clock shows a nationwide deficit of almost $1.7 trillion, and we are beginning to hear dire stories about the impacts of student debt on family formation, small business creation, home purchases, and retirement. And in Europe, markets across the EU have been clamoring for MBA grads since 2010 when education requirements were standardized in the Bologna Process. Embarking upon a two-years master’s degree program after earning a bachelor’s has become the “standard across the continent.”

The bottom line: More and more employers want you to earn a master’s degree, but doing so could have a sizable impact on your earnings, livelihood, and even your future family. 

This is where Quantic School of Business and Technology comes in.

Quantic’s online MBA program was developed by leading academic and business minds and designed to accommodate working professionals. It is a fully online program so yes, it is flexible and convenient. But that is not what makes it unique. Check out the 10 things you didn’t know about Quantic’s programs. 

Quantic’s Technological Advantage

1. Executive leaders were key players at Rosetta Stone

Quantic School of Business and Technology brings together the collective knowledge and experience of Rosetta Stone’s former CEO (Tom Adams) and executive leadership team, including Co-founders, Alexie Harper (Chief Academic Officer) and Ori Ratner (CTO), as well as VP of Admissions, Matt Schenck. If you have ever used Rosetta Stone, you know its interactive language-learning technology set the bar for usability and knowledge retention back in the early 2000s.  

What this means for students: Quantic’s leadership pedigree is unmatched in the educational tech space. It is an organization that understands wholeheartedly the tools that best allow students to learn, retain, and master educational material.

2. Active learning increases engagement and retention

Quantic has built a more efficient and engaging online teaching model. The company has witnessed the shortcomings of MOOC programs and the inefficacy of “video professor” lectures that so many traditional universities have used to increase their online presence.

In a recent independent study, Quantic learners outperformed their counterparts from Harvard, Duke, and Wharton in standardized tests covering accounting and finance. A second study comparing Quantic learners to those enrolled in popular MOOCs, Khan Academy and edX, reported Quantic students scoring significantly higher on statistics testing while spending 67 percent less time on the platform. 

How are these results possible? Quantic designed its MBA programs around “active learning,” an approach that requires active participation (vs. passive) of the student, prompting them to engage with content every 8 seconds. Students are given immediate feedback based on their performance and the material is built on previously learned subject matter.

Active learning isn’t a new concept, in fact, it was pioneered by Maria Montessori in early childhood education, Maximillian Berlitz in immersion language learning, and Shinichi Suzuki in music study. Its benefits and efficacy have been exhaustively studied and are proven to be more effective than passive, lecture-based learning alone.

What this means for students: Quantic’s MBA program was created using pioneering learning methods and designed to keep students more engaged, learn subject matter faster, and retain material more efficiently. 

3. Mobile-first means access to cutting-edge material

Quantic School of Business and Technology conceived and built its MBA and Executive MBA programs as mobile-first options from the outset to provide students with a better learning experience that was conducive to their busy schedules. Of course, it is convenient to be able to take classes via your mobile devices, but the mobile-first approach also provides an academic advantage.

Quantic’s agile platform allows for rapid development of new, cutting-edge courses in innovative fields, while traditional MBA programs typically develop curriculum in emerging fields at a slower pace due to bureaucratic and logistical hurdles. This sluggishness to adapt is why some have argued that traditional schools are teaching skills more apt for 20th century businesses than today’s. On the other hand, Quantic recently began developing a computer science degree program as well as courses on blockchain, cultural intelligence, and design thinking. What’s more? Graduates have lifetime access to all existing courses and new courses as they’re released.

What this means for students: Quantic’s mobile-first, tech-driven approach enables it to quickly adapt to offer courses in emerging fields so you are always at the forefront of today’s business and tech environment.   

Quantic School of Business and Technology Accepts Only the Most Committed Learners 

4. Ultra-competitive admissions cultivates a powerful student and alumni network

Quantic accepts only about 7 percent of applicants to its online MBA program. Its philosophy is to attract the best and brightest business minds and give them the tools they need to build a better world through intelligent and modern business practices.  

Many online educators have admissions policies that are designed to attract everyone and while they may be well intentioned, open or lax admissions policies ultimately hurt the students enrolling in the program, as evidenced by plummeting graduation rates and poor outcomes. Quantic is built differently. Its aim is to provide students access to an ecosystem of the world’s leading professionals and cultivate an environment where students can connect, collaborate, and solve complex business problems. The goal is for each student feel part of a tight-knit community of learners who help motivate, challenge and learn from one another.

Quantic counts among its students a former White House Fellow, roboticists for Tesla and Amazon, a tea magnate who donates revenue to indigenous farmers, and four students named to Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” list.

What this means for students: Strict admissions standards ensure that students admitted to the program are deeply committed to their studies, capable of completing and excelling in the coursework, and can bring valuable contributions to their cohort.

5. Students can graduate in 12 months or less

Quantic’s degree programs are fully online and designed to give working professionals the skills and experience they need to achieve their goals and advance their careers. The free MBA is a 10 month program, while the Executive MBA is 12 months

The secret to Quantic’s reduced time to graduation is twofold: First, the active learning model makes coursework not only more enjoyable, but it’s more effective and faster than passively absorbing information via lecture. Thus, students learn more, quicker. Second, Quantic only accepts students that are truly driven and committed to deepening their skill set. 

What this means for students: Do not mistake a reduced time to completion for a pushover program. Quantic’s MBA and Executive MBA are extremely competitive and students need to demonstrate they are committed to the coursework, comfortable with a rigorous academic program, and dedicated to achieving their goals. 

Quantic Prioritizes Network Building & Job Placement

6. ‘Network First’ approach prioritizes collaboration with peers

Early on, the founders of Quantic School of Business and Technology identified a glaring omission in how many online educators ran their programs. Unlike traditional, residential programs with deep, connected alumni groups, there was no network or peer interaction to speak of – students learned in isolation and graduated in a silo. Quantic is different, as it is a “network first” business school, which means, like traditional programs, Quantic students are provided myriad opportunities to interact with their peers and classmates, online and face-to-face. Frequent interaction and peer-to-peer learning among students is the norm, not the exception. And for the Executive MBA, a valuable addition to the curriculum comes in the form of weekend-long conferences filled with workshops, case studies, and opportunities to interact with leading business executives. 

Quantic’s learning platform enables students to discuss course material, debate points of view, and collaborate on group projects in real-time or in staggered sessions. But its commitment to network building doesn’t end on the computer screen. 

In 2019, Quantic hosted more than 60 regional events in 36 cities across the world, including San Francisco, London, Lagos, Perth, Taipei, Vienna, and Sydney. Moreover, it hosted weekend conferences in Dublin, Singapore, and Washington D.C.

Executive MBA students in attendance at the Singapore weekend conference.

What this means for students: If you thought Quantic would be another anonymous MOOC program that you can pop in and out of at your leisure, think again. You’ll be given opportunities to experience the world and interact with leading business professionals. But, you are responsible for your own success and will be held accountable by your cohort in group projects. 

7. The first online institution to tie its business model to job placement 

Most online educators spend very little time building hiring platforms or scaling career services because, frankly, low admissions standards tend to lead to high program abandonment and low graduation rates. Those online educators have little incentive for placing students because there is no revenue attached to those efforts. 

Quantic has tied its business reputation and financial viability to strategically placing students in promising careers. Smartly Talent, Quantic’s proprietary hiring engine, requires businesses to pay to recruit Quantic students. It is a structure that shifts tuition and the job-hunting burdens of cost, time, and stress from the student to the employer. 

Smartly Talent is also highly selective and requires employers to apply to access its network of students. Employers are only granted access to the platform if they can demonstrate the ability to provide high-quality placement opportunities for students and alumni.

What this means for students: Nobody is going to gift you an MBA at Quantic but their success depends on your success. If you can commit to the curriculum and coursework, they will do everything they can to ensure you are prepared to take on new challenges in your current role, or help place you in a new career that is right for you.   

8. Active outplacement provides opportunities near and far 

Both employers and students have fully bought into the effectiveness of partnering via the Smartly Talent platform. Students are actively browsing job opportunities, communicating with employers, and frequently returning to find newly posted jobs.

While the network of employers continues to grow, more than 2,200 have applied for access to the Smartly Talent platform. And those that have been approved and are consistently posting jobs. Most employers are based in the U.S. but around 1,500 positions have been posted in 38 other countries, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, and the Netherlands.

What this means for students: Earning an MBA is about learning the business principles that will help you become a leader in your field and allow you to take advantage of high-profile opportunities when they arise. Quantic’s talent platform is tailor-made to partner ambitious students with opportunities that will help them shine. 

Quantic Offers Two Affordable Paths to an MBA

9. The Free MBA 

The free MBA is aimed at early-career professionals who show an aptitude for business leadership. Specifically, the program requires a bachelor’s degree, a minimum of two years of industry experience, and English language proficiency. This program values but does not require business experience.

Cost of tuition: Free

Time to completion: 10 months

10. Executive MBA

The Executive MBA is suited for experienced professionals with more than five years of industry experience who want to enhance their leadership skills. Students can specialize in management, entrepreneurship, or advanced business strategy. This program awards merit and need-based scholarships on a case-by-case basis and works with employers to provide tuition reimbursement to help off-set or cover the cost.   

Cost of tuition: $9,600

Time to completion: 12 months

What this means for students: Starting a new life or building a new career does not have to come with a mountain of new debt. If you are willing to work hard, stay focused, and take advantage of the programs available to you, a debt-free, top-tier MBA is within your reach. 

The Big Takeaway

If you’re among the tens of thousands of prospective MBA or Executive MBA students out there weighing your options and asking yourself if an online MBA is worth it, don’t worry, we get it. It’s a big decision and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

If you can afford to take two years off from work, add up to $200k (or more) to your debt load, and relocate to the city in which a top-notch residential program is located, you should do it, you won’t be alone. Thousands of other people make that same decision every year. 

But, if you’re not willing to take on that kind of shakeup in your life and still want a top-tier MBA, keep a few things in mind. Quantic’s online MBA program is changing the landscape of higher education. Its curriculum is created by leading academic and business professionals and its teaching methods are rooted in a pedagogy that is proven to be more effective across cultures and throughout history. 

Earning a degree from the Quantic School of Business and Technology also makes financial sense. Its partnership with employers subsidizes the cost of tuition for students and has built its business model around ensuring students find high-profile opportunities. 

Is an online MBA worth it? We think so. Set up an account to apply to one of our MBA programs or sample a few free courses.

Meet Linda, one of Quantic’s experts in probability and statistics

Who says statistics isn’t exciting? Through fun scenarios and images, like the above from Quantic’s Advanced Statistics Inference course, Linda Richard is helping to re-brand statistics for thousands of learners! Linda, one of Quantic’s content creators in the field of probability and statistics, has a background in business and education and currently resides in the Netherlands. She believes that statistics is an important subject to understand because it touches so many disciplines including business, medicine, and foreign policy.

In this post, we catch up with Linda to learn what she’s working on and why she decided to join Quantic.

1. What’s your name, and where are you based?

Linda Richard.

Currently I live in the Netherlands due to my husband’s work. Before that, I lived in Seattle, and before that, New York, North Carolina, and Minnesota!

2. How long have you been writing for Quantic?

About 2 years.

3. What’s your professional and educational background?

I have a Bachelor’s in Math, a Master’s in Operations Research (a field of applied math), and a Master’s in Teaching. I worked in business for almost 10 years before changing careers to teaching. Then I taught high school math in Seattle for 6 years before moving abroad. I keep my fingers in the public education sphere through projects with Washington State and other high school curriculum organizations.

4. How and why did you start writing for Quantic?

When we moved to Europe, I wanted to find work that would allow flexible hours for traveling and other fun living-abroad-activities, but still be part of the education world. Pedago was looking for math content developers, which was right in my wheelhouse.

5. What are some of the courses and subjects that you’ve written about in Quantic?

I’ve written lots of statistics and probability lessons, as well as Excel lessons. Recently I’ve started writing lessons on coding with Python, which is a whole ‘nother challenge!

6. Why do you think it’s important for students to understand statistics?

Statistics is probably the most important field of math that most people will interact with after they finish their schooling. Statistics are used to make decisions on health, education, foreign policy, and of course in business. Stats can so easily be mis-used, intentionally or not, so having a solid knowledge base to question and understand this topic is really critical for workers and citizens.

7. What’s the hardest concept you’ve had to communicate (so far), and what was it like to try and distill it for the Quantic platform?

The probability concepts of Bayes’ Rule and the Law of Total Probability were challenging to communicate. Visual illustrations, concrete real-world examples, and spending prep time building up learners’ intuition on these concepts were the strategies. We focused on conceptual understanding rather than on formula memorization – a formula can always be looked up, but if the foundational understanding isn’t there, no formula can help you! The Law of Total Probability, for example, looks like a fairly incomprehensible, complicated formula at first glance, but it’s really just a weighted average.

8. What do you admire about Quantic learners?

With people’s busy lives, it can be hard to find the motivation and the time to take on education projects. People taking Quantic classes are doing so on their own initiative, to advance their learning and their careers.

9. What do you do to keep your learners in mind?

With my background in teaching, I’ve learned how to monitor my own thinking. When you’re teaching content that you know well, you have to be alert for concepts that seem “obvious,” but only feel that way because you’ve been working with them for a long time. Especially in math–there are a lot of embedded concepts that need to be carefully unpacked for people unfamiliar with the topics.

I also try to incorporate visuals and concrete examples wherever possible, knowing that people have different learning styles. The interactive nature of the Quantic platform of course helps with this too!

10. What’s one of your favorite storylines (or characters) used in one of your courses in Quantic?

For the Advanced Statistical Inference courses, we created a fictional winter sports equipment company. It allowed a lot of room for examples with testing equipment, sampling customer preferences, and analyzing market schemes. Plus, my editor, Ellie, found great images with gorgeous snow-covered mountains, and we were able to have some fun putting our characters in situations involving competitive snowball tournaments!

11. What’s your favorite whimsical or snarky answer message you’ve written in Quantic?

Definitely it’s the Monty Python references in the Python lessons. Some are obvious but some are hidden a bit more deeply! Spam and eggs; hovercrafts full of eels; dead parrots; the possibilities are endless.

12. What’s one of your favorite images used in one of your courses in Quantic?

Two come to mind from the Advanced Statistical Inference course. In this capstone lesson, the scenario is that all the experts on statistics at a company, except for the learner, are out of the office with the flu. All the junior analysts are panicked and looking for help. My editor, Ellie, found/created images which put a smile on my face and hopefully the learner’s too!

Meet our Newest Content Developer

John Riehl, one of Smartly’s newest content creators, is a former Air Force officer and current sailing instructor who knows a thing or two about computers.

John Riehl, one of Quantic’s newest content creators, is a former Air Force officer and current sailing instructor who knows a thing or two about computers. He’s writing a new computer science curriculum for Quantic, scheduled for release in 2018.

In this post, we catch up with John to learn what he’s working on and why he decided to join Quantic. Find out why he believes developers should go back to basics and what distinguishes the Quantic computer science curriculum from others on the market.

1. What’s your name, and where are you based?

John Riehl, and I’m based in Port Charlotte, Florida. It’s about 90 miles south of Tampa, on the Gulf Coast.

2. How long have you been writing for Quantic?

I started in August of 2017. I’m coming up on four months, so I’m still a newbie!

3. What’s your professional and educational background?

I graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a BS in Computer Engineering in 1989. I went to school on an ROTC scholarship, so I went on active duty in the Air Force after graduation. I stayed in 26 years, working in a variety of jobs closely related to computer technology—but nothing actually hands-on in terms of building or programming computers. During my time in the Air Force I picked up a Master’s in Computer Engineering along with Master’s Degrees in Air and Space Studies and National Resource Management.

4. How and why did you start writing for Quantic?

After I retired from the Air Force I wanted to get back to my technical roots in computer science. I came across Quantic, and it seemed like the perfect fit—share my knowledge and with the next generation of IT professionals while working from home on a flexible schedule. I appreciated Quantic’s innovative approach to education and was (and am) excited to play a small part in equipping the workforce of tomorrow with the skills they’ll need to succeed.

5. What are some of the subjects that you’ve written about in Quantic?

I’m working on a new curriculum for Quantic—Computer Science. What’s interesting about the course is that we’re striking what I think is a great balance between theoretical underpinnings and practical application. There are a lot of online courses for computer programming, but most of them focus just on the practical aspects—how to arrange instructions in a particular programming language to get a program to run. When it comes time for the learner to expand in a new direction or handle a novel situation they’re not as well-equipped as they would be without some fundamentals under their belt. On the other end of the spectrum is a typical four-year computer science program, which builds an extensive theoretical foundation at the expense of time (and money) getting the student to market, as it were.

6. Why do you think it’s important for students to understand computer science?

It’s not an overstatement to say that IT has fundamentally changed the world we live in. Given its impact, it’s important for those involved with building IT capabilities to get things right. A programmer without the right fundamentals is like a chef who doesn’t know what his or her ingredients taste like. Both can follow a recipe and put something together, but the result might not be very good. In the case of computer programs, it could be very bad indeed. Here’s a story about how not knowing the fundamentals created an unintended result. Imagine if that counter had been for something related to scheduled maintenance on a nuclear reactor.

7. What’s the hardest concept you’ve had to communicate (so far), and what was it like to try and distill it for the Quantic platform?

In general, the toughest part for me has been figuring out what the right level of detail is for a concept. For example, when you talk about digital videos you can range from “a video is a series of still images” to “here are the technical details of each of the over 100 different video compression formats in use today.” Finding what the learner needs to know, narrowing the scope down to the most important elements, and presenting it in a way that doesn’t make it a rote memorization exercise is always a challenge.

8. What do you admire about Quantic learners?

It seems to me that Quantic learners are self-starters who are willing to break with convention to improve their knowledge and marketability. They could “play it safe” by getting the standard college degree. Instead, they see an opportunity to be part of a new approach. Those kinds of people will take that same spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship with them into the marketplace, making things better for all of us.

9. What do you do to keep your learners in mind?

I must confess that I’m still working on this. Too often I’ll assume that a concept is obvious—after all, it’s obvious to me! I rely extensively on the Quantic review process to identify when I’ve leapt too far. I do my best to keep the lessons interesting. Having taken many online courses myself, I’m well aware that it’s very easy to get distracted with email, Facebook, etc. if the material is dry.

10. Anything else you’d like to mention?

I can’t speak for other content developers, but one great side benefit for writing educational content is the learning I do along the way. The process of articulating concepts that I have in my mind forces me to think through them in greater detail than I did when initially learning them. There have been a few times when things I thought I knew turned out to be based on bad assumptions and mental short-cuts that I shouldn’t have been taking. Bottom line—the work is fun and fulfilling from a personal perspective, and rewarding from the perspective of doing something that will have greater benefits down the road.

To our pioneer class: Congratulations on your graduation, MBAs!

After comprehensive academic study, extensive case study discussions, and rigorous exams—they’ve done it.

After comprehensive academic study, extensive discourse in our case study discussions, and the completion of rigorous exams, they’ve done it—graduated from a new elite MBA program that’s the only mobile-first degree system.

Smartly’s MBA is aligned with curricula taught at the world’s most prestigious business schools, and our students are selected through an admission process modeled on those of top institutions. Graduates will enjoy the gains from their studies over a lifetime. Indeed, many already point to real world gains from the program.

We congratulate our pioneers on their accomplishment and wish them the very best in their endeavors! But enough of us and our excitement, let’s hear from our students themselves:

Smartly makes it easy for you to demystify the business world. It presents concepts and knowledge in ways that are applicable to any field and can help you have a greater understanding of the world around you. There is no reason not to use Smartly to better yourself. I can’t believe I went to two universities for undergraduate and graduate school, and never learned what Smartly offered.Erin Pellegrino (Cornell University ‘14, Harvard University ‘16, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly’s flipped classroom model was accessible to me everywhere I went, even if I only had 10 minutes. The format engaged me more than most classes I’ve taken in person. I’ve had the chance to get to know amazing classmates, and I feel better equipped to tackle real-world problems with the knowledge I’ve gained.Sachin Doshi (Duke University ‘14, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Finding out about Smartly and deciding to apply is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I had taken the GMAT, done really well on it, and been considering applying to MBA programs but was wary of the time commitment and the student debt involved. And because I’d started and failed with multiple startups in the past and trying once again with another startup as a stubborn entrepreneur, a traditional MBA was simply too difficult of a choice. Thanks to Smartly, on top of having a degree, I now understand many of the business mistakes I had made in the past, how to assess my own strengths, and can see where I can improve my chances for success as an entrepreneur. If only Smartly had existed before I’d started my other companies… but then perhaps I wouldn’t appreciate it as much.Raphael Mun (Carnegie Mellon ‘08, Smartly Summer ‘16)

This MBA will put you at the forefront of business innovation because that’s exactly what it will be to employers.Chance Carpenter (Stanford University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

The Smartly program is an excellent tool for learning the skills needed to excel in business without attending a traditional university. After just a few courses, I already felt more confident at work and had a better understanding of company operations and business development. I would highly recommend Smartly to anyone looking to improve their skills in finance, accounting, marketing and management.Jennifer Argote (Dartmouth ‘10, Smartly Summer ‘16)

As a single mother of a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old, working a full-time job and a part-time job on the side, this program has made the impossible possible for me. I don’t currently have the time or the money to go back to school, but Smartly’s flexibility has allowed me to achieve this great accomplishment without having to compromise my employment or sacrifice time with my family.Aleisha Matlock (Northwestern ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

I loved Smartly! As an undergraduate engineering major with very little business knowledge, I found the coursework to be straightforward and do a great job of teaching application of the concepts. I have already found myself applying my knowledge every day in my current job!Katie Ernst (Duke University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly is the future of education; fast, effective and mobile. If a traditional MBA doesn’t fit your lifestyle, give Smartly a look.Ian Lee (University of North Carolina ‘12, Smartly Summer ‘16, Carnegie Mellon University ‘17)

Smartly was an amazing experience! The platform’s ability to deliver content in bite-sized, case study-based, at-your-own-pace approach really helped me engage with the material and take a lot away from this program. I know I’ll put the skills I learned here to use on the job. All that and a debt burden of $0!Pavel Gurevich (UC Berkeley ‘10, Smartly Summer ‘16)

I loved the Smartly program and recommended it to all my friends. I have never experienced interactive learning the way the Smartly program provides. I was able to understand concepts without reading hundreds of textbook pages. Highly recommended this to anybody who has an interest in learning and wants to take their career to the next level!Lindsey Allard (Dartmouth College ‘14, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly has given me the opportunity to not only work alongside incredibly talented classmates from around the country but also to solidify concepts in a tangible and meaningful way, wherever I am, all via smartphone. Thank you, Smartly!Brooke Gerstein (Cornell University ‘15, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Smartly is the Amazon Prime of MBAs. There’s no reason not to sign up for it. It’s free, the content is highly detailed and memorable, and you get to expand your network with people from top 10 schools. Coming from taking finance courses at Wharton, I found the content of the courses to be of similar caliber.Yash Jain (George Washington University ‘14, University of Pennsylvania ‘16, Smartly Summer ‘16)

Learn more about applying to Smartly’s MBA: https://smart.ly.
Learn more about hiring students from our program: https://smart.ly/hiring.

 

Statistics is music to our ears

Two Smartly content authors join forces to give you this sweeping ode to statistical correlation: The Correlation Song.

Here at Smartly, we’ve purposefully built a team of polymaths: our business knowledge and experience extend from corporate governance to market research to advanced statistics and beyond. Our educational backgrounds are equally broad: we’ve got a Ph.D. linguist and a Ph.D. mathematician cum classicist, a philosopher, a handful of historians, a quartet of computer science wizards—the list goes on. We even have a Ph.D. archeologist (Indiana Jones, anyone?).

So I guess it’s no surprise that our team’s other skills and interests also run the gamut: from marketing associate Karina’s expertise in fashion to co-founder Alexie’s mastery of Italian to content creator Ray’s homemade doll houses.

For Ellie and I (both members of the content team), our other skill is music: Ellie as a shredding bassist and gifted singer on the San Fran scene, and I as a Latin Grammy-nominated recording engineer and composer (hi, Mom!) based in LA.

Last week, we joined forces to give you this, The Correlation Song. Ellie, our top statistics author/editor, was so inspired by her love of stats that she wrote and sang this sweeping ode to correlation. I am honored to have simply helped bring the track to life. We hope you enjoy these warm—and educational!—vibes from the West Coast. And don’t hesitate to share this song with others: being social and being successful are strongly correlated.

P.S.—Make sure to check out our course Two-Variable Statistics, the inspiration for this dope cut.