Jack Welch Launches Online Biz School

BusinessWeek reports that Jack Welch, the esteemed former CEO of General Electric, has announced that he will open his own online MBA program. For $20,000 the Jack Welch Management Institute, which officially opens in the fall, will offer $600 per credit hour tuition, which means you can get your MBA from Jack for about $20,000. Is this a great idea?


Well, it's certainly great timing. In the recession, applications to grad school are up across the board and the price tag of your average MBA program can run over $100,000. By offering a cheap online alternative, Welch is hoping to attract businesspeople who don't want to move or necessarily even leave their job to get an business degree.

Since the vision of Welch and his wife will animate the curriculum, one can generally anticipate the thrust of the school's philosophy. Welch was a strong believer in a business strategy called Six Sigma, whereby extreme talents are aggressively sought, identified and promoted while "defects" are eliminated. Welch, the BW article notes, was ruthless about firing underperforming managers.

But despite the impact Welch is sure to have on the online education world, it goes without saying that in education -- business school, especially -- the name is everything. Top schools like Harvard and Northwestern have spent years developing their reputation as first-stops for the future business and marketing leaders in the country. Their ability to attract talented teachers and talented students is also a virtuous cycle. When successful alumni graduate, they take the name with them and send a fraction of their high salaries back. This is how great schools are made and maintained. Jack Welch is indeed a name, but I expect it will take some time for the Jack Welch Management Institute to become a brand.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Business

Just In