The Future of Business Education and Work

Expert Connect Series: The Future of Business Education and Work


LIVE Thursday, December 14

10:00 am EST/3:00 pm GMT

Sign Up Here


These days you cannot easily scale the corporate ladder or start a successful business without some business education. However, the stratospheric cost of a formal MBA program ($100,000 on average) rules out that option for people who do not want to saddle themselves with a mountain of student debt.


In 2013, Laurie Pickard was living in Nicaragua, fresh from a Peace Corps assignment and barely scraping by as a part-time consultant for the local office of the World Bank. Eager to land a full-time job in international development, she felt frustrated that despite her volunteer service, project management work, and two degrees—a BA in Politics from Oberlin College and an MA in Geography from Temple University—she lacked a key job requirement: a first-class business education. But she had little appetite for yet another formal degree program, and even less interest racking up debt to pursue an MBA.


The answer to her dilemma arrived when a friend raved about his recent experience with MOOCs: Massive Open Online Courses. Intrigued, Pickard discovered that she could study management, marketing, finance, accounting, human resources, operations, innovation, and entrepreneurship with professors at the world’s best business schools—for the price of an Internet connection. Inspired, she set out to stitch together enough of these courses to fashion her own tailor-made degree in business. She chronicled the entire journey in a blog called “No-Pay MBA.” Striking a chord with self-starters, career-changers, and entrepreneurs, her blog evolved into a learning community and support group. It also provided the foundation for her new book, DON’T PAY FOR YOUR MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need (AMACOM; November 2, 2017).


In this Expert Connect, Laurie Pickard will discuss her new book, which teaches readers how to tap free or low-cost online resources to assemble a career-launching business education at less than 1/100th of the cost and a quarter of the time required by most business schools.  


What You’ll Learn


  1. About the No-Pay MBA project
  2. Who can benefit from self-directed business education
  • MBA, unbundled and rebundled
    1. Business language and concepts
    2. Business skills
    3. Career planning
    4. Networking
    5. Gaining experience
    6. Job searching
    7. Lifelong Learning


Who Can Benefit


  • Mid-career and early-career professionals, particularly those who pursued undergraduate or graduate studies in non-business subjects but have decided they want to pursue business-oriented career paths.


  • Would-be and established entrepreneurs who believe that business education will help their businesses grow and thrive.


  • University administrators, human resources professionals, and career counselors who wish to keep abreast of the latest developments in higher education.


  • International professionals who are excited about the prospect of studying under professors at the top US and global universities, without the exorbitant tuition costs.


About the Author


Laurie Pickard has written about the subject of self-directed business education for the Financial Times, and has been quoted or profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business, Management Today, TIME, CNN Money, Entrepreneur, and Fortune. She continues to serve as an educational and career advisor to the learners worldwide who read and subscribe to her No-Pay MBA blog ( Although she has well exceeded the traditional B-school curriculum and can “graduate” any time, Pickard remains on the lifelong learning path, with the help of MOOCs, training seminars, and online talks. Her new book is Don’t Pay For Your MBA: The Faster, Cheaper, Better Way to Get the Business Education You Need (AMACOM).


Ask Laurie

If you would like to submit questions for Laurie Pickard in advance of the webinar, please send them to [email protected]


Technical Requirements

You need a computer or smart device with access to the Internet. For optimal viewing, it is best to access the webinar via a wireless or wired high-speed Internet connection.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInEmail to someonePrint this page
Back to archive