Should I Pursue my Executive Education or go for upskill courses like Udemy, Up Grad, Springboard, Talent Edge?

In this forum here, let us look at a few options for continued learning and upgrading skill sets in order to enhance your career prospects. You can choose a course customised to your future requirements, including where you are headed in the next few years of your career.

Whether you work for a corporate conglomerate or a start-up, or if you are an entrepreneur, might be some of the deciding factors in choosing a programme.   

What is an Executive Education? 

Executive education or an Executive MBA (EMBA) is a graduate level programme meant especially for people who wish to acquire a professional degree while continuing to work in a regular full-time job. This course is aimed at enhancing the skill sets and improving the career prospects of executives. It is offered by almost all the top B Schools both in India and globally. 

How different is it from a full-time MBA programme? 

In the same lines as those of regular MBA programmes, the EMBA course structure gives a wide exposure to managerial skills. It helps in whetting your analytical skills, and strengthening leadership acumen while honing your business expertise.

The duration and fee structure are also similar to those of a full-time programme. Depending on the B school and the course, it may take a good one year or even two years. The fees may go into lakhs of rupees, and may again vary from college to college. 

This is well worth its salt in case your employer sponsors the programme. Your employer may even prove supportive in other areas like relaxing work deadlines or assuaging work pressure, while considering the time you need to invest in the programme. 

Who should purse an EMBA?

An executive who wishes to forge ahead in his career must upgrade himself / herself with a degree in business management. If you have the means to meet the fees and can commit over a year or two, an EMBA is not just a glossy acronym on your resume, but can also give you a comprehensive knowhow in business management.

It is ideally suited to anyone who is looking to do a business management programme from a good institute without taking a break from his / her existing job. 

What is the pay-off?                                                                                                                             Once you successfully complete the programme, your career graph will definitely take an upward turn. You may be promoted in your existing organization, or even get offers from other firms for a more senior role with a substantially bigger pay cheque.

The point of worry is news of big corporates in India now shying away from sending their executives for executive education. 

What is Udemy?

Udemy is an American online learning platform. It caters to professionals and students who take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. It covers a wide range of subjects, and you can look for a course that is almost tailor-made for your exact requirements.

The fee structure may vary, and students generally avail of discounts in the fees – as good as 90% sometimes – which pay off in the long run. Their unique selling proposition (USP) is that the course is available to you for life. 

They don’t let you change the course once you enroll, so spend some time in selecting the one best suited to your exact requirement.  Look out for the free coupons / discounts before you pay the fees.

Who should do a course in Udemy?

Beginners who want to embellish their technical knowledge, while still engaged at a workplace or business enterprise could choose a course that is tailor-made to his / her needs in the business. 

Why Udemy 

The upside – the course can be used lifelong. The down sides – one, the courseware may not be comprehensive; two, you don’t know whether the instructor is professionally trained to tutor you. 

How about UpGrad? 

UpGrad is an Indian online higher education course. It is the official education partner for the Government of India, a Startup India program. The EdTech company offers online programs to working professionals, college students, and corporates in various fields. 

Whom does UpGrad fit? 

A student looking for a job, a working professional, an entrepreneur, or anyone who is interested in upgrading themselves in technical fields or learning new skill sets. 

How will UgGrad benefit me?

UpGrad can be the answer to someone who is particular about experienced, well-trained faculty. They boast of great pedagogy, and you are assured of an in-depth course as well as top-of-the-line faculty from some of the best institutes like IIT-B and BITS Pilani. Besides, you get a mentor to guide you all the way through the course. Flip side?  It may prove expensive and quite time-consuming.

What is Springboard?

Springboard offers bespoke online tech courses. A mentor supports the student not only through the course, but also in getting through job interviews and successful placements. 

Who could enroll in Springboard?

Any student or working executive, or a businessman who wants to beef up his / her technical knowhow, looking to get an edge on coding, data science, machine learning, can look at Springboard as a learning platform. 

What are the pluses and minuses of Springboard? 

The plus side is, they promise you a placement, or offer to refund your fees in case you don’t get placed. But do read the fine print. The minuses can be the exorbitant fees, and if you are unlucky, you may not get the best of faculty. 

How does Talentedge work?

Talentedge is an Ed-Tech organization. It offers courses in various domains, while also providing career enhancing solutions to students through a live and interactive digital classroom. It claims to be India’s first organization to offer this technical solution that enables highest quality learning through live digital classrooms and virtual learning anywhere

Talentedge collaborates with leading academic institutes and universities in India and abroad. They boast of interactive online classes wherein the faulty deliver lecture to a live audience. 

Why Talentedge? 

Talentedge claims to have a good process management clubbed with a global learning pedagogy. Training is given to the large pool of students and professionals. They have customized assessment tools and an interactive technology solution. 

Whom does Talentedge ideally suit?

Talentedge is the ideal place for working professionals to learn a variety of courses ranging from Finance to Brand Sales and Marketing. Their courses can only be taken by those professionals who have a minimum of two years’ experience and are comfortable in communicating in English.  

How does Talentedge fare as a learning platform? 

The advantage is their tie-ups with big institutes like IIMs, XLRI, IIFT, SPJIMR, besides global partners. The disadvantage could come in the form of the franchise / center where you enroll. Read all the reviews about the franchise too before you register.

So, what is the best programme to enlist?  

All the platforms have their merits and demerits. 

The bottom line is that you sign up for a degree or diploma that best fits your current and future requirements. Read up all the information about it including the reviews not only from their website, but also from neutral ones, and the testimonials of alumni.

Then select the one that is the best return on your investment as far as the courseware, faculty, support, mentoring, placement, and the fee structure. If you were to assign points on each of the above-mentioned parameters, you could arrive at the programme that has the highest points among all. 

Let us award marks between 1 to 5 in brackets for the duration, fees and value-adds, with 1 the lowest and 5 the highest. The ROI (Return on investment) will be the average. 

Eligibility  Duration  Approximate fees Value adds  Flips  ROI
EMBA Bachelor’s degree with 50% or above  1 to 2 years (2) From INR 10 lakhs upwards (1) An MBA degree; Helps a person move ahead professionally (5) High fees, commit long-time 2.6
Udemy Anyone can enrol Depends on the course (3) Depends on the course and discount (3) The course can be accessed for life (3) Tutors may not be qualified 3
UpGrad Bachelor’s degree  5 to 11 months (3) Varies for different programmes 

From INR 80,000 TO 2,25,000 (3)

Good courseware, experienced faculty (4) Commit long-time 3.3
Springboard  Bachelor’s degree 6 months (3) INR 1,65,000 + taxes (3) Job guarantee, or fees refunded (3) Not the best of tutors; exorbitant fees 3
Talentedge  Bachelor’s degree + 2 years + work experience From 6 weeks upwards depending on the course (3) From INR 10,000 upwards, depending on the course  (4) Tie-ups with top institutes for faculty (4) Some of the franchises may be unprofessional 3.6

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