Guide to Choosing Online Programs

For the past few months, there has been a spurt in a number of companies offering so-called online degrees and certifications. It is very important to understand what you are getting in before you enroll in these programs.

You should not get conned and get into a program that is not helpful for your career. There are some things that are costly even if they are free – Like a free dinner for a couple with someone trying to sell a timeshare resort. :)

Here is a guide for you to prevent you from not getting conned.

(BTW, a donkey is an intelligent animal. It just has a poor reputation of being stupid.)

The reputation of the Institute

The Reputation of the Institute is foremost before deciding on a program. There are few providers who are offering certifications from industry associations, societies, and open universities.The Reputations of these institutes is continuously assessed on well-established parameters by research bodies and media. Notable amongst them include India Today Ranking, Outlook Rankings, and others.

The programs offered by Ivory Education are from established institutes. These include IIT Madras (the leading educational body in the country), IIT Delhi (one of the top two engineering institutes in all rankings), IIM Calcutta (one of the top B-schools in the country), and MICA (In top 2 in B-schools in Marketing). In case the institute is not amongst the top institutes then the certificate is not even worth the paper it is printed upon.

Industry recognition
Industry recognition comes through direct corporate tie-ups. It takes several years for an education company to be empaneled as an authorised Learning & Development partner.

Ivory is empaneled with some of the leading corporates as an empaneled provider for learning, development or placement including Genpact, ITC, evaluserve, and over 200 others.

Program Research
Ivory spends considerably in Program Research. It is important for providers to research with the industry and build programs that cater to the current and future needs of the industry. This extensive Program Research combined with the learning expertise of our partner institutes makes programs successful. Those who pass out of the program can expect good placements from the industry.

For few programs, Ivory has placement commitments that are over 200% of the batch size.

Live Classes vs. Video Learning vs. Self-learning vs. Distance Education
Most of these providers are not providing Live Classes where faculty members teach live and can interact with students. Every student is used to classroom learning from schooling to college hours. No amount of written instructions can replace the classroom environment.

Ivory provides a classroom environment using modern technology. There are cheaper distance learning options that are available cost substantially lower than what is being offered by online education companies.

Level of faculty members
It is much more expensive for Ivory to provide Live Classes where the faculty teaches live. Professors from prestigious B-schools may charge over Rs. 50,000 per session for Management Development Programs.

Program Directors from our partners such as MICA and IIT Delhi have more than 25 years of experience in teaching students at all levels. They themselves have impeccable academic and professional records.

Ivory makes no compromise in the level of faculty members.

You should really find out who are the faculty members that are a part of the program. Please see the level of faculty members and Program Directors of our programs:
Prof. Vina Vani
Prof. Ravi Shankar
Prof. Mini Mathur

Satellite Learning
Satellite Learning requires one to go to a centre physically to attend classes. It offers a good experience in terms of live classes. However, indirectly the participants have to pay for infrastructure costs, which can be avoided by e-learning based classes.

Most of these providers do not allow centre transfers and for working executives, it can become extremely difficult to go to a physical centre each time. Also, satellite-based based access can be easily disrupted (like home DTH platform) during cloudy weather.

Global Cloud
Ivory has invested considerably in implementing learning using a global cloud environment. The classes will remain high-quality for everyone irrespective of the location. Most providers in this area do not have a global cloud and are server-based. It cannot ensure the same quality of learning across the globe.

Unauthorised use of Company & Institute Logos
Many providers have no right to use logos of several companies that they illegally use on their website. One provider had logos of companies from which their students come from. It gives no benchmark on the credibility of the program.

Even an employee enrolling in the program has no right to use the logo of a company. One should wonder why these so-called e-learning companies are using these logos to mislead students.

Clubbing other programs
There are providers that are clubbing some garbage programs with the institutes that they sign-up with. It is a mockery of the entire system. You cannot compare the quality of a marketing or an edutech company in education compared to a premier institute.

Co-branding is great for an edutech company but is a disaster for a student who is doing the program. Never enroll in the program that is co-branded with an edutech company and the institute.

Contact Hours
In case an e-learning company provides contact hours, it is important to understand who are the contact hours with and how many. We have seen many one year programs with less than 50 hours of contact, and that too with a junior faculty.

Ask us
We will be glad to help you in case you want our feedback before choosing a program by us or any other provider. Please feel free to contact us.