Thursday, January 31, 2013

Investigate edX to start online classes

Dear Mr. Bradshaw — I am a high school student in Hong Kong and want to take an online class from an American university.

Is there a program you can recommend?

Dear Student —

It does not matter if you live in Hong Kong or Dallas, the advantages of taking online classes are many, and access is easy.

As a general rule, there are no restrictions based on geographical location or educational background.

I suggest you look into course offerings at edX ( This program, sponsored by Harvard and MIT, gives students a chance to take classes online that are taught by world-famous faculty members. They call it “The Future of Online Education for anyone, anytime, anywhere.”

Although edX is less than a year old, the number of universities participating has expanded to six. They include Harvard, MIT, Cal-Berkeley, University of Texas, Wellesley and Georgetown University.

Courses are video-based, which means you can participate after school, after work or even on weekends. Certificates are issued after passing an examination similar to those in regular college classes.

For example, Harvard offers a class on Justice (ER22X).

According to the edX website, the topics include affirmative action, income distribution, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality, and dilemmas of loyalty in public and private life.

Students are asked to subject their views on these subjects to critical examination. Readings for the course are by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and John Rawls, contemporary philosophers, court cases, and articles about political controversies that raise philosophical questions.

Taught by professor Michael J. Sandel, the course has enrolled more than 15,000 Harvard students. The course is free, there are no prerequisites, and classes start in the spring of 2013.

Required readings are available online at links provided on the course website, and you may watch the lectures at your leisure. As long as you have a computer to access the website, you are ready to go.

Students may respond to a poll question related to the lecture, then respond to a challenge to the opinion you have expressed. You also may comment on the opinions and responses posted by other students in the course, continuing the discussion.

Classes contain a discussion prompt that invites you to offer your view on a controversial question related to the lecture.

Each week, there is an optional live dialogue that allows students to interact with instructors and participants worldwide.

Students who earn a passing grade earn a “certificate of mastery” issued by edX under the name of HarvardX.

Students who want to jump-start their college careers by taking a class by a famous professor will find this an exciting way to learn.

Bradshaw college consultants will provide you with answer to your questions and concerns regarding your college admissions process.

Get help choosing the right college or getting into the college you desire to attend. Call: Toll Free: 866-687-8129

edX is a massive open online course platform founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University to offer online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide audience at no charge.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Advanced degree considerations

 Dear Mr. Bradshaw —

I am a sophomore at the University of Chicago and in the process of deciding on a career in law or business. What are the job prospects for each of these professions given the current state of the economy?

A master of business administration program takes two years and law school takes three years to complete. I hear horror stories about students graduating with thousands of dollars of debt and weak job prospects. If I don’t go to graduate school, what are my chances of finding a good job? -- Student

Dear Student —

You do have options. If you are a top student, with excellent SAT scores (yes, many companies require them) and possess strong analytical skills, chances are you will probably have multiple job offers when you finish your undergraduate degree. This option will allow you to have a few years to adjust to the work world.

If you are a plodder, and plan to take five years to complete your undergraduate degree, you may face a very poor job market. Typically, most students at the University of Chicago do not fall into this category, or you would not have been admitted in the first place.

Many students flounder as undergraduates at less competitive colleges and end up not being good candidates for either the job market or graduate school.

Newly minted MBAs are flooding a shrinking job market in record numbers. The Wall Street Journal reports that median pay today for new MBAs is down 4.6 percent from 2007-08.

Pay fell at 62 percent at 186 of the schools examined. While the greatest decline was at less prestigious schools, even the top schools are experiencing a decline in recruitment.

Law school graduates face a similar fate. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there will be 21,880 new jobs for lawyers annually over the next 10 years, but 44,000 graduates each year will compete for them.

Read More of What Top College Adviser Gerald Bradshaw has to say:

College Consultant - Bradshaw College Consulting - Advanced degree considerations