View: Master’s Degrees, a Cash Cow and Vehicle for Advancement

By Mikel Amigot

Around 800,000 master’s degrees were awarded by U.S. universities in 2018, becoming an essential credential.

A baccalaureate degree doesn’t suffice for an increasing number of jobs in education, healthcare, business and STEM. A master’s is now the educational minimum for many occupations and professions. This new entry credential conveys more salary: $12K more than a bachelor’s degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Between 1990 and 2010, public universities increased the number of programs in business from 266 to 321, in public administration from 153 to 220 and in communications from 90 to 141, according to Michael T. Nietzel, President Emeritus of Missouri State University and contributor of Forbes.

For employees, it’s a vehicle for career advancement, and it helps to build a personal brand (Ph.D. programs are dramatically more expensive and difficult to achieve). For universities, it’s a cash cow, mostly because scholarships are seldom used to discount tuition and can reach a large number of students.

Students’ and institutional interests are aligned and, as result of it, master’s programs continue to thrive.


A Free MIT Course for Practitioners on Competency-Based Education

Competency-based education (CBE) forces us to think what it is we want students to know, and makes learning a more personal experience. Learners need to demonstrate proficiency in skills and content, not by how many hours they spend sitting in class, and move at their own pace.

MIT Teaching Systems Lab professor Justin Reich, in the video below, explores the why, what and how of competency-based education in a free six-week course on, beginning today, January 31, 2019.

“You will learn why so many educators are excited about CBE and its potential for closing opportunity gaps, as well as challenges and concerns. You will get a closer look at what the implementation of CBE looks and feels like for students, teachers, administrators, families, and community members. You will consider the kinds of system-wide shifts necessary to support this innovation in education,” explains Profesor Reich.

KQED NewsWhy Competency-Based Education Is Exciting And Where It May Stumble

Georgia Tech’s Pioneer Master’s Reached 8,672 Students This Term

The legendary Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) reached 8,672 students this term and the number of graduates so far exceeds 2,000. It includes learners representing all 50 U.S. states and nearly 120 different countries.

“Each year over 1,000 are graduating and this number can reach 1,500 in two or three years,” explained Zvi Galil to IBL News — Galil is the Dean of the Georgia Institute of Technology College of Computing and creator of the OMSCS program.

The number of programs that are following in the footsteps of OMSCS now exceeds 40, as explained in recent research.

The number of undergraduate students on Introduction to Computing Using Python (or CS1301) who are taking it online is 297 compared to 247 who take it in the regular sections.

The Online Master of Science in Computer Science program started in 2014, and it was the first degree of its kind to operate entirely a MOOC platform for course delivery (Udacity). The program began with 380 students.

The Georgia Tech’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS) program was the first degree of its kind to operate entirely on the massive online, or MOOC, a platform for course delivery.

Its success inspired Georgia Tech to launch two additional degrees (on edX). The OMS Analytics degree began in Fall 2017 with 250 students; this semester’s enrollment is 1,500. The OMS Cybersecurity degree launched in January with about 250 students.

“OMSCS has been successful beyond our imagination. Our success really has rested on the faculty, who overwhelmingly approved OMSCS and then enthusiastically executed the program,” said Zvi Galil.

“This was all uncharted territory, and Georgia Tech has achieved accessibility through affordability and technology.”



Georgia Tech: Five Years a Cyber Pioneer
IBL News: 45 MOOC-Based Master’s Degrees Worldwide

Learning Innovation | January 2019: MOOC-Based Master’s, Coursera, Udacity, MIT, Andela…

Newsletter format  |  Click here to subscribe ]




45 MOOC-based master’s degrees worldwide.

• 10K learners and $80M in revenues.

• CME programs, a new hot area.



Coursera opened its data science academy.

• Udacity shuttered its iOS and Android apps and its career services mentorship program in order to cut costs.

Cloud computing is behind Instructure’s early success, Blackboard’s hopes and Moodle’s challenges.



Dr. Chuck’s Python for Everybody series is now on

MIT is stepping in to provide advanced training in photonics for community colleges.

Google Cloud announced new certifications.

These are the most in-demand jobs of 2019.



• U.S. edtech companies raised $1.45 billion in 2018, a 20% increase from 2017.

• Andela raised $100 million to grow its company which offers coding instruction and jobs to students in developing countries.

Singapore-based Emeritus Institute of Management raised $40 million to expand its course catalog.



HBX removed its “X” and rebrands as Harvard Business School.

Johns Hopkins University for $372 million purchased the Newseum in DC, in order to offer graduate programs.



Education Calendar  –  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY – DEC 2019

This newsletter about learning innovation is a monthly report compiled by IBL News. If you enjoy what you read please consider forwarding it to spread the word. Click here to subscribe. 


IBL Newsletter #18 – December 2018
IBL Newsletter #17 – November 2018
IBL Newsletter #16 – October 2018

Open edX | January 2019: Ironwood, XuetangX, Duke, MOOC-based Degrees…

Newsletter format  |  Click here to subscribe ]


JANUARY 2018 – NEWSLETTER #13  |  More breaking news at IBL News 



• EdX Starts the Process to Release “Ironwood”, the Next Version of its Open Source Platform

The Open edX Platform Faces a Huge Upgrade into Python 3



• XuetangX, China’s Open edX Platform, Reaches 16M Learners

• Duke University Ditches Open edX and Moves to Sakai



EdX Launches a Promotional Website About its Open Source Platform

edX’s Tax Returns Form Shows an Increase in Directors’ Salaries

edX Will Invest Another $1.8M in Fostering Digital Bachelors’ Degrees



Microsoft Releases a Course About Azure Stack

• Top 2018 HarvardX Courses: CS, Data Science, Buddhism, Pyramids and Architecture

• MOOCs Will Evolve Into Online Degrees



Education Calendar  –  JAN  |  FEB  |  MARCH  |  APRIL   |   MAY – DEC 2019


This newsletter about Open edX is a monthly report compiled by the IBL News staff, in collaboration with IBL Education, a New York City-based company that builds AI analytics-driven, revenue-oriented learning ecosystems, and courses with Open edX and other educational software. 

Read the latest IBL Newsletter on Learning Innovation  |  Archive of Open edX Newsletters

45 MOOC-Based Master’s Degrees Worldwide

The MOOC-based Degrees phenomenon continues to expand. As of today, there are 45 degrees offered, according to research conducted by IBL News.

  • Most of those degrees are hosted on U.S. universities: Coursera hosts 12; edX another 10; and Udacity, 1.
  • The most active and successful institution, in terms of students and revenues, is Georgia Tech, with two Masters on, as well as one in Udacity, the legendary OMSCS, which showed the way and is now on its fifth edition.
  • There are ten U.S. research universities managing low-priced degree programs: Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Arizona State University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Pennsylvania, University of Michigan, Indiana University,  University of California, San Diego, University of Texas at Austin, and University of Notre Dame.
  • FutureLearn hosts 22 degrees and extended programs; most of them, 12, from Coventry University and 7 from Deakin University in Australia.
  • XuetangX in China is planning to launch an online MBA with London’s Open University.

This is the complete list, organized by platforms:



– Georgia Institute of Technology

Online Master of Science in Computer Science (OMSCS)

  • Launched in 2014
  • Tuition: $6,800
  • Early decision deadline: March 1, 2019
  • Pioneer and starter of the “MOOC-Based Degrees” revolution
  • Largest MS CS program in the U.S. and the world.
  • Completely online




University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Master of Business Administration (iMBA)

  • 24-36 months
  • Tuition: $22,000
  • 18 courses plus three capstone projects
  • Final deadline: May 17th, 2019
  • Completely online

Master of Science in Accountancy (iMSA)

  • 18-36 months
  • Tuition: $22,050 – $27,170
  • 16 eight-week courses
  • Final deadline: June 14th, 2019
  • Completely online

Master of Computer Science (Computer Science and Engineering Degree)

Master in Computer Science (Data Science Degree)

  • 12-36 months
  • Tuition: $21,000
  • 32 credit hours (8 courses)
  • Final deadline: February 15th, 2019
  • Completely online


– Arizona State University

Master of Computer Science

  • 18-36 months
  • Tuition: $15,000
  • 10 courses
  • Final deadline: April 15th, 2019
  • Completely online


University of Colorado Boulder

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering

  • 2 years for a full degree, 6-9 months for a graduate certificate
  • Tuition: $20,000 for the master’s degree or $667 per credit hour
  • 30 credit hours for a full degree, about 9 credit hours for a graduate certificate
  • Deadline: TBD
  • Completely online


– University of Pennsylvania – Penn Engineering

Master of Computer and Information Technology

  • 20-40 months
  • $15,000 (tuition) + $1,300 (fees)
  • 10 courses
  • Final deadline: May 1st, 2019
  • Completely online


– University of Michigan

Master of Public Health

  • 20-22 months
  • 42 credits ($960-$1,060 / credit hour)
  • Final deadline: June 1st, 2019
  • Completely online with a capstone project


University of London

   Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

  • 3-6 years
  • 23 modules
  • Tuition: £10,088* – £15,132 depending upon geographic location of student
  • Online courses
  • Final deadline: March 11th, 2019


HEC Paris

MSc in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • 18 months
  • 20 courses
  • 20,000 EUR
  • Final deadline: May 6th, 2019


Imperial College London

Global Master of Public Health

  • 24 months
  • 16 specializations + research portfolio
  • £11,300 for UK/EU based (Home/EU fee status); £19,440 for outside UK (Islands/Overseas fee status)
  • Completely online
  • Final deadline: June 30th, 2019


Macquarie University

  • 12 – 18 months full-time (average 37.5 hours per week)
  • 24 courses
  • Tuition: AUD $33,000 (US $23,600)
  • Final deadline: April 8th, 2019
  • Completely online



– Georgia Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Analytics

  • Top 10 Ranked
  • Tuition: $9,900
  • Early decision deadline: March 1, 2019

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

  • Top 10 Ranked
  • Tuition: $9,920
  • Early decision deadline: March 1, 2019


– Indiana University

Master of Science in Accounting

  • Top 10 ranked
  • Tuition: $21,000
  • Initial deadline: July 1, 2019

Master of Science in Information Technology Management

  • Top 10 ranked
  • Tuition: $21,000
  • Initial deadline: July 1, 2019

– University of California, San Diego

Master of Data Science

  • Tuition: $15,000
  • Deadline: TBD


– University of Texas at Austin

Master of Science in Computer Science

  • Top 10 ranked
  • Tuition: $10,000
  • Priority decision deadline: April 1, 2019


– Arizona State University

Master of Science in Supply Chain Management


– Curtin University

Master of Marketing

  • Tuition: $22,254
  • Regular decision deadline: August 15, 2019


– University of Queensland

Master of Leadership in Service Innovation

  • Tuition: < $18,500
  • Regular decision deadline: June 15, 2019


– University of Edinburgh (Upcoming)



Future Learn (UK–AUS)

– The University of Newcastle Australia

Bachelor of Arts

– Deakin University

Cyber Security

Development and Humanitarian Action

Diabetes Education

Digital Learning Leadership


Information Technology Leadership


– Coventry University


MBA for the Cyber Security Management Sector

MBA for the Healthcare Sector

MBA for the Sustainable Tourism Sector

MBA with Artificial Intelligence Specialism

MSc Business and Organisational Psychology

MSc Construction Management with BIM

MSc Construction Project and Cost Management

MSc Cyber Security

MSc Disaster Management and Resilience

MSc Emergency Management and Resilience

MSC Nursing 

– Murdoch University

One Health

– The Open University

Postgraduate Certificate in Online and Distance Education



Open edX

– University of Notre Dame

Master’s of Science in Data Science



XuetangX (China)

– The Open University

MBA (Upcoming)



• IBL News: MOOC-Based Degrees: +10K Learners and $80M in Revenues

• IBL NewsMOOCs Are Dead, Welcome MOOC-Based Degrees

• EdSurgeYear of MOOC-based Degrees: A Review of MOOC Stats and Trends in 2018

• Class Central on MOOC-based Degrees: ListDistinctive Features | Second Wave of MOOC Hype


View: MOOC-Based CME Programs, a New Hot Area

By Mikel Amigot

Continuing medical education (CME) and healthcare content is a new area for MOOC providers.

Professionals are obligated to complete CME credits every two years to maintain their medical licenses, and Coursera, edX, and other platforms are providing timely digital courses in new areas (machine learning, data analytics, law, and regulations, etc.) to re-skill them.

Coursera has announced an entire vertical with 100 new courses and 30 new “specializations”, with six accredited CME universities: Columbia University, the University of California at Davis, University of Minnesota, Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai, University of Pennsylvania and Emory University.

Additionally, Coursera has launched two degrees: a Master of Public Health from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Master of Public Health from Imperial College London.

There are other entrants in the programs-based CMEs such as Lambda School, a well-funded coding boot camp, and Grand Canyon Education, who recently purchased healthcare OPM Orbis Education for $362 million.

        Mikel Amigot is the CEO at IBL Education (Open edX)            

Microsoft Releases a Course About Azure Stack

Azure Stack is an extension of Azure, which enables a hybrid cloud platform.

Intending to educate IT Professionals and Enterprise Architects about it, Microsoft has launched the free “Configuring and Operating Microsoft Azure Stack” online course through its Open edX-based platform.

It’s a 30 to 35 hours, nine modules, self-paced course, ending on March 22, 2019, which provides in-depth discussiosn and practical hands-on training of Microsoft Azure Stack, including Azure Virtual Machines, Storage, Virtual Networking, and deployment options.

In addition, students participate in several assessment checkpoints to help them gauge their level of understanding.

The course includes nine labs:

  • Connecting to Microsoft Azure Stack using Azure PowerShell
  • Configuring Delegation Using the Azure Stack Administrator Portal
  • Add a Windows Server 2016 Image to Azure Stack using Azure PowerShell (Disconnected Scenario)
  • Add a Linux Image to Azure Stack using Azure PowerShell (Disconnected Scenario)
  • Create a Custom Marketplace Items using the Marketplace Toolkit
  • Validating ARM Templates with Azure Stack


EdX Launches a Promotional Website About its Open Source Platform

The edX organization launched today a new marketing-oriented website about the open source software called Open edX, which powers its educational portal and is freely available on GitHub.

This website,, highlights the fact that the Open edX software is trusted and used by top organizations, such as edX, MIT, Harvard, IBM, Microsoft, XuetangX, and Global Knowledge, among others. Overall, there are over 20,000 courses built on the Open edX software and over 40 million learners.

The confusion in the industry between edX and Open edX is handled on the home page. “edX is the online learning destination co-founded by Harvard and MIT. Open edX is the learner-centric, massively scalable learning platform behind it,” edX explains.

This promotional site, created with an investment of $30K on WordPress, has been developed under the direction of Berkay Baykal, a business manager on edX.

Coursera Opens its Data Science Academy

Coursera launched this month a new vertical called Data Science Academy to help professionals find data science-related courses on R, Python, SQL, SAS, Java, and other skills.

“Over the last decade, data has become one of the world’s most valuable resources. As data transform nearly every industry and function, top companies are prioritizing job candidates with data skills,” states in a blog post.

Related careers include data scientist, data analyst, machine learning engineer, and data engineer. Statistics show that 110,000 new jobs are projected in this area by 2020 in the U.S.

This Coursera Academy offers learners a quiz intended to offer directions.

Beyond short programs and courses, Coursera hosts two Master’s degrees: the Master in Computer Science in Data Science from the University of Illinois or the Master of Applied Data Science from the University of Michigan.

Meanwhile, edX offers the Master’s Degree in Analytics from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Master’s Degree in Data Science from the University of California, San Diego.