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We all know sometimes it FEELS like school never ends.  What if it actually never ended?

By Ben Feuer

Be honest -- when ranking business schools on a scale of innovation, Wharton is not at the top of the list.  Prestige and name recognition it has in spades, but along with that comes a bit of a prim and proper vibe.  You may have to change your tune now that a frankly revolutionary idea has come out of Pennsylvania.

Simply put, imagine a Wharton MBA ... who never graduates.  Imagine a business school running not on a 2-year immersion model, but a lifelong subscription model.  That is the disturbing and fascinating brainchild of Christian Terwiesch and Karl Ulrich -- ten months of immersive learning and networking, followed by a return to the workforce and an as-needed array of MOOCs, courses and meetings to round out the degree.

Is it a good one?  Possibly.  It has some obvious advantages.  Less time out of the workforce means less of a financial burden for students, who can return to the workforce more quickly.  But will they really have time for learning once they are working full-time jobs and raising families?  Will they even feel like they need it?  And what would the degree really mean if distance learning was a la carte?  Would it ultimately dilute the perceived value of the MBA still further, hurting students' job prospects?

All in all, the idea definitely needs more polish before it can shine -- but then again, no one is talking about implementing this right now.  This much is certain -- it's innovative.


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