Learn all about Harvard CORe or Harvard Credential of Readiness from my personal experience taking this course. Get behind the scene insights about course content, what to expect, time commitment and most importantly, my study notes.

If you are considering taking this course and wondering if this is the right fit for you, then this is the right place for you. Even if you have zero business knowledge, you still can succeed with Harvard CORe, part of Harvard Online Business School.

I have graduated with HONORS and i didn’t find enough information online to help me decide whether to take this course or not. That’s why I took the time to write this blog post.

By the way, I will be releasing a full YouTube video or videos about my personal experience, but most importantly, a dedicated video about my study experience and full study note. So make sure to subscribe to my channel here.

I will start by telling you my personal story and motivation behind taking this program, why Harvard and what exactly is Harvard CORe (and what it is not). Please share your feedback and let me know if this blog post was helpful.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

My Harvard CORe Story

Growth Mindset

I came from an engineering background, and I spent most of my career in technology and cloud solutions and I am really good at it, one of the best out there actually.

With time, I started to take more managerial and business roles and I felt I lack good understanding of how businesses work and how to navigate numbers and engage into business decisions. I thought that’s it, I am a technology guy, lets leave business to business people.

Until I took sales executive course couple of years back and get introduced to the Growth Mindset concept which changed my life forever.

The theory goes that there are two types of people, those with a fixed mindset, and others with a growth mindset.

To cut the story short, fixed mindset people believe that they are born with certain level of intelligent or skills, they shy from new challenges, and they stay in their comfort zone, what they already know and good at.

Growth mindset people on the other hand, believe that leaders are made not born, that they can learn new skills and they don’t shy from new challenges, they are always on a growth path.

The conclusion is that it is never too late to step in into the business world and acquire new skills that will help me advance my career and become a better leader.

No matter what you do today or how old are you, it’s never too late to grow and learn new skills if you put your head into it and that’s exactly what I did.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Why Harvard

The question is where to look at a proper education that helps me acquire business skills without any prior business knowledge?

Although I am a good reader, in fact, I read many books about business before taking the course, but there was something missing,

I was looking at program with real-world scenarios and practical examples to help me at my work, not just theory and boring equations.

I start looking at the best school to learn business, Harvard Business school.

Harvard is the United States Oldest institution of higher learning and its history of influence and wealth have made it one of the world’s prestigious universities.

I read their mission, which is  to ” Advance new ideas and promote enduring knowledge” which seems good to me,

Harvard has 12 graduate and professional schools, one of them of course is the Harvard Business school, BINGO.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

But what really makes Harvard special which is their CASE study method. Learning through storytelling is the way I love to describe it.

Instead of hitting you with theory and numbers, Harvard CORe gives you real business problems and challenge you to discuss them within a group and learn throughout the process.

I was surprised to discover that the objective of the case study is not to reach consensus, but to understand how different people use the same information to arrive at diverse conclusions. When you begin to understand the context, you can appreciate the reasons why those decisions were made in the first place

Pause for a second and think. What if a room was filled with people from diverse industries, functions, countries, and backgrounds? All trying to analyze a problem and make a decision? Every day? That is what the case method at HBS prepares you to do.

That’s why you hear people say (anything can happen at Harvard) !!!

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

What I was looking for?

Harvard is special, after all, it is one of the best business schools you can go to for an MBA, but it’s very expensive and you have to commit full time for two years.

One way it would become convenient for me if they offer executive online MBA where I can take coursework while working, but surprisingly, Harvard does not until this time, offer such option

However, I want talk about what Harvard Business School offer online today, so that I can get a little bit of a Harvard education and have something to show for it, and that is Harvard CORe.

Now, don’t be fooled to think that CORe is an online course you take and receive a certificate of completion. You are mistaken. In Harvard CORe, you have to engage with other students in discussions, pass all quizzes which are challenging and most importantly, you must take and pass all final exams to pass. It is a complete program that requires commitment and dedication. As a proof this is not like any other online program out there, upon passing Harvard CORe, you will get Harvard undergraduate credits that you can use in any university you choose.

So let me take a step back and tell you what I was looking for?

First, Since I have a full-time job, I can’t afford to take a break for 2 years just to study at Harvard obviously. I was looking at an executive or online education.

For someone who comes from engineering I really felt like there was a certain skepticism in me about that I could actually learn about business in a structured way, and that I wanted to take something that was short and manageable with full time job.

I was looking for a learning experience with structured way of thinking to these really complex things that are happening out of the business world and that it can help me develop a language to make sense of those things and open my mind of the opportunity that is out there.

Of course it’s really nice to have Harvard as a name I can put in my education list or resume. I think I wanted to get results very quickly and not wait for a 2-year program, at least for now.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

So why Harvard CORe? And what is CORe?

Harvard CORe

Harvard CORe stand for Credential of Readiness, I think that “e” at the end of CORe stands for e-learning. The name implies that by taking this course, you will have the basic knowledge you need to understand and navigate the business world out there.

It is fully online, self-paced course, but of course you have to meet deadlines every week and at the end of it, you take an a final exam where upon completion and of course passing it, you get a certificate of completion.

When you enroll at Harvard CORe, you have two options, CORe which is 10-12 weeks, or Extended CORe that span across 17 weeks. They are exactly the same, but the later give you more time to finish the program.

If you think you will be busy at your full-time job and worried about meeting weekly deadline, I recommend going for the Extended CORe option and finish the program in 17 weeks. I took the normal CORe option, and I found it challenging in fact to finish the program in just 10-12 weeks.

While their website states that you need 8-15 hours per week, I found that for some topics, I needed more time. Listen, If I can do it with my full time job, you can do it.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

You will complete total of 160 hours at Harvard CORe and take three core courses using the famous Harvard Case Method.

Now pause a minute and think, if Harvard wants you to learn the basics of business and they want to pick three courses, which courses would they pick.

Let’s apply some logic here, you need to understand numbers, so Financial Accounting is a must. Next, is to understand how the world around you work which is obviously Economics. and Finally, you need to be able to get sense of all the data around you, so you need some analytics skills.

Let me now unfold those three courses you will be studying at Harvard Core.

First course is Business Analytics, which is more important than ever because of all the data that we get in and the importance of business professionals to organize the data and then draw insights from it to eventually make business decisions and eventually influence business outcomes.

Second course is Economics for Managers which is my favorite course actually and its an absolute must concept for any business professional to understand broader economic and market dynamics, how it impacts your organization and then how do you navigate that environment and how do you compete in the market. I learned a lot about competitive market and the importance of how to differentiate your business to survive against competition. In fact, this course teaches you about the value stick and it is an introductory course if you want to take any business strategy course in the future, which I am planning to do next.

Last course is Financial Accounting, A fundamental business concept and as a business professional regardless of what you do, it is important to have at least a decent understanding of how financial metrics are reported out internally, but also to external stakeholders, because ultimately that’s going to have some degree of influence on the decisions you make as a business.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

It goes without saying that you will learn from the absolute best. My favorite professor is the economics professor. He really makes learning economics a fun experience with lots of real-world examples and cases. In a nutshell, you will see the world with different lenses after his course, believe me.

How Much Does Harvard CORe Cost?

Harvard CORe will cost you $2,250, that’s it. I was expecting it to be more expensive frankly speaking, and since it is completely online, you will not going to pay anything extra,

I want to point out however that there is an option called Undergraduate credit option for Harvard CORe. When you enroll for the program online, you get a screen asking you whether you want to enroll for CORe and hence pay 2,250$ or enroll for Harvard CORe with credit option which will cost you $3,840.

I was confused at first so let me explain.

Both programs are exactly the same. The course content, deadlines, and grading process are all the exactly the same. However, after completing the Harvard CORe program and if you enrolled for the credit option, you will get some benefits such as:

  • Harvard University ID number (to access online library resources)
  • Free career and academic webinars
  • Harvard Gmail account
  • Access to Harvard Extension School student resources, including libraries, career advising, and workshops

But most importantly, and that’s why it is called Harvard CORe with credit, you will get 8 undergraduate credits from Harvard that can be transferred to your home institution or applied toward a bachelor’s degree at Harvard Extension School.

For me I picked the first option. After the third week, I tried to shift to the credit option, but it was too late. Once you enrolled in to one of these options, that’s it.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

So the next option is how is this program delivered? Do you need to visit the Harvard Campus?

Program Delivery

You don’t have to visit the campus. The  course is delivered completely online with what is called the Harvard Online platform. For each module of the course, you get to watch on-demand videos.

But it is nothing like a typical sit-back-and-listen lecture. You’ll engage in a new activity every three to five minutes—think polls, problem-solving exercises, short essays, and the famous HBS “Cold Call,” where you’re asked at random to state your position on an issue in a matter of minutes.

 What is a Cold Call?

The learning platform is nothing I witnessed before. They want to ensure you are engaged in every minute. You can’t just be in your car and listening to one of the videos.

To ensure you are fully engaged, they invented the Cold Calls concept. When you are watching one of those videos within the courses, the video will suddenly pause and you will get one minute to answer a question. Now those questions are not part of your final grade, and you don’t need to be worried. They are just an interactive way to make you engaged and think about what you’ve learned in the video so far.

I remember the first time I got one of those cold calls, so you will be watching a video and suddenly the video pauses and I get like one minute to answer a question about a topic that was discussed or about to be discussed in the video. The objective is to make you think before revealing the answer in the video. It is one of the best techniques I experienced at Harvard CORe.

Let me give you an example, one of the videos was talking about Revenue recognition for one of the retail stores that sells girt cards and then video suddenly pauses, and I got a cold call in a form of a question with 90 seconds to answer, the question was: when do you think that the business can recognize the revenue when selling gift cards.

The whole idea is to challenge you to think and use the knowledge you’ve learned to predict the right answer. After the 90 seconds, the video continue playing and the professor revealed the answer. The reason why I remember this how to recognize the revenue of gift card until now is because I was forced to think by myself and not given the answer right away.

You also get introduced to Harvard Case method by debating life real-world cases with your peers and you have to discuss together the case online. I was surprised how much I learned from other students using the case method. In fact, you start getting to know how other students think. In my class, there was over 400 students enrolled with various backgrounds and during the course, I get to know peers who have very unique perspective and I started follow them and read their comments. This is how you learn at Harvard.

I can say that I have learned from my peers a lot and it helped me get different perspective on real-world cases.

Key Facts About Harvard CORe

Know This

Harvard CORe is not an MBA program or even equivalent. An MBA program from any university worth more than CORe. If you are deciding between an MBA and Harvard CORe, then go for an MBA program.

I like to think of CORe like this. If a full MBA program at Harvard has 20 courses, you get to study 3 of those courses using the Harvard way and the best Harvard professors out there.

Moreover, Harvard CORe does not grant you Harvard alumni status and you are not considered a Harvard Student by taking CORe. In fact, to get an Alumni status at Harvard, you have to complete on of those courses and programs here.

Harvard CORe Facts

No prior business knowledge required

In their website, Harvard mentioned: “We don’t expect you to know anything about business going in, but you should have a deep curiosity or interest in it”.

Harvard CORe helps you prepare for an MBA

Harvard mentioned that many incoming students for MBA enroll in Harvard CORe first to prepare for an MBA or to decide whether an MBA is something they might consider in the future.

What If you already have an MBA or hold undergraduate business?

According to Harvard ““Many CORe students who hold undergraduate business degrees have reported finding the program to be quite useful as it serves as a great refresher and focuses on real-world applications of business using a case-based pedagogy, which sets it apart from most undergraduate programs.”

Program structure

The program is divided into weeks. New course modules open once a week, so you must wait for a new module to drop and stay together with their cohorts

So in the first week, you might have the Module 1 of “Business Analytics” and “Financial Accounting” modules open, and in the second week you will have Module 1 of “Economics for Managers” and the Module 2 of “Financial Accounting”.

Each week you need to take a quiz for each assigned module. Now those quizzes contribute to your final grade as you will see later. Those quizzes are open book, so you can check the course material in order to solve them. However, they are not that easy.

Each quiz contains normally 20 questions and most of them are multiple choices or excel simulations in case of Business Analytics course.

The catch is that you have to complete the quiz before they become due and failing to complete any of those quizzes will get you zero grade on that quiz.

After you finish all modules, you will get 1-2 weeks break to study all modules to prepare for the final exams. One the final exam week, you have to take the three final exams, one for each course.

The final exam contributes to 50% of your final grade and you need to pass all three final exams to pass the program, while quizzes contributes to 35% of your final grade.

And finally, your contribution and participation during Harvard CORe program contributes to the remaining 15% of your final grade. The key thing is you have to engage, comment and state your opinion all the time.

Harvard CORe Grade system might change so make sure to check the official portal for information always.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Here is a demonstration of how a week in Harvard CORe will look like. Modules will become available each Tuesday along with the module quizzes. New modules will become available in the next Tuesday, but you will get until next Thursday (10 June in this example) to complete week 1 quizzes.

Tuesdays is when modules become available, and Thursdays are the due date for quizzes. If you miss the due date for any quiz, you will get zero mark for that quiz.

So you have to keep track of your study calendar and plan your week accordingly. I usually study for Harvard CORe over weekends and complete quizzes during the week.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

What’s Inside Business Analytics

Tip: Watch the course into video here.

This Harvard CORe course is all about data, how to summarize it, understand it, and predict the future given what we know today about the data in hand. This is so powerful for business professional. If you think about it, data are collected every time you make a purchase, navigate a website, travel, make a phone call or post in a social media site Never before has so much data about so much things been collected and stored every second of every day

Harvard CORe Business analytics course has 5 Modules, it is the shortest course in CORe compared to others.

During the course, you will see good amount of math equations and excel formula. The Harvard Online platform has an excel simulation for you to solve questions and quizzes using excel.

Even if you are champion on the math behind business analytics, the course challenge you to use that knowledge to solve practical business problem. That’s why you can’t just look at the course content of the course and decide to go and study yourself from the internet. If you do that, you will learn the math behind business analytics, not the juice, which is how this relates to business.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

The course is full of case studies. For example, you get the chance to hear from the CEO of Caesars Entertainment himself, how cool is that? Just for your information, Caesars palace has the biggest footprint in the gaming industry with over 8 Billion dollars in revenue, and they are using analytics and data to make better staffing decisions using Multiple Regression, a concept you will learn in this course inside out.

You can learn Multiple regression on the internet as much as you wish, but you will never learn it the Harvard Way.

Harvard brings the best business leaders to talk about real-cases like no one else does. For example, you get to learn how Amazon uses Business Analytics to enhance customer experience? It can’t be better than that.

We all know that Amazon is obsessed with customer experience, so they work all the time to innovate through products like Amazon prime or kindle.In this course, you get the chance to hear from their SVP of Consumer Business himself, on how they develop Test Hypotheses to improve their customer experience. Every single text, font or widget in their website uses Hypotheses Testing, and you get to learn it all in this course.

Of course, you will be challenged to think and participate into discussions and read reviews from other students. So be prepared for fun way of learning.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Module 1 will introduce fundamental concepts on how to summarize business data such as the mean or average, median, variance and standard deviation. You will also learn how to detect outliers in data, and use scatter plots and histograms to represent data visually.

Module 2 is where things get exciting. You can’t collect data from every one, so what you do in the real world is to take a sample of the population, and use data from that sample to predict what the whole population looks like. One of the mind blowing concepts in this module is the Central Limit Theorem. The people who invented this theory changed statistics for ever.

Module 3 goes beyond and introduce the hypothesis testing concept. The real value of hypothesis testing in business is that it allows professionals to test their theories and assumptions before putting them into action. This essentially allows your business to verify its analysis is correct before committing resources to implement a broader strategy.

Module 4 and 5 are about Linear and Multiple regression. Regressions can be used in business to evaluate trends and make estimates or forecasts.

For example, if a company’s sales have increased steadily every month for the past few years, by conducting a linear analysis on the sales data with monthly sales, you could forecast sales in future months.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

What’s Inside Economics for Managers

Tip: Watch the course into video here.

The next Harvard CORe course is Economics for Managers and it is my favorite course. I read some books about economics, and I find them full of complex math and equations. The good thing is this course has nothing to do with math. It is designed from the ground up for managers to make better decisions. You will learn through real-world example and cases, and you will have a lot of fun learning how the world moves around you.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

 Module 1 explores Consumer Demand. Figuring out demand is a challenge that nearly every business manager faces 

To do that, you have to learn about Willingness to Pay (WTP) which is the maximum amount of money a customer is willing to pay for a product or service. 

The professor spends some time explaining how WTP is not the same as price. Thinks about it, most countries offer free education, but you still are willing to pay for education, or the fact that people pay money to listen to music on their phone (using services like Apple Music) as opposed to listening to free music on the internet. Take this knowledge and think of how you can make an offering or a product that your customers are willing to pay money for, even if there are free or cheap alternatives in the market.

Then you get introduced to Elasticity which is basically how customers are responding to a change of price in the short run and in the long run. Think about petrol prices these days. Even if the price goes up, you still are going to fill your car with petrol because the demand curve is in elastic. These are no many alternative options. However, you might consider buying an electric car in the long run.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Module 2 goes deeper into understanding how to predict the demand of your product using surveys, focus groups and even auctions.

How to increase your customer’s willing to pay for your product or services using advertising and network effect. One of the key concepts in this module is substitutes and complements, if you understand how demand changes with these key concepts, you will be in way better position in managing your customer’s demand for your product and services.

Hotdog and Catchup are complementary products, you want to buy them together, and if you sell hotdogs, you want catchup to be as cheap as possible and as widely available as possible. Now take this small concept and apply it to a broader scope and you will start seeing things differently.

Think about cloud providers like Microsoft and AWS. For them, connectivity is a complement product, and they want it to be as cheap as possible to encourage people to move to the cloud, so cloud providers often works with telcos for exactly the same motivation. Private data centers are substitutes to public clouds, so Microsoft and AWS would rather have private data centers to be as expensive as possible. So they use advertising to increase demand for their products. This is simply how economics and demand work in action.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Module 3 is about Suppliers and Cost. You can think of previous modules as a warmup to what’s coming next, because cost analysis and supply is really gong to challenge your thinking.

You will learn about value creation, value captured by customers (customer surplus) and value created by your businesses (your profit). You will also learn how to compare your cost structure with your competitors to see who might win if you both were to involve in a price war.

For example, if you have an RFP in the market and you and your competitors have similar products, then the winner will be the bid with the lowest cost. Your cost structure will be a key factor on how low you can go to win that RFP. Well, this module takes these concepts and project real-world examples at you until you become fluent on these tricky concepts.

And for that, the module goes into great details talking about cost structure, fixed cost, variable cost and opportunity cost. I can’t imagine we were not taught all this at school or college.

And the modules ends by talking about Economies of Scale, and how to spread your fixed cost over large unit of production, and that’s sometime introduce the barrier to entry for some industries like airlines, you have a lot of fixed cost upfront and the only way forward is to sell a lot of seats to spread that fixed cost. That’s why you don’t see everyone opening an airline company! The upfront fixed cost is simply high.

Barriers to entry are important considerations for any entrepreneur during the beginning stages of exploring a business concept. The industry with the lowest barriers to entry are clothing, cofeshops, and Technical Services, so if you want to open a tech company, remember that you will compete with a lot of businesses today or possibly in the future.

A great case study you will be working with is the disruption happened when the CEO of Amazon introduced Kindle for the first time, and the effect of that on publishers who sell physical books. It is mind blowing to know how a whole industry was disrupted in that moment when Jeff Bezos hold that kindle on the stage for the first time.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Module 4 is about Markets. Now that you have good understanding about demand and supply, in Module 4 you will experience the intersection between the supply and demand curves in a point called Market Equilibrium where quantity supplied equals quantity demanded in the market.

This is where you start to understand whats happening around you in your daily life. Every time, you see people waiting in a queue, or a new supplier or a cloud vendor entering the market, or even the exchange rates of currencies going up or down, you are witnessing economics in action, but now, you really know the economics behind it.

One shocking fact you will learn is how minimum wages for workers create surplus of workers in the market and unemployment. You will learn why in this module.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

All the previous modules are preparing you to Module 5 which talks about competition and differentiation, and it simply applies all the concepts you’ve learned so far to various applications in business strategy: specifically, pricing and differentiation. 

If you work in strategy or want to start learning about value creation and business strategy, this module is definitely a good foundation for you.

To understand even what is competition, best way to start learning how the world looks like without one, and that is simply the Monopoly market and pricing. You learn why a monopoly has power to raise prices and why customers don’t have much to say, think about telcos or innovative medicine organizations.

You will gradually get introduced to competition and how this plays a role on your pricing strategy. The takeaway here is, in order for your business to capture more value and profit, it is better to be different and play on the competitive advantage edge. If you are similar to your competition, then customers will pick the cheapest offer always and even if you win, your profit will be minimal.

One of my favorite topics in this module is Price Discrimination. Have you ever wondered why children pay half the price for most services like a movie ticket, or why happy hours in restaurants are usually around the time you are at the office? Well there is a science behind that.

You will also learn about Bundle Pricing which is popular around us. Buy this and you get the next one for free, or pay one fixed price per month and get access to all Office 365 products.

One of the reasons why Microsoft Teams are wining against Slack in number of active users per month is basically because of product bundling. If you have an office 365 subscription, which most enterprises today do, then you get Microsoft Teams for free! It comes as part of a bundle pricing in your office subscription.

This is how powerful bundling is and you can use it in your business today to attract customers to buy more of your products with the right bundling strategy.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

What’s Inside Financial Accounting

Tip: Watch the course into video here.

The third and last Harvard CORe course is Financial Accounting. There is no wonder that accounting is often referred to as the language of business. When executives and decision makers talk about their companies’ health, they typically refer to financial statements. Income, expenses, debt and liabilities are all components of financial documents and must be understood by anyone wanting to communicate clearly in the business world.

I have read a lot of financial accounting books last year and I love to believe I know how the accounting equation works. However, when I started this course, I realized what I was missing is how to apply or understand what I know about financial accounting in a business context. This is when the Harvard Case method shines

If you have zero knowledge about financial accounting or accounting in general, then don’t worry, the course is designed to teach you the basics in a very interactive way that you will be surprised how good you will become with numbers as you progress throughout the course. In fact, this was my biggest fear, having no previous knowledge on such topics, not even a single course in university. With the right mindset, determination and time management, I graduated from Harvard CORe with honors! and YOU CAN TOO.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

In Module 1 you will be introduced to the accounting equation, Assets = Liabilities + Owners’ Equity

In module 2, you learn how to record transactions, and here you will be given multiple scenarios and asked to record the effect on the accounting equation

Financial statements such as balance sheet and income statements are part of module 3 and module 4. You get your hand dirty with implicit and explicit transaction, and how to adjust journal entries as part of the period closing processes.

In Module 5 you will get detailed picture of what happenes to a business’ cash during an accounting period.

And Module 6 is my favorite, you kind of step in the real world and understand the performance of any business using financial ratios such as Return on Equity, Profit Margin, Gross Profit, Leverage, Asset Turnover, basically you will learn the DuPont Framework (google it).

Next, you will learn how the value of money change with time and how businesses decide whether to accept any project based on the Net Present Value (NPV) and Discount Rates.

You will not become master in accounting after this course, but many things will start making sense when you learn the foundation of financial accounting.

I want to emphasis that the Harvard Method is an interactive way of teaching, it is nothing like reading a book or a watching a YouTube video about financial accounting and call it a day.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Harvard CORe Cohort Experience

Now that you know about what is inside Harvard CORe, let me share with you my learning experience.

I have taken other executive training courses that are delivered online before, and usually there are 5 to 20 students enrolled and a little interaction between us. The focus was on watching recorded videos, reading some training material and submit assignments.

Now this is EXACTLY the opposite when it comes to Harvard Online Education. It’s like they challenged themselves to make the course as if you were actually in a classroom.

I remember having over 400 or 500 students enrolled with me in Harvard CORe, and the platform provides a page where you see the globe map and with count and list of students from each country. You can even zoom in and find people enrolling with you in the program who are living in your same city. Actually, this is exactly what I did in my first day in Harvard CORe.

I searched who is taking the course with me in Dubai and the platform provides a way to send direct messages. I reached out to Dubai Cohort and we quickly created a WhatsApp Group. We then started to meet on regular basis to discuss course materials and help each others.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Harvard also enrolled all of us in a Facebook group as part of the Harvard CORe program. I found it very powerful tool to meet and connect with all students across the globe. Sometimes people ask questions, and you can read their answers and learn new things about the courses you are taking.

Some students on the Facebook group start innovating and scheduling online study groups on Zoom, while others start sharing study notes (that’s me actually). What I am trying to say is that the interaction with other students was nothing but amazing.

Now inside the online learning platform, you are required to comment, review and give feedback to other student’s submissions and thoughts. Imagine that the professor is asking all of you if the brand name of a business is considered an asset that can be recorded in the balance sheet. After you submit your answer which can be one or two sentences, you are encouraged to read other student’s answers and comment on them. Doing that will count towards your final grade in Harvard CORe. That’s why you will see many people commenting on your answers all the time, everyone wants higher grades. It’s fun actually once you get used to it and the learning platform is nothing but smooth.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

More About Harvard CORe

This picture below shows the program grade structure. You can graduate with high honors, pass with honors, pass or fail in Harvard CORe.

I spent a lot of time and put a lot dedication into Harvard CORe and I am pleased that I graduated with Honors.

Always check the course website to get updated information about the grade system as things might change.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

One thing I want to point out. If you fail in Harvard CORe, Harvard will not allow you to re-take the program again. I think they want to send a message by doing so, which is: only serious applicants are welcomed in this course.

So before enrolling, make sure you understand what you are getting your self into, and plan your time carefully to pass the program. There are no second chances here.

Harvard CORe Final Exam

One of the questions I had when enrolling at Harvard CORe is how I can enroll in the final exams? Do I need to go to a testing center? do I need to travel to campus? Well, always check the official website for updated information as things change.

At my time (2022), once I completed all modules, I got 2-3 weeks break to study for the final exams, and then the exam week starts. When I login to the online training website, I saw three exams waiting for me to start. I had one week to complete them all in any order and at anytime from my home.

You might be asking, how come I can take the exams at home? How Harvard can ensure I am not looking at the course materials (which is not allowed by the way).

The answer is simple. You will have 45 questions for each exam, and one hour to complete the exam. You will not be able to “skip” questions and come back to them. Simply, you will have less than 2 minutes per question and no time to look at materials or do anything but to read the question really fast and pick an answer. Most questions are multiple choice (things might change).

Harvard will give you preparation exams to try before the final exams week, which I found very useful. After you finish all 3 final exams, you will not get your score. I had to wait for weeks until I received the results back.

You will also have an option to have your certificate delivered physically to your home address, but you need to pay for shipping.

One note about the final exams. You really have to understand the concepts very well and go through all materials during the preparation weeks. Remember, that if you fail any of the three final exams, you will not pass the program.

Finally, you will get instructions on how to list your certification on your LinkedIn page. You can check my Youtube video here or my blog post on How to Optimize Your LinkedIn profile.

Sharing My Study Notes

If you finally decided to enroll in Harvard CORe, you might find my study notes helpful. For example, I have this interactive Excel sheet containing full details about Regression Table Output (a hot topic in the quizzes). I have reversed engineer the excel output table and add my own notes on how numbers relate to each others. This will become handy when you complete your quizzes.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

You download the file below:

If you are finding difficulties understanding Harvard CORe Business Analytics Regression, then check out my PowerPoint slides which simplifies the concept with visuals and illustrations

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

You can download the slides below:

I will also share my study notes in another blog post or in my YouTube Channel, so subscribe to my Youtube Channel to learn more.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Extra outside resource I used to understand Business Analytics

If you are struggling with Harvard CORe Business Analytics course like I did at first, I found this guy explaining all statistic concepts like nothing out there in the internet. I am a good learner, and this guy is like a magician.

The trick is that he is publishing on Youtube sample of his lectures and to get access to the full lectures you need to buy his courses on this platform. I actually bought a subscription on the platform and it helped me become master on the topics taught on Harvard CORe Business Analytics. I believe the monthly cost is $20 and you can access to all courses.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

Once you get a subscription, you can use the following links to navigate quickly to the relevant courses covered in Harvard CORe Business Analytics:

What’s Next?

After Harvard CORe, I was looking to continue my education and take courses to zoom in on one or more business topics. The great thing about Harvard CORe is that it helps you build a business foundation. For example, my next step will be to elevate my skills on business strategy. The course (Economics for Managers) prepared me for such topic as in the final module, it is all about value creation, which is the heart of business strategy.

In Harvard Business School Online, there are many business strategy courses that are under my radar. These courses does not come with final exam, and you only have to complete the course and submit some assignments.

Harvard CORe Harvard Credential of Readiness

I highly encourage you to check other courses on Harvard Business School Online portal here.


Here is the official web page for the course. Go there and get updated information about the course please.

Harvard Business School Online offers many interesting courses. Check them out here if you want to continue learning.

If you have more questions, you can find Harvard CORe Frequently Asked Questions here.