With HBX's fourth birthday quickly approaching, we took a look at how our courses and students have grown since the program was launched. In 2014, HBX began with two courses, HBX CORe and Disruptive Strategy. Today, the portfolio includes 10 certificate programs in addition to CORe, with several cohorts and thousands of participants each year. These cohorts include students from around the world, mirroring the global content of the courses themselves – the case studies featured in all courses represent multiple industries, diverse organizations, and are spread over five continents.

Read on to see how HBX is bringing real life, case-based business education to thousands of students around the globe every day. 

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In addition to interactive and social learning elements, a key defining factor of HBX learning is the use of case studies to teach students essential business fundamentals using real examples from business and executives.

From technology in the heart of Silicon Valley to manufacturing in Japan, the HBX portfolio features cases that represent 20 different industries. One of the fastest growing industries in the world, technology is the most represented industry among HBX case studies. It is followed by manufacturing, retail, healthcare, and entertainment, all of which allow HBX students to step into the shoes of executives in all types of organizations. 

The global representation of these organizations is even more diverse. The featured organizations are located in more than 40 cities and 11 countries around the world, including the United States, India, Japan, Mexico, and Ethiopia. From the international expansion of Heineken’s business operations, to the dramatic rescue of the Chilean miners, HBX cases teach the key business concepts of management, economics, entrepreneurship, data analytics, and more through examples of real companies in action.

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All you have to do is look up the hashtag #WhereDoYouHBX on Instagram to realize just how global the HBX population is. More than 28,000 students around the world have taken at least one HBX course, and many have taken multiple. Most students are based in the United States, followed by India, Canada, United Kingdom, and Turkey.

Although most students live within a domestic flight from Harvard Business School’s physical campus in Boston, the online program has brought the school’s teachings to 140 countries around the world, including some truly distant locales. One student is based in St. Helena, a remote island in the south Atlantic with a population of less than 5,000 people, whose airport welcomed its first commercial flight just last year.

Like the featured case studies, students also span a variety of industries, with consulting, software, education, healthcare, and technology being the most popular. The flexibility of the HBX courses allow students to work on their own schedule, but the most common times to hit the books are mid-morning and at night after dinner. And while the global nature of HBX means students are studying and logging into their courses at all hours of the day, the platform gives students a common place to connect. Not only do students engage with each other in interactive learning elements throughout the courses, many develop networks and friendships that last well after the course’s last module concludes.

Credential of Readiness (CORe) - Master the fundamentals of business. Learn more!

Natalie Chladek

About the Author

Natalie is an Associate Product Manager at Harvard Business School Online working on Leading with Finance, Negotiation Mastery, and Sustainable Business Strategy. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University and M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and staying up too late rooting for her Bay Area sports teams.