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Trading Education Posted by Team Topstep November 14, 2019

The Finances and Economics of Higher Ed with Jeff Brown

Episode Summary:

Everyone knows that to get certain jobs, particularly in trading, you need to have a degree. But degree programs have risen in cost dramatically and are inaccessible to many. On today’s episode of Limit Up! Jeff Brown, Dean of the Gies College of Business, discusses how his school is working to democratize higher ed and takes us through what the future of the MBA will look like.

Full Show Notes:

Just as the internet has revolutionized trading, it has also changed the landscape of higher education. People need degrees to get desirable jobs, but the cost of an MBA program is rapidly becoming out of reach for all but a few. Jeff Brown, Dean of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, stopped by to talk to Jeff about the state of higher education and what the future is shaping up to look like.

The two Jeffs discuss how the school’s iMBA program is democratizing access, why you should be wary of college ranking lists, and what drives the price of a degree. Whether you’re thinking of going back to school, have kids heading off, or you’re just interested in higher education, tune in!


  • [00:45] – This week: Jeff Brown
  • [01:34] – Market reaction
  • [10:36] – Jeff Carter interview with Jeff Brown
    • [11:03] – Accessing higher education
    • [13:11] – Business school rankings
    • [19:11] – Becoming Dean
    • [20:49] – CFO training ground
    • [24:27] – Thinking differently about graduate education
    • [28:00] – Demolishing barriers with the IMBA program
    • [35:19] – A journey of constant improvement
  • [38:40] – Community Questions
  • [42:30] – Jeff Carter interview with Jeff Brown
    • [42:30] – Faculty adaptation
    • [46:30] – Dean life
    • [49:08] – Benefits of international students
    • [56:15] – The Office of Experiential Learning 


Jeff Brown is the Dean of the Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has been instrumental in launching the university’s world-class iMBA program. Educated at both Harvard and MIT as well as being a professor at the University of Illinois, Jeff has an extensive background in academia. This episode of Limit Up! is hosted by Jeff Carter. Jeff is a general partner at West Loop Ventures. In April of 2007, he co-founded Hyde Park Angels and spearheaded the growth and development of one of the most active angel groups in the United States. He has consulted on the startup of several other angel groups. He is a former independent trader and member of the CME Board of Directors and was part of a small group that transformed CME from an open outcry exchange to the largest electronic exchange in the world. In 1998, CME was worth $182,134,000 in membership enterprise value. Today it’s worth $55 Billion.
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Podcast episode production by Dante32.