Rick Levin, CEO, Coursera for Forbes writes: Four years after the first massive open online courses appeared, online learning is becoming part of the fabric of both student and professional life. 2016 will be a crucial year in the development of this powerful new tool. The first organizations to recognize these emerging three Online education trends that will move several steps ahead in the race to build great, transformative companies.
Job Seekers Will Build Portfolios of Online Certificates, the New Currency for Skills
Online course certificates will become a prerequisite on resumes whether or not they are recognized by an official accrediting institution. That’s because job seekers and talent managers increasingly recognize the value of these certificates as an alternative way to gain and demonstrate marketable skills.
Online certificates aren’t just for the exceptionally ambitious or resourceful job seekers. Coursera certificates are already one of the most popular certificates shared on LinkedIn profiles. Google and other companies are starting to list online courses as recommended qualifications for technical roles, and the Department of Education is piloting a program to provide federal financial aid for online courses. As acceptance grows, online learning will prove essential to closing the skills gap, especially in relatively new, fast-growing fields like data science, software development, digital marketing, and cyber security.
GuruFace Comment: Professional certifications, like those you can obtain here at GuruFace, allow students to add specific skills and specializations to their resume for a fraction of the time and tuition required for grad school. Certifications, as you progress in your career, are all about making you more employable. This is especially true in fields such as IT, information technology. Certificates and industry certifications also show employers that you are continuously improving your skills.
Learning Will Become the Most Coveted Perk at Hot Employers
HR leaders are paying attention to online education not only on the resumes of job-seekers but also as a means of training their own employees. Millennials are expected to change jobs 13 times over the course of their careers. In this kind of job market, ping pong tables and catered meals can only keep an employee happy for so long. More than anything else, the next generation of employees is looking for the opportunity to continually grow throughout their careers.
The urgency of employee training needs is calling forth a variety of creative approaches to learning from the ed tech sector. Emerging platforms offer high-touch experiences (HackReactor and General Assembly), hands-on portals (Codecademy), industry expert teaching (Udacity), and state-of-the-art knowledge from the world’s leading universities (Coursera and edX). Not only are these new education solutions more suitable for today’s workers, their method of delivery is much more scalable and cost effective than previous approaches to corporate training.
GuruFace Comment: In some ways, online learning may actually be more rigorous than the traditional classroom learning. A student needs to be active and engaged, disciplined and self-motivated to meet deadlines. There’s no hiding in the back of the classroom without ever raising a hand. Online classes typically require participation, and it’s easier to track who is and isn’t weighing in when it’s all recorded as data. In this way, online education is not only mirroring what’s happening in the workplace but also preparing students for the emerging work environment. Employers understand this and this is another way GuruFace helps prepare students to be competitive in the new workplace.
The World Will Become Your Hiring Pool
One of the most inspiring and challenging aspects of building an education technology company is that the product is immediately international. Three-quarters of Coursera’s users are outside of the US and half are from emerging economies. Global companies are taking notice.
When an internet connection is all you need to access great learning experiences, the barrier to entry is very low. Anyone around the world who can demonstrate mastery of the content and rise to the top of their peer group is a high-potential candidate. This global reach creates exciting new recruitment opportunities.
One example is Askhat Murzabayev, a computer science student in his early 20’s from Kazakhstan. His local university did not offer advanced courses in artificial intelligence, and so he enrolled in Stanford’s online Machine Learning course. Askhat put the certificate he earned on his resume and immediately heard from many interested employers. He accepted an offer from Twitter in the company’s Kazakhstan offices.
GuruFace Comment: Online courses like what’s offered here at GuruFace also create multiple avenues for connecting and collaborating online with instructors who are experts in their fields as well as classmates, who are typically other working professionals. So in addition to acquiring marketable skills and worthwhile credentials, GuruFace students have a ready-made global network of future contacts as they move onward and upward in their chosen careers.