Mooc Developers Disrupt Business Education As They Hone Careers Focus

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Auteur : Seb Murray
Date de l'info : 22 mars 2015


The business school as we know it is ripe for innovation by new technologies. For the liquid Mooc developers disrupting the market, employment is increasingly the priority.

In an office complex in California’s Mountain View on the fringes of Silicon Valley is Coursera — a $300 million+ start-up trying to bring about a new age in education.

The university as we know it is ripe for innovation by the disruptive use of new technologies. Online learning groups like edX and Udacity emerged as providers of free education to the masses but have evolved into colossal entities that are on the cusp of rivalling the traditional degree and providing the same boost to careers.

As they scramble to understand emerging threats, universities and business schools are being forced to evolve their content to be delivered in blended forms – accessible from both classrooms and smart devices. Wharton, Stanford and INSEAD have all invested heavily digital tech.

“Industries are moving quickly and people are looking for effective ways to stay current, get promoted or switch careers. Online courses can play a big role here,” says Julia Stiglitz, head of business development at Coursera. The non-profit’s Bay Area headquarters – nestled with disruptors like LinkedIn and Adobe – contrast with the historic scenery found at US universities such as Harvard and Yale.

Julia says recruiters are increasingly recognizing online programs like Moocs, or massive open online courses, on people’s résumés.

Mooc providers once offered a range of courses lasting only a few weeks but Moocs are now being bundled into longer modules and are incorporating certificates and industry projects akin to internships. These are starting to be recognized by both employers and universities as full-fat qualifications.

The numbers bear Julia out. A recent survey of 400 US employers by Duke University and research group RTI International found that 57% said they could see their organization using Moocs for recruitment. And three-quarters said job applicants taking relevant Moocs would be perceived positively in hiring decisions.

Alexandria Walton Radford, a program director at RTI International and the study’s director, says that there’s a way to go before most employers know about Moocs – but once they learn of them, they see the potential.

Across the Atlantic in Europe, it is a similar story. Mike Feerick, CEO and founder of UK-based Mooc provider Alison, says: “The market simply has to go this way; it’s where the market is.” When we speak he is gearing up for St Patrick’s Day celebrations.

The Irish for-profit education company has much to celebrate: it is signing up more than 200,000 new learners to its service each month, Mike says, with total users now at five million.

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