MOOC Sightings 006: Universities Are ‘Middle-men Selling a Product That Is Past Its Sell-by Date’

MOOC Sightings2

MOOC numbers from Seb Murray1 that are hard to ignore:

“About 50% [of] Coursera’s 12 million users are utilizing its courses to advance their careers, says Julia [Stiglitz, head of business development at Coursera]. ‘Helping people accelerate their career[s] by learning new skills is a major way that we hope to impact the lives of our learners.’”

“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.”

“In a poll of 1,000 UK employers last year by distance learning specialist the Open University[,] nearly half said additional education is the number-one reason they would offer salary increase or promotion – and gaining education with free online courses was the third most common thing the employers looked for.”

“Recent research by the Career Advisory Board found that 87% of 500 US hiring managers are likely to consider non-traditional ‘micro-credentials’, or specialized certificates awarded by reputable educational institutions, as proof of skill mastery.”

“Close to 95% of edX courses offer a verified certificate, [Nancy Moss, director of communications at edX] says, with many of its users looking for new jobs. ”

“While universities have faced the ignominy of budget cuts, tech groups have harvested massive war chests to expand. EdX last year had been funded with $90 million; Coursera has raised a total of $85 million; Udacity has raised $58 million.”

“Alison’s [Mike Feerick, CEO and founder of the Ireland-based Mooc provider,] offered a view that is widely shared in the education community: ‘…[Universities] are the necessary middle-men selling a product that is past its sell-by date.’”

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1Mooc Makers Disrupt Business Education With Careers Focus,” BusinessBecause, 22 Mar. 2015.

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