Can This Online Course Get Me A Job?

Career College Central summary:

  • As rapid developments in online learning shake up higher education, students face a dizzying array of course, degree and certification options with little sense of which path will lead to a job. Now, efforts are under way to fill that void and offer some structure to an otherwise difficult-to-navigate and fast-growing market. Apollo Education Group Inc., best known for its University of Phoenix, is expected to launch an "online marketplace" dubbed Balloon on Tuesday. It will start with a catalogue of nearly 15,000 technology classes from big-name course providers including Microsoft Corp. , Adobe Systems Inc., Coursera and Udacity, and explicitly link them to job opportunities.
  • Users, who can access the platform for free, will be able to search for skills that are coveted by employers, what courses teach those lessons and who is actually hiring. Course providers don't pay to be included on the site, but benefit from the broad exposure to prospective students. Apollo has been looking for new revenue streams to minimize its reliance on its University of Phoenix operation, which has struggled with weak enrollments amid regulatory scrutiny and student concerns about debt and job prospects.
  • Supporters see Balloon as a much-needed aggregator of online courses, akin to Amazon.com or iTunes. Other competitors are vying for the same space, so the pressure is on to provide the clearest connections between skills, instruction and employment.
  • There are a growing number of related ventures that present users with more choice in the market for online learning. Degreed, which launched in January 2013, aims to track and measure all types of learning, such as degrees, conferences and magazine subscriptions, and create one score, similar to a credit score. Another service, called Accredible, allows users to post examples of their skills in one central database—so employers can hear a person speaking Spanish, for instance, or see an example of a person's work even if they don't have a degree in that subject.

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
 

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