MOOCs are offered online. They are available to anyone with access to a computer and the internet, from anywhere in the word. They are an affordable – or even free – way to build skills and learn from industry leaders across the globe.
Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are experiencing a revolution. Although millions have taken part in classes over the last couple of years it may not have furthered their career opportunities. Today, new niche MOOC certificates offer real value in the job market by helping prospective employees to get ahead and companies to find skilled people.
- MOOCs help job candidates meet the needs of employers.
- Employers use MOOCs to bridge skill and talent gaps.
- Companies view MOOCs as practical career development.
- MOOC accomplishments are excellent additions to a resume.
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MOOCs help job candidates meet the needs of employers
Aquent, a global staffing provider, has seen the value of MOOCs firsthand. HTML5 skills were in-demand by their clients and “not a ton of people had them at that point,” said Alison Farmer, VP of learning and development. Aquent decided to offer an online course in HTML5, in order to supply a skilled workforce to meet the needs of their clients. “More than 10,000 people registered for the class. Of that number, 367 took a final exam. Aquent interviewed the best performers, and wound up placing 200 of them in jobs.”2
Based on that success, Aquent has since created Gymnasium, an educational platform for free online courses, such as Coding for Designers and Responsive Web Design, with plans to add UX Fundamentals and jQuery Building Blocks courses in the future.
Employers use MOOCs to bridge skill and talent gaps
Autodesk, Google, NVIDIA, and several other companies are contributing input to the Open Education Alliance (OEA), an educational platform for free online courses. The OEA’s aim is to reduce the skills gap through accessible education. Curriculum offered is primarily technical and includes niche certification in subjects, such as:
Interactive 3D graphics with Autodesk. Master the basic principles of 3D computer graphics and create an animated 3D demo program.
HTML5 Game Development with Google. Understand game development techniques, and how to build a high-performance HTML5 application.
Intro to Parallel Programming with NVIDIA. Learn the fundamentals of massively parallel computing. Program modern GPUs by using CUDA C/C++.
AT&T is collaborating on numerous courses that are currently in production, and will be available free of charge or for an individual certification fee. Courses may be part of the Online Master of Science degree in Computer Science (OMS CS) that can be earned completely through the MOOC format (cost of degree: $6,600).
[Find more low-cost degree programs.]
Companies view MOOCs as practical career development
MOOCs do more than widen the pipeline of talent for employers. They also provide corporate learning and employee development for existing staff, with classes that be accessed at anytime. The training costs, particularly for large global companies, are also lowered. There are no travel expenses, and the initial investment in course content development—which could serve an unlimited number of employees—is amortized with each training session. Companies are seeing success with this organizational learning approach—making MOOCs a legitimate tool for professional development.
MOOC accomplishments are excellent additions to a resume
LinkedIn recognizes the real value that MOOC credentials can bring to the job market. They’ve introduced Direct-to-Profile Certifications to help users put their best foot, and achievements, forward. It makes it easy to add MOOC certifications to your profile, and showcase your professional accomplishments to employers.
[Find thousands of MOOCs listed at LearningAdvisor.]
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