Coursera launched the Global Skills Initiative today, a new program aimed at bringing top companies and universities together to advance access to job-relevant skills around the world. Coursera’s initial program collaborators, BNY Mellon, Cisco, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Splunk, and UBS, will each work with one of Coursera’s university partners to produce online courses in fields like data science, computer programming, and finance.
Through the Global Skills Initiative, universities and industry leading companies work together to create a Specialization. After identifying a high demand content area, companies are paired with a Coursera partner university that is responsible for the academic expertise, creation of course materials, and the overall learner experience for the new Specialization. Companies contribute funding for production costs in addition to applied projects, guest lectures, case studies, and other materials that incorporate industry expertise into the course content.
The result of these university-corporate collaborations is unprecedented open access for an unlimited number of learners to online courses directly applicable to today’s fastest-growing careers. These Specialization are so applicable that participating companies also plan to use them to enhance their internal employee training and even to expand their hiring pools to interested Coursera learners.
Coursera’s CEO, Rick Levin: “The Global Skills Initiative brings together the knowledge of industry leaders and the world-class teaching and academic research of top universities to create highly applicable curricular material,” said Rick Levin, CEO of Coursera. “These collaborations enable companies to grow the global pool of available talent in their respective industries, giving unprecedented numbers of high potential individuals the opportunity to develop job-relevant skills.”
Here are a few more words from our industry experts:
“Through Coursera’s Global Skills Initiative, we’re partnering with a top university to provide the world with high-demand, job-relevant skills that we value and prioritize here at Cisco, merging the expertise of best-in-class academics and world-class industry professionals. This will allow us to grow our pool of qualified talent on a global, massive scale in the skills that matter most to our organization, while opening a global recruitment pipeline that sources top talent from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection.” -Fran Katsoudas, CPO Cisco.
“At Microsoft, we believe access to a quality education and the opportunity to learn digital literacy skills is a fundamental right and not a privilege. This is why we are focused on creating and offering the right technologies that help prepare students with the skills they need to secure employment today and in the future. It’s also why we couldn’t be more excited by this important initiative from Coursera.” -Anthony Salcito, Worldwide Vice President Education, Microsoft.
Coursera is seeking to collaborate with more companies to help bring relevant, accessible education opportunities to people worldwide. For more information on how to collaborate with one of Coursera’s university partners through the Global Skills Initiative, click below to learn more.