By Leah Belsky, Chief Enterprise Officer
The double disruption of automation and the pandemic is rapidly reshaping labor markets globally. These forces have accelerated the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Korea and around the world, and institutions are aligning their efforts to prepare workers for the digital economy.
The unemployment rates in South Korea reached a record low in August 2021, according to recent government data. However, the percentage of people either working or actively looking for work is 63%. People working less than 36 hours per week increased approximately 65% from a year earlier, and those workers are mostly in lower paying and less desirable roles. As technology evolves at an accelerated rate, employers increasingly value professionals with new digital skills and a strong growth mindset.
I’m excited to announce that Coursera is partnering with K-MOOC and the National Institute for Lifelong Education (NILE) to launch a nationwide upskilling program in South Korea. The initiative will help over 200,000 adult learners develop the high-demand digital skills needed to advance their education and careers in the new economy and embrace lifelong learning amid rapid transformation.
“Our collaboration with Coursera will be an important starting point for expanding the learning landscape of Korean learners to the world,” Dae joong Kang, NILE President. “When mapping out the post-pandemic future, online learning will become an increasingly expected and popular learning avenue for adult learners. And, I expect Coursera’s excellent courses will equip our learners with new and high-demand digital skills needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Through this partnership, learners across Korea will have access to 70 job-relevant, Korean-language courses from top university and industry leaders worldwide, including Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, Google and DeepLearning. AI. The initiative, supported by the Ministry of Education, aims to equip students, graduates, school and university educators, as well as middle- and late- career professionals with the professional and digital skills needed for jobs of the future.
With a best-in-class IT infrastructure and the prioritization of education, South Korea has the opportunity to unlock economic potential for learners across the country by enabling access to high-quality, online learning across in-demand fields such as data science, technology, business, and personal development.
Coursera has over 540,000 registered learners in South Korea, a 25% increase from the previous year. Our partnership with K-MOOC and NILE is a testament to our ongoing commitment to help learners across the country prepare for the rapidly-changing skills and employment landscape. Investing in the right skills for students and professionals may help build an agile, competitive workforce of lifelong learners that can usher in long-term growth and prosperity.