By Kevin Mills, Head of Corporate Partnerships
At Coursera, we believe that life-transforming education should be available to everyone, everywhere. It’s this inspiring mission that has attracted 147 of the world’s best universities to join forces with Coursera to offer high quality courses to our 23 million learners. Our university partners are making tremendous progress in realizing the vision of a world where educational opportunity is available to everyone, but we cannot achieve this goal without sustained leadership from the private sector.
Companies have an incredibly important role to play in closing the global skills gap that is preventing millions around the world from advancing in their careers. This is why we at Coursera are actively working with many of the world’s best companies to play a direct role in ushering in a new era of educational and career opportunity. Below are some of the ways our industry partners are helping learners around the world.
Collaborate – Some of the best learning experiences on Coursera were created through collaborations between university and corporate partners. In some cases, companies have contributed funding and free access to their software or tools to help offset the costs of creating a high quality course. We’ve also had a company sponsor tuition for Coursera learners. In many cases, companies have provided the time of their experts to help inform the professors’ curriculum and assessments to ensure that they meet the needs of the workforce.
Teach – Our university partners have renowned expertise on almost any subject, but for some topics, especially those focused on applied skills or proprietary technologies, our corporate partners are best-suited to teach. In these cases companies create courses that are complementary to the courses provided by university professors. For instance, Google recently launched a series of courses on how professionals can utilize their Google Cloud Platform; PwC is teaching their unique approach to data analysis and presentation skills; IBM is offering developer courses on their Internet of Things technology; and Intel will soon be releasing courses on their approach to deep learning and artificial intelligence. We anticipate the list of leading companies to teach on Coursera will continue to grow. Learners can pair the foundational courses offered by university partners with the applied courses offered by our industry partners to become ready for the careers of today and tomorrow.
Hire – The most important thing companies do to help learners transform their lives is to hire them. Our company has a weekly tradition of gathering together for a “learner story” where we hear directly from someone who has used the education they received on Coursera to transform their life. In nearly all of these stories the skills and credential the learner earned on Coursera directly results in starting a new career or getting an impressive promotion. And this trend is catching on with more and more employers looking for candidates with Coursera credentials. In fact, one recent study of 3,000 technical interviewees actually found that whether someone had completed courses on Coursera or Udacity was the most important trait for predicting a candidate’s success.
Train – Often the best person to fill an open position is already inside the company. In these situations, companies are using Coursera for Business to provide curated learning paths designed to efficiently and affordably retrain existing employees to succeed in high-need areas. They are also using Coursera as an effective way to onboard new employees so that they can hit the ground running.
We at Coursera believe that education can close the skills gap and unleash the potential of everyone, everywhere. This audacious goal will only be possible by bringing together the best of academia and the best of industry to confront this global challenge together.
In the weeks and months ahead we’ll share more inspiring stories of how our industry partners are contributing to this noble mission. And if you are a company leader looking to collaborate, teach or hire, please email our industry partnerships team at firstname.lastname@example.org.