By Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera
Since 2020, our world has seen extraordinary change. Technology has created new skills requirements in the workforce, with 149 million new digital jobs expected globally by 2025. However, students and workers need access to flexible, affordable, and fast-tracked learning and career pathways to take advantage of these unprecedented career opportunities.
Today at our 10th annual Coursera Conference, leaders across higher education, business, and government are working together to address the pressing issues and opportunities shaping the future of learning and work. As we celebrate reaching more than 100 million learners, I’m excited to share a number of new offerings designed to help communities around the world unlock their full potential in the digital economy.
Introducing Career Academy for institutions
I’m thrilled to launch Career Academy for institutions, a new career training academy that enables any business, government, or academic institution the ability to give individuals – even those with no college degree or prior work experience – the opportunity to learn the skills to enter a high-demand, entry-level digital job. Professional Certificates and Guided Projects, created by the world’s leading companies and industry experts, enable learners to explore careers, develop knowledge and skills, build a portfolio of hands-on projects using tools of the trade, and earn industry credentials to help them land good jobs.
With Career Academy, higher education institutions, governments, and businesses can upskill and reskill entire populations of students, workers, and employees for new economy careers at unprecedented speed and scale.
Learners enrolled in an institution’s Career Academy can:
- Earn entry-level Professional Certificates from industry leaders including Google, IBM, and Meta to prepare for 18 in-demand careers like Data Analyst, UX Designer, Application Developer, and Social Media Marketer, among others. Each certificate is designed for learners without prior industry experience to complete in 6 to 8 months on average (3-10 hours per week), fully online.
- Get real-world experience with Guided Projects to develop skills in under 2 hours and stand out to employers during interviews and on-the-job. With hands-on learning and interactive assessments, learners apply essential skills by working with real-world industry tools. For example, an aspiring Data Analyst can practice SQL, Python, and Tableau, while UX Designers can build projects using Figma and Adobe Creative Cloud.
- Explore the right career path with an overview of common job titles, skill requirements, and average regionalized salary (where available). Learners have the flexibility to learn at their own pace fully online across web and mobile.
Higher education institutions can help attract and retain students by offering industry-recognized certifications and skills development that helps graduates enter in-demand careers. Universities and colleges like Hawaii Pacific University, University of North Texas, University of Arizona, North Central Texas College, and Alamo Colleges District, which accounts for five community colleges, have been piloting Career Academy with students.
“Coursera’s Career Academy is helping Hawaii Pacific University fulfill its mission to offer students a practical, innovative, and experiential education, with in-demand skills training and certificates from top companies like Google and IBM that complement our classroom content and offer students pathways to meaningful employment opportunities. As a Dean, I am assured that Career Academy participants are obtaining skills that they desire and that are related to current job openings. The student response has been overwhelmingly positive.”– Mark S. Rosenbaum, Ph.D., Dean, College of Business at Hawaii Pacific University
“Our partnership with Coursera, and specifically Career Academy, is really a perfect match as it fits into our larger vision on how the Alamo Colleges is innovating and preparing learners of all backgrounds for the future of work. We are excited to have this partnership to offer training for learners to gain the skills needed for high-wage, high-demand jobs across San Antonio.”– Luke Dowden, Chief Online Learning Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Success at Alamo Colleges District
Governments can provide job seekers a path to a better career and help them gain the skills they need to achieve it. Businesses can become a career destination for frontline workers while increasing diversity and internal mobility of their workforce.
“Every girl, everywhere deserves to receive an outstanding education. We are thrilled to be working with Coursera to offer Career Academy – with its emphasis on enabling learners to thrive in the new economy – to ten thousand girls in Bangladesh and Nigeria, to equip them with the high-demand skills and confidence they need to reach their full potential.”– Helen Grant, the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Girls’ Education
Launching new entry-level Professional Certificates from Meta and IBM
I’m also thrilled to expand our catalog of entry-level Professional Certificates with six new certificates from two industry leaders, which prepare learners – even those with no college degree or prior experience in the field – for each high-demand role. These certificates are available to all learners and, in the coming months, they will also be available as part of Career Academy:
- Front-End Developer, Back-End Developer, iOS Developer, Android Developer, and Database Engineer Professional Certificates from Meta – These five certificates will equip learners with the skills needed for entry-level jobs in some of the most in-demand software engineering roles. Planned launch June-July 2022.
- IBM Technical Support Professional Certificate – This seven-course certificate helps learners prepare for a career in IT and tech support, covering key skills such as hardware and mobile device setup, software configuration, troubleshooting, and cybersecurity fundamentals.
Eight certificates currently on the platform from Google, IBM, and Meta have ACE Credit Recommendation and are also accepted for credit in some of our bachelor’s degrees, including University of North Texas and University of London. We look forward to expanding degree pathways so that learners can earn eligible credit toward an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree for each entry-level Professional Certificate they complete.
We have also launched new content and degrees and improved our platform experience to help learners succeed in a digital-first world.
The pandemic has worsened inequality across the world. But the legacy of the pandemic could do the opposite. Online learning has accelerated, and we have been thrust into a new world of remote and hybrid work. With online learning, anyone, anywhere has more equal access to learning opportunities. And with remote work, anyone, anywhere has more equal access to job opportunities.
We are offering Career Academy to help realize the promise of this new era, where the combination of online learning and remote work creates greater access to both educational opportunity and economic opportunity. People often say, “Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.” We believe that Career Academy will be a major step in creating more equal opportunity for all.
To learn more about Career Academy, visit the following websites.
To learn more about our entry-level Professional Certificates, visit coursera.org/certificates/launch-your-career.