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Can MOOCs Solve your IBM Skills Problem ?

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Today, leaders in business, government and around the world are grappling with disruptive changes in technology, markets and society – changes that are having a major impact on economies and employment. The primary concern for most business leaders is the skill level of their employees. A survey sponsored by Cisco Systems finds “lack of competent in-house staff” outranks all other forms of cybersecurity worries, including data breaches to ransomware attacks. What is ironic is the fact that, despite all the reports pointing to a skills gap, companies are not investing in training, often leaving it to individuals to manage their own development. According to an article in HBR, in the United States alone the proportion of people who received employer-funded training decreased from 21% in 2001 to 15% in 2009. These 2 factors have led to the emergence of MOOCs as a viable training vehicle.

MOOCs benefit organizations in several ways:

  • Employees can access training on a 24/7 basis.
    Rather than having to wait for a scheduled training session on-site, employees can access their training anytime and anywhere.
  • Skills boost employee productivity and profits.
    Employees are able to build new skills, develop existing skill sets, and gather new knowledge about products and services in a cost-effective way which helps both the bottom line and boosts job productivity
  • Skills improve employee retention rates.
    MOOCs for corporate training give employees the opportunity to feel they are growing professionally and expanding their understanding of work processes
  • MOOCs ensure employees are up-to-date with skills and professional knowledge.
    MOOCs provide a continual learning opportunity so employees can fine tune skills or learn about new topics within their niche in order to stay up-to-date with industry trends or bring themselves upto speed on a completely new emerging topic that even the company may not have developed expertise on.
  • MOOCs can address real-world challenges to improve on-the-job performance.
    MOOCs can be customized.  Organizations can alter or add content to MOOCs to address challenges or issues that employees may face on a daily basis or that are unique to their company.
  • Organizations can identify motivated employees who possess desired skill sets.
    Through the use of the extensive analytics provided, not only do MOOCs allow organizations to find motivated employees internally, but also help identify future employees externally thus building a talent pipe-

For individuals, MOOC are effective because:

  • People can access to content from any device

Today you can sign up for a course, start it and finish it from anywhere. The experiences have all been customized to the size of your device the learning is being accessed from.

  • Freemium business models work

Most of the content is available for free. An individual can try the content for a limited period of time or even complete it without paying anything. Payment is now associated with a credential rather than the content

  • The value of education is now higher than ever.

According to Josh Bersin, in today’s economy “The Learning Curve is the Earning Curve.” Today our skills drive our earnings. The radical expanding of the job market to contract, contingent, and global workers has made it easier than ever for an employer to hire “just the right person” for every job.

  • The content is generally fantastic and can easily be rated

The content being hosted in these MOOCs is of top quality. Not only are brand-name universities developing courses, but also are technology companies and subject-matter-experts. Pervasive rating and ranking is a key driver for the content owners to uphold their credibility.

So, if you are looking to expand your digital resume with IBM Skills for yourself or your employees we have recently launched a series of courses on Coursera and Udacity. Watch this space as the portfolio expands!

Courses available on Coursera:

Courses available on Udacity :

Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree  -Learn skills and tools used by the most innovative AI teams, gain experience solving real-world challenges, and prepare for a wide variety of roles in the AI field. In collaboration with:  IBM Watson Amazon Alexa Didi Affectiva

Server Side Swift – In this course, built in collaboration with IBM and Hashicorp, you’ll learn how to use Swift as a server-side language for building end-to-end applications.

Artificial Intelligence Natural Language Processing – This course is a part of the Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree Program.

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