Coursera, the online learning platform and a pioneer of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), announced at its 10th annual Coursera Conference last week that it was introducing six new professional certificates and a new Career Academy to its growing catalogue of online learning products and educational programs.
The six certificates are concentrated in the areas of information technology, web development, and software engineering and are intended to prepare learners, even those who have no college degree or relevant work experience, for new careers in those fields.
Five of the certificates, which should be up and running this summer, are from Meta, formerly known as Facebook. They include:
The other certificate is IBM’s Technical Support Professional Certificate, a seven-course sequence that prepares individuals for a career in IT and tech support, covering such skills as hardware and mobile device setup, software configuration, troubleshooting, and cybersecurity basics.
The certificates will be available through Coursera’s new Career Academy, which will enable businesses, governments, and academic institutions to provide career training for individuals needing to acquire the skills required for good-paying digital jobs. It will contain three main components, including:
- The professional certificates, providing entry-level job training from companies such as Google, IBM, Meta and others. These industry-recognized certificates are designed to be completed online in 6 to 8 months and will prepare learners for as many as 18 in-demand careers such as data analyst, cloud developer, UX designer, application developer, and social media marketer. The new certificates are in addition to eight certificates already on the platform.
- Guided projects, which are Courser’s very popular, two-hour, hands-on tutorials for acquiring specific job skills; and
- An informational tool that will help users learn more about common job titles, skill requirements and average regionalized salaries (where available) associated with different career paths.
Various institutions like Hawaii Pacific University, University of North Texas, University of Arizona, North Central Texas College, and community colleges in Texas’s Alamo Colleges District have already been piloting the Career Academy with students.
The announcement was made May 5 on Coursera’s blog by CEO Jeff Maggioncalda, who said the Career Academy would 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.”
Higher education officials were also enthusiastic about the new educational pathways the Career Academy would open up for students, serving as a kind of “last-mile” training that can layer on top of a traditional academic curriculum.
As an example, Mark S. Rosenbaum, Dean of the College of Business at Hawaii Pacific University, said “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.”
Coursera, which claimed this April that it had reached more than 100 million registered learners worldwide, continues to expand its scale, as it gears up to address advances in technology that, according to one estimate, will result in 149 million new digital jobs globally by 2025.
Now, at its tenth anniversary, Coursera has built a catalog featuring more than 5,000 courses, 2,200 projects, 75 certificates, and 30 degrees, all created through partnerships with over 250 universities and industry educators across the world.