By Josh Bersin
The folks at Class Central just released their data on the growth of online courses (MOOCs) in 2015 and the data is amazing.
More than 35 million people have enrolled in online courses in the last four years, and 2015 enrollments doubled from 2014. (That’s equal to one out of five working professionals in the U.S.!)
Today there are more than 4,200 MOOC courses available (many more if you include the corporate training programs from companies like Udemy, BigThink, Pluralsight, Lynda, NovoEd, and Skillsoft). These academic-authored programs cover many topics, and are expanding into general business areas more each year. The most popular courses continue to be computer science and other engineering related subjects, but it’s expanding. You can look at the top 10 most popular courses from Coursera and courses in financial management, negotiation, and business management are doing very well.
Fig 1: Distribution of Courses (from Class Central)
Now that we have all this great content available, the big trend is the availability of credentials – tests and accreditation you can receive for a fee. Most of the MOOC providers now offer such credentials (there are over 100) and they include tools like Nanodegrees (Udacity), Credentials of Readiness (Harvard), XSeries (EdX), and many more. It’s not yet clear how well these credentials will be recognized by employers, but that’s where this market is going.
In the corporate space, video-based self-study courses are exploding everywhere. Providers like Udemy, SkillSoft, Lynda (LinkedIn), Grovo, and BigThink are now exploding with expert content. Other companies with professional education include SkillShare, Pluralsight, General Assembly, Floqq, Iversity, and many others. Most of these companies focus on technical education – software skills, IT systems, and other technical topics.
[ Full article available at Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2016/01/05/use-of-moocs-and-online-education-is-exploding-heres-why/ ]