By Adi Gaskell
Last week I chaired a panel discussion at the EdTechX Summit in London on the skills required in the future workplace, and the panel touched on the crucial role lifelong learning will play if we, and our organizations, are to adapt to the rapidly changing times we find ourselves in.
It’s a crucial discussion to have because automation is widely regarded to be set to cause massive disruption to the careers of the present. Estimates vary, but we can probably expect perhaps a third of existing careers to be automated within the next 20 years, and yet these are exactly the careers that higher education is currently training people for.
Crossing The Chasm
Despite this apparent need for a more flexible, affordable and on-going approach to learning, platforms such as MOOCs have thus far failed to “cross the chasm” into the mainstream.
Most courses are taken by those already beholden of a degree, and there is a strong sense that HR departments are failing to capitalize on the courses available to ensure that employees are constantly learning and developing their skills. Indeed, a recent survey found that just one in four HR and learning and development professionals formed an established part of the training on offer to employees.
It was a perspective shared by Daphne Koller, founder of Coursera, who I spoke to at EdTechX. Despite the huge number of students enrolled on hers and other platforms, she still believes that MOOCs are in the early adopter stage of the innovation lifecycle.
Using MOOCs For Professional Development
Earlier this year, Wharton published an ebook that was specifically designed for professionals wishing to try out MOOCs as a way of brushing up their skills. The book chronicles the adventures of a number of professionals who have used MOOCs to bolster their resumes in ways that would ordinarily have been denied them by a combination of time and money.
[ Full article available at Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2016/06/21/are-moocs-key-to-ensuring-your-skills-remain-valuable/#491a52ba488a ]