6 min read
This story originally appeared in the World Economic Forum
By Lucy Foster
- The most popular courses on Coursera give an idea of what the world wants to learn.
- The best-enrolled MOOCs – or Massive Open Online Courses – tend to be business or technological.
- Online courses to improve time management and remote working are also increasing.
Coursera released its 10 most popular titles starting in 2019, which are a good indication of where the world of work is headed. There are no prizes for guessing digital skills and artificial intelligence, which take seven of the top 10 spots.
1. Machine learning Andrew Ng, professor at Stanford University, computer scientist and co-founder of Coursera, remains one of the most enrolled MOOCs of all time.
2. Learning to learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master difficult subjects, taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley, of the University of California at San Diego, focuses on learning and memory techniques used by experts in all fields.
3. The science of wellbeing, Under the direction of Laurie Santos from Yale, the aim is to increase student satisfaction and productivity.
4. Programming for everyone: getting started with Python The basics of computer programming are taught.
5. AI for everyone, also led by Andrew Ng, discusses the terminology and ethics surrounding AI and how organizations can develop an AI strategy.
6. Neural networks and deep learning is led by Andrew Ng and promises to improve the career opportunities of those who take it as deep learning emerges as a “superpower”.
7. English for career development Partly funded by the US Government, this is for non-English speakers who want to “advance their careers in the global marketplace”, including tips on the US interview process.
8. Algorithms, part 1, taught by two computer scientists from Princeton, examines elementary data structures, classification and search algorithms.
9. Introduction to TensorFlow for Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning is aimed at software developers who want to create scalable algorithms with artificial intelligence.
10. What is data science? – Taught by two IBM data scientists, this beginner’s course dates back to when the ancient Egyptians first used census data to improve tax collection efficiency.
The rise of distance learning
MOOCs have been around since 2008 when 25 students took a connectivism course at the University of Manitoba – 2,300 are online worldwide.
You really hit public awareness around 2012 when Coursera was founded. In cooperation with universities, courses were offered online, usually with a mixture of active participation and self-study using filmed lectures and reading lists. The closest competitor, edX, is a joint venture between Harvard and MIT.
As the name suggests, MOOCs are designed for unlimited attendance and are free, subsidized, or much cheaper than traditional college courses.
Although they have been criticized for their low completion rate – an MIT study found an average dropout rate of 96% over five years – it did nothing to halt demand. In 2019, MOOCs had attracted 110 million students and more than 900 universities around the world had submitted 13,500 courses.
MOOCs have increased dramatically since 2012 / Image: Central Class
In his first virtual conference in Spring 2020, Shravan Goli, Coursera Product Director, reported that the demand for personal development content increased by 1,500% per month between February and March.
Most of the courses in all MOOCs fall under the business or technology banner, which gives an indication of where the world of work is and what skills will be of use in the decades to come. (For comparison: in 2019, MOOCs in art and design accounted for 5.2% of the available courses, technology 19.8%).
LinkedIn has just launched its most popular learning courses, which in turn reflect the changing economy: Time Management: Working From Home was the most popular course this year, followed by Strategic Thinking and then Remote Working Fundamentals.
This month, the World Economic Forum’s Reboot Jobs Summit will examine these trends in the broader context of a world emerging from a COVID-induced economic crisis and the need to find a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable approach to work. .
The virtual meeting will take place over four days and will bring together executives from business, government, civil society and the media to develop solutions for job creation, social justice and skills improvement where MOOCs can undoubtedly play an even more important role .