I recently listened in on a teleseminar between Dan Miller and Dinesh Thiru of Udemy.com about the future of online education. Here are some things that I got out of it that I thought you might be interested in.
Online education is coming. Actually it’s here and it’s transforming rapidly. A lot of colleges offer online courses and even entire degrees, but typically taking those courses require you becoming a student, handing over a big chunk of money and getting an entire degree complete with a bunch of courses you may or may not really care about.
Enter the new guys.
Udemy.com is different type of online education. They offer specific courses that are fairly inexpensive or even free. Their self-proclaimed goals are to democratize education and dramatically lower the price of receiving a high quality education from the world’s top experts in all types of industries.
Udemy allows you to choose specific skills that you want to learn. The site has courses on a variety of subjects ranging from graphic design to project management. It allows you to choose what you want to learn without having to take a bunch of classes that you don’t really want or need. Udemy has a few classes that offer certification but the majority of them only offer certificates of completions. The goal of these courses is not to give you a piece of paper in which to place your confidence but to give you actual knowledge in which to place your confidence.
The fact is, more industries are placing value on your real world work experience, the projects you’ve led, and if you can show continual growth and an improving skill set.
Dinesh Thiru of Udemy gave the scenario of an employer looking at two potential candidates applying for an entry level marketing position:
Candidate 1: A traditional college graduate with a degree from a well-known university.
Candidate 2: A person who did not graduate college but who has taken several online courses in marketing and who has created an innovative website that has gotten a couple thousand visitors.
He states that his company and employers in general are shifting away from hiring the more traditional college graduate to the one who is self-driven and has developed marketable skills and can demonstrate those skills through specific projects.
Having a degree will remain a must for certain jobs such as nursing and other medical fields where employees have to know that you proficient in certain areas. But in a lot of other fields employers are starting to care less and less about the letters behind your name. They want to know what you can do to add value to their company.
I find this shift very exciting.
It opens up even greater possibilities to you; if you have the drive and motivation to succeed.
What do you think? Have you ever taken an online course? Did you like it? Do you think it will become the new normal? Share your thoughts on the future of education.
As a side note, I am not getting paid in any way to advertise for Udemy. I just really like and support the idea of taking your education into your own hands.