Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Could online learning be the key to getting hired?

It's no secret that today's job market is increasingly competitive. Employers now demand more academic credentials and skills for every type of job, with an emphasis placed on the latter - the estimated number of skillsets needed in the workforce has rapidly increased from 178 in 2009 to 924 in 2012. Furthermore, nearly 90% of college freshmen stated that they are pursuing a college degree in order to get a better job. Even the demographics of students seeking higher education has has shifted, with 42% of college students at 25 years of age or older. "Learning and work are becoming inseperable," notes the Institute for Public Policy Research. More working adults have become responsible for developing skills for the workforce.

However, attending universities/colleges may not always be the key to success. On top of rapidly growing tuition prices, few schools have adapted to the surge in demand of skillsets and are hesitant to restructure their programs to reflect the needs to today's labor market. Because of this, some students are wondering if their investments into higher education are worth it. Given this, what could be the link between gaining skills and entering the workforce?

In their recent study about the topic, the Clayton Christensen Institute found that online competency-based education could be the answer to this question. While online learning is not a new phenomena, online competency-based education is because it focuses on the right learning model, the right technologies, the right customers, and the right business model. Students of these programs benefit because the lessons break down learning into competencies rather than courses and subject matter, and because the programs are designed to adapt to the changing labor market. Furthermore, these programs are centered on specific learning outcomes and connect students directly with employers.

Interested in learning more about online competency-based education? Read the Clayton Christensen Institute's full publication, "Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution"