How MOOCs Are Filling the Talent Pool
Massive Open Online Courses and their benefits for the modern corporation
In a world where the wealth gap shows no signs of shrinking, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) stand ready to play an important role in the education of today's student and tomorrow's employee. The prohibitive costs of higher education, once an insurmountable barrier for many, are slowly being circumvented as MOOCs provide a wealth of courses from business to finance and physics to politics. Whatever your field, there's a MOOC to match.
MOOCs are far from being the poor cousin of traditional learning models. Institutions of the caliber of MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and Columbia are offering students a competitive edge in the workplace at greatly reduced prices as well some that are completely free. Non-profit MOOC provider edX (itself led by MIT and Harvard) boasts more than 90 international partners composed of the world's leading businesses and universities.
MOOCs range from 101s to graduate level qualifications. When these students take these core skills into the job market, employers will find themselves presented with a host of prospects shaped by this modern method of learning.
MOOC facts and figures
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) highlights what seem, at first, a cautionary aspect of MOOCs. The last three years have seen over 25 million people sign up, but only a small percentage of that figure were seeing courses through to completion. However, of those who did, 72% (as high as 87% in some instances) cited career benefits. HBR reports that a substantial number of MOOC graduates are finding new jobs, starting their own businesses, or successfully climbing the education ladder in pursuit of those two goals.
MOOCs are being used by companies to build up the existing skills of their employees or expand those skills into new areas where costly (and lengthy) methods of traditional education aren't viable. All well and good, but that talent is already working for them.
So, how does a company find new hires through MOOCs?
MOOCs and the tailored employee
Companies aren't limited to simply receiving applications from MOOC students and then appraising them: they can contribute directly to the candidate's growth from the ground up. Modern providers of MOOCs such as Udacity allow businesses to provide their own courses and content.
This level of customized interaction ensures students and companies are part of a mutual enterprise; a constant flow of give and take that guarantees future employers a deeper insight into a potential employee's skill set, qualifications, and level of motivation. It's an organic relationship where students can develop in precisely the skills a company will require.
When a business creates its own MOOC, it generates a pool of talent that is not only ideal for the employer's needs, but one where the candidates already have both a professional and personal affinity with (if not a genuine loyalty toward) the organization that invested in them. That kind of connection is priceless when searching for someone who will be a perfect, lasting fit for your organization.
MOOCs as a verifier of performance and character
The drive it takes to tackle a MOOC in the first place is a viable yardstick of a prospect's character and diligence. With no real pressure to attend physical classes and little to no financial consequences if you fail, it's all too easy for an MOOC student to lose motivation and drop out. Those who stay the course in such flexible circumstances make a positive statement to future employers about their ability to commit.
MOOCs and the future of recruitment
This industry leading analysis of recruitment trends shows how the game is changing. Talent attraction is falling by the wayside as talent conversion takes the lead. In 2017 and beyond, the most successful recruitment model will shift focus onto coaching and career development. MOOCs offer a financially fair way for a company to deepen the talent pool and discover candidates who would once have been invisible due to higher education fees. An innovative corporation engaged in creating its own MOOC stands to benefit in their search for talent through guiding their development and supporting their education.
At Capital Markets placement, we're successfully connecting top candidates with the right companies through our vast network of technical talent and in-house, next generation software. If you'd like to benefit from the skills we've shared with clients like PayPal, Amazon, and EBay, you can call us at 212.342.7430 or connect with us here.