Governments Use Coursera to Close Growing Skills Gaps

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Governments Use Coursera to Close Growing Skills Gaps

Coursera for Governments & Nonprofits launches with Partners in Egypt, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Singapore and the United States

New Delhi – (January 27, 2017)Coursera announces the launch of Coursera for Governments & Nonprofits, a unique effort by a leading technology company to close current and emerging skills gaps in the global workforce. Coursera’s initial partners include governments and nonprofits in Egypt, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Singapore and the United States.

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“The skills gap can no longer be ignored as a major force driving world events,” said Rick Levin, CEO of Coursera. “Millions of people lack the skills needed for new and better jobs, and increasing automation will only widen the gap. Governments and nonprofits focused on workforce development are eager to work with us and our university partners to deliver skills education to populations at unprecedented scale.”

Coursera for Governments & Nonprofits can be used by organizations focused on workforce development to curate online learning programs aligned to their labor market needs. Learning programs range from Digital Manufacturing and Business English to Programming for Everybody and Data Science, from schools like Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Michigan. Government organizations can then instantly (and affordably) make university courses and certificates aligned to high-demand skills available to their constituents. To ensure successful implementation, Coursera offers consultation in learning model design, including how to blend Coursera’s accessible online learning with in-person supports. Partners will also gain access to analytics tools to track learners’ progress, skill acquisition and long-term impact.

Initial partners in Coursera for Governments & Nonprofits span seven countries.

In the United States, the Institute for Veterans & Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) has partnered with Coursera to offer training and certification to 1,200 transitioning service members, military spouses and veterans through its Onward to Opportunity (O2O) program. O2O participants will take coursework in Java programming, full stack web development, data analysis, and hotel management while receiving on-base support and career services. In addition, the University of New England in partnership with Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc., recipient of a TechHire grant (part of the national White House TechHire Initiative), will offer accelerated online-offline learning programs to unemployed and underemployed citizens across the state of Maine.

“Service members return home with a diverse set of skills, but often need to develop additional technical competencies to find careers in the rapidly evolving workforce,” said Colonel (U.S. Army, Ret.) Jim McDonough, Managing Director for Program and Services within IVMF. “Coursera offers relevant training from top institutions that our transitioning service members can do at their own pace, wherever they are – empowering them with the skills they need to find their next career.”


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Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) is using Coursera to train individuals in data science and related topics, with completion incentives and optional meet-ups for participants. A group of learners from the first cohort have already completed the courses and reported that the program has helped their careers by enhancing their relevant experience, credentials and other benefits.

“We believe that governments can play an important role in connecting citizens with the jobs of the future,” said Dr. Karl Ng, MDEC’s Director of Innovation Capital Division. “Our businesses need more people skilled in data science. That’s what we’ve focused on in this first project with Coursera. We’re excited to expand our work with Coursera to other verticals.”

In Kazakhstan, the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) has partnered with Coursera to train 1,000+ citizens for jobs in the newly created financial center. AIFC Academy will combine Coursera courses in finance and soft skills with in-person learning opportunities and career support.

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About Coursera

Coursera is an online education company that offers courses and learning experiences from the world’s top universities and education institutions including Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of Virginia, and University of Michigan. Coursera has more than 23 million registered learners worldwide who can access over 1,700 courses and Specializations in dozens of topics including business, technology, social sciences, health, and art. Coursera empowers learners around the world to achieve their career, educational, and personal enrichment goals throughout their lives. Coursera is backed by leading venture capital firms such as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, GSV Capital, International Finance Corporation, Laureate Education Inc. and Learn Capital.

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