Industry Focus: Broad Online Learning Platforms
Internet-based education offers more than just free courses; it provides learners the opportunity to grow and learn about various subjects which can benefit them both personally and professionally. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that online learning platforms have gained such popularity. The number of available platforms is rising, and companies are doing their best to stand out among the vast competition. As the available platforms appear and develop, so do the job opportunities that companies offer to ambitious and creative people.
Some find that the best way to use the internet is to be a subsidiary to traditional studies: that is so-called “blended learning.” However, others argue that the main thrust of e-learning should be to provide free education to disadvantaged people worldwide, so even if someone doesn’t have access to a university, they can still be given the education they want.
For those who have a passion for learning and those who are looking to upgrade their knowledge in order to find a better job position, online learning platforms are the key to success and self-confidence. Nowadays, people are not limited to a certain place if they want to educate themselves, but they can do it wherever they have a laptop or even just a cell phone.
Which Types of Online Learning are Available?
There are various forms of online learning, one of which is MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses). They are free, short online courses offered by reputable universities. These courses are becoming immensely popular and often comprise a multimedia material and interactive game-like environments.
In the US, the largest MOOC network is Coursera. It hosts courses from 100 universities worldwide, who hope the free courses will encourage people to sign up for paid modules. The British equivalent to Coursera is called Futurelearn and it offers courses from more than half of the top 40 UK universities.
A few universities already offer an opportunity for students to exchange the MOOC certificates for actual college credit. This could become increasingly valuable in the job market. Without regard to the fact that full degree qualifications still remain available only to the paying students.
Another type of online learning platform is video-based learning, intended for visually oriented learners. YY, the video-based social network, launched their online learning platform, called 100.com, in February 2014. The new learning platform is focused on digital English language learning. They combine visual learning and language learning in order to get the best results. YY also released the iOS and Android mobile versions of the learning platform.
Game-based learning also has its share of popularity among online learning platforms. It is more common in the US PreK-12 (up to 12th grade) segment than eLearning and has a very high global growth rate at 26,1% (Source: The 2016-2021 Worldwide Game-based Learning Market, Ambient Insight, LLC).
As the products develop, and companies work on upgrading the platforms, mobile language learning products are in much higher demand than self-paced courses in the consumer segments across the globe. And there is virtually no demand for self-paced products in mobile-only countries.
Broad Online Learning Platforms on the Market
The best way to get familiar with how online learning platforms work is to collect information about popular online learning platforms. For that purpose, the following platforms will serve as an example:
Knewton provides an online adaptive learning engine. It offers Knewton, a platform that provides students with tailored recommendations for exactly what to study, teachers with analytics to better support each student, and publishers with content insights to develop more effective digital products. The company also provides adaptive learning solutions for higher education students in various subjects. Its technology is used by educational companies and institutions.
Curious is an information platform which enables anyone to learn, teach and share knowledge and information on any topic. At Curious they believe in lifelong learning. They support learning that happens beyond classrooms, and not only in academic subjects.
Udemy is a global marketplace for learning and teaching online. It helps its users to learn a new skill or develop existing ones. They believe that anyone can build the life they imagine through online learning. Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses that can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a tuition fee. Courses are offered across various categories, including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology. Depending on the instructor, the offered courses can be paid or free.
Job Opportunities Related to Broad Online Learning Platforms
Since eLearning is a growing field of business, it is no surprise that job opportunities related to online learning platforms are increasing. Some jobs you may encounter in this field are:
Data Analyst – Your primary responsibility is to help improve the digital education platform through measurement and analysis. This job can help you grow your technical and coding skills. Additionally, you can apply your skills in a growing business that is changing the core of education systems. If you are skilled in designing metrics and have a background in statistical analysis, this may be your opportunity. Some experience in Data Analysis or in User Experience is beneficial.
Software Engineer (Content) – You will be responsible for building, maintaining and scaling a service-oriented distributed system that delivers educational content to teachers and students. This can be a great opportunity for you to improve the scalability, resiliency, and performance through the whole stack of the platform and to help you grow to your full potential. Passion for education is desirable, as well as a bachelor degree related to software engineering.
Digital Education Specialist – The person doing this job is responsible for both direct and support activities for the sales team in a certain digital education company in order to increase the number of schools, universities, and colleges working with that specific company. Experience in education is important and that is why most companies ask for a minimum of two years experience in teaching and/or digital-education sales. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience is needed.
These study programs will show you what type of courses can be of great help if you decide to dedicate yourself to this field of business.
- University of Limerick: Technology (Education) in Materials and Engineering Technology (Ireland)
- Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL): Psychology and Education (Belgium)
- The University of Manchester: Software Engineering (United Kingdom)
- University of Oslo: Education (Norway)
- Universidad de Sevilla: Software Engineering and Technology (Spain)
- Linköping University: Adult Learning and Global Change (Sweden)
- University of Geneva: Advanced Learning and Teaching Technologies (Switzerland)
- University of Bath: International Education and Globalisation (United Kingdom)
Recognizing how much they can gain from that experience inspired millions of people to sign up to hundreds of apps, lectures, tests, platforms, and courses. Companies dealing with online learning know the potential it carries and that is why they are always on the lookout for job seekers who can contribute to their business. If you aspire to combine education and technology, you might have just found the right job.