This week in higher education, we saw an announcement for a new online platform to help prospective online students search through available online course offerings from several of the largest online degree and MOOC providers.
The idea is to create a new search platform for online course offerings, specifically the ones that tie into in-demand job skills for employers who are currently hiring, according to the Wall Street Journal.
But the company, called Balloon, comes out of the same Apollo Education Group Inc., known for its ownership of the University of Phoenix, which primarily offers online degrees. That may lead prospective students to question the breadth of Balloon’s scope. Will the new service merely be a way to advertise one university’s programs? Will it be a truly fair aggregator of online job skill training?
The need to do more to link education with jobs is clear, what with the results of a Gallup survey that purporting an apparent skills gap between the skills students graduate college with, and what skills employers are looking for.
“The demand [for skilled workers] is not being met,” Jamie Merisotis, president and chief executive of Lumina Foundation, told the Wall Street Journal. “This aims to make a better connection in terms of content and delivery in the learning side and what those tech-sector players are saying they need.”
Do you see this as a way for online education providers to steer people away from traditional degrees? Do you believe employers trust a traditional agree more than an online certification program? Will this make waves to push higher education to align more with workplace needs, or will it be more of the same? Tell us in the comments.