Thursday, February 28, 2019

Goodwill runs the world's 2nd largest MOOC

In 2018, more than 31 million people took virtual courses offered through GCFGlobal – a Goodwill Community Foundation initiative – and their online portal, offered in English, Spanish and Portuguese. This is an astounding number that would rank it just behind Coursera’s reported 37 million registered users in 2018 and more than both Udacity (10 million) and edX (18 million) combined. Goodwill, with very little fanfare, is already the 2nd biggest MOOC in the world, running neck-and-neck with Coursera – a fast-charging, venture-backed company that has raised over $210 million. And there’s good reason to believe it could quickly surpass all MOOCs in total users. Why? It’s simple. Goodwill got the premise right. And that premise is all about jobs. It’s providing the education and skills that help move people from unemployed to employed, from a low-paying job to a higher-paying one, from a bad or average job to a good job.

Gallup’s World Poll data is clear on what the whole world wants most: a good job. People around the world highly value health, safety and family – but they see a good job as key to accomplishing these things. Demand for this tangible asset is sky-high: there are some 1.8 billion people in the world who want a good job and don’t have one. The Strada-Gallup Education Consumer Survey reports that the top reason U.S. adults value higher education is to get a good job. Certainly, people value education for other reasons – including an interest in lifelong learning, intellectual interests and personal development – but these reasons are far down the list compared to their motivation to improve their standing in today’s job market. This is where Goodwill separates itself from the others.

In looking at the courses and topics offered at, you can quickly understand why it is such a highly utilized resource. It ranges from reading, math and understanding money and personal finance to computer, email and Internet basics to digital skills and mastering widely-used tools such as Microsoft Office and QuickBooks. Goodwill’s MOOC offerings serve as an extension of their robust job training and placement efforts on the ground where they serve 2.1 million people through face-to-face offerings including job placement services, career coaches and even rehabilitation programs for those recovering from physical injuries. Goodwill understands that the world of work now requires a commitment to lifelong learning.
H/t Tyler Cowen.

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