- Small- and medium-sized business (SMBs) may account for more than 99% of U.S. enterprise, but budget constraints often mean that training and upskilling offerings are out of reach for them, according to e-learning provider Coursera. In response, the company says it is expanding its Coursera for Business offerings to bring SMBs access to learning at a competitive rate.
- The full catalog of more than 2,600 courses, ranging from soft skills to machine learning will be available, much of the content created by universities.
- And just like Coursera's "enterprise customers," the new platform will give learning and development professionals, business owners or team leaders at SMBs the ability to curate learning programs, as well as invite employees, nudge them and track their progress. Staff can even earn university credentials.
The move expands on Coursera's 2016 incursion into learning for the workplace. And in 2017, the company raised more than $60 million in capital to continue that expansion. This latest announcement should add to the more than 25 million learners the company says it has served since 2012. With online programs fueled by MOOCs and developed content, learners now have more access to educational options, including online master’s degree programs.
While the major players may have the resources to commit $100 million to employee learning, both SMBs and individuals sometimes struggle to find the right upskilling solution. Some have turned to community groups and local educators for help; others who may not have previously considered apprenticeships, like those in the food industry, are giving the option a second look.
One thing, however, is clear: training and upskilling will be critical for those who want to emerge from the talent war relatively unscathed.