- The State of New York is launching a free platform that includes access to "nearly 4,000" courses and certificate programs through Coursera, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced Nov. 19.
- The subjects available for courses and certificate programs include remote worker management, machine learning, cybersecurity, project management and programming, among others.
- New Yorkers can request a free account on the state's department of labor website, according to the announcement. The state said it is providing these services to help state residents "elevate their careers or compete in a new industry," while businesses can benefit from a more skilled labor pool.
Employers and government agencies are working to address the labor market skills gaps that were apparent before the pandemic and have since been exacerbated by it. Many tech companies and online learning providers are partnering to offer free or low-cost training for in-demand jobs across the country. For example, staffing and consulting firm Randstad US recently announced a partnership with Udemy offering free coursework for job seekers.
While some employers lag behind on the training needs of their workforce amid the pandemic, it appears investment in online training in general has increased, according to a survey by the Association for Talent Development. Since April, learning providers have noted a significant increase in usage that has continued through the summer and adoption of learning technology also appears to be on the rise.
Another trend working in employers’ favor as they seek to upskill workforces is the increasing "trainability" of employees, according to a recent McKinsey study. Researchers said that increasing familiarity with digital conferencing and collaboration tools has allowed online training to be more scalable and potentially have greater ROI.