- WeWork, the co-working office space provider, is entering the e-learning market, Fast Company reports. Through a new partnership with 2U, a company that operates online educational programming for grad schools, students will have access to meeting rooms and common spaces in all WeWork locations.
- 2U has also announced that it will open a learning center adjacent to a WeWork location, likely in London, to showcase instructors and potentially become home for live immersion experiences that accompany many of their online degrees.
- WeWork has placed an emphasis on expansion of late: it acquired the New York-based bootcamp Flatiron School in New York last October. In November, it launched WeGrow, a micro-school for elementary school students, and it also purchased Meetup, an educational networking event startup. 2U is providing $5 million in scholarships to WeWork members as part of the new partnership.
As employers continue to pressure the job market for skilled talent, some believe that traditional higher education programs have been slow to meet the needs of today’s workforce. The growth of alternative education — everywhere from bootcamps to, now, co-working — is poised to meet that demand. Some individual learning management system and content providers report total earnings of almost $700 million.
As the skills gap continues to put the squeeze on employers in an applicant-centric job market, with unemployment rates at 4.1%, the need to upskill employees quickly and effectively is, at least in part, fueling the growth of elearning. For employees, the ability to access knowledge on-demand and when relevant is driving the desire for even more learning in the space.