Six years ago, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) were unveiled as a potential solution to the “cost-disease” of higher education. They provided access to free educational content from top-rated universities to anyone with an internet connection.
After the initial euphoria, a new model of MOOCs has emerged: well-designed, low-cost, certificate-bearing courses. The main difference? Instead of free statements of accomplishment from MOOCs, learners can now earn an affordable certificate to signal competence in a new skill.
The evolution of this new MOOC model — let’s call it the Credential-Earning, Lifelong Learning Online (CELLO) model — is concurrent with the development of the new reality: Workers can now hold a during a working lifetime. Can these workers go back to college every time they transition to a new job? No.
The need for lifelong learning to sustain one’s career is more important than ever, and these CELLOs serve an increasingly vital purpose in filling the educational gaps between graduation and your next job.