Using Online Courses to Bridge the Gap Between Education and Employment
Online Courses Increase Employability
Around 14 million students are graduating in the UK every year. On average it takes them between six and nine months to find a job in their field of study. This is due to a lack of alignment between formal education systems and labour market needs. Students often enter the job market without relevant skills because universities are not monitoring employment demand trends. Educators are therefore not amending learning plans in order to make graduates more employable.
Students are the most flexible actor of the recruitment process and they are trying to adjust to the emergent needs of the market. Many graduates try to bridge the gap in their skills by taking online courses. They are following “trends” and look for alternative ways of obtaining skills in order to increase employability. However, the confusion around the broad range of available options leads to them blindly picking courses that may have no impact on their employability.
Smart Course Choice – Long-term Results
Making a blind choice about the course they want to take does not help graduates in improving their chances to get employed. Students often make their decisions based on their peers’ choices or based on a courses rating. Graduates who have never been employed can not be expected to fully understand the skills that industry really needs. Therefore students waste time and money on online courses that have no impact on their employability.
Jobs, especially those in STEM, are evolving at a rapid pace. Keeping on top of industry trends and knowing what new skills need to be learned will have a major impact on a graduates career success. Online courses can be used as more than a short term strategy to gain employment and can be continued while in the workplace. By taking online courses while employed candidates can take a long-term view of their career and develop new skills as they are needed so they never fall behind in the workplace.
Benefits of Taking Online Courses
Online courses present a number of benefits for those who take them:
- Flexible schedule
- You chose the suitable environment
- Niche courses available that give specific skills employers are looking for
- Career advancement
- Wide range of topics
There is a greater range of course topics available online compared with face-to-face learning options. In highly technical fields, especially STEM, it is beneficial to have in-depth knowledge of specific subjects rather than the general education students often get in university. For example, a role may require a specific coding language or knowledge of AI. Online courses present the most effective way to obtain the technical knowledge needed.
In a survey conducted by the Learning House, 44% of students, after completing their online courses, reported having their employment standing improved. 45% of students also reported an increase in salary after receiving their promotions.
MOOCs is the Future of Education
Education is changing. In the future, we will see more and more students conduct their studies online. Currently, most of the online courses available are short courses in specific areas. The success of these types of courses in helping candidates gain employment, through obtaining skills employers actually desire, is only increasing their popularity. In the future, we may see traditional offline universities embrace distance and use online learning to complement learning programs to give their students the skills needed to meet employment demand.
“There has long been this narrative around how universities are not providing the skills that employers feel they need in their incoming employees. But that communication channel has been hard to develop. How do you, as a university professor, learn what it is that industry really needs? Interestingly, by teaching the MOOC, you actually learn what people who are actively employed are looking for as part of their education. We also create direct relationships between top universities and top employers, so you now have that feedback loop that can help us make university teaching more relevant.” – Daphne Koller, Coursera President
How PitchMe is Bridging the Gap
The employment market is rapidly changing and to help candidates keep their skills up-to-date and relevant, PitchMe uses a matching algorithm to connect candidates with relevant online courses.
A Tool for Reskilling and Upskilling
PitchMe analyses market trends and recommends courses to candidates based on their skills profile. Recommendations come based on skills gaps identified in their profiles and the current skills employers in their field are seeking.
Online courses are an important tool for reskilling and upskilling. Not only can they be used to fill a skills gap to make a candidate’s profile more attractive to employers, but they are also known for enabling career progression, gaining promotions and pay rises. We create a comprehensive profile of skills for each candidate and take a look at their long-term career goals, making recommendations not only on their short term goals but also on their long term dreams.
The PitchMe marketplace is bridging the gap for students by partnering with online education providers. We work closely with all our partners to gain an in-depth understanding of their courses and what can be gained by completing them and only make recommendations to our candidates where the course fits their needs.
PitchMe works with several online learning platforms to present courses to their candidates. These platforms specialise in a range of topics and can provide expert knowledge to graduates to give them the skills needed to be employable in the current market.
Kadenze is an online learning platform that specialises in courses in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Design, Music, and Math, presented by world-leading universities.
Alison provides courses presented by world leaders on their subjects. Course vary in topic and cover everything from IT to Science, as well as Math, Marketing, and Languages.
Future Learn is a digital education company that is owned by the Open University of Milton Keynes. They offer short courses, in-depth courses and even online degrees. Subject matter varies from Business and Management to Tech and Coding.
Benefits of Being an Education Partner
Reach More Students
3.000 unique leads per month!
By partnering with PitchMe, education providers reach a larger pool of students from our ever-expanding candidate database. Currently, we have candidates in various fields such as data science, digital marketing and web development.
Higher Rates of Completed Courses
8 out of 10 our referred candidates complete the course!
Many candidates are looking to improve their skills in specific areas to increase their chances of being employed. However due to the overwhelming amount of options available candidates can become confused. This often leads to incomplete courses as they lose interest or they don’t see the value it can add to their career. Because we make recommendations based on employer needs and candidate’s unique skills profile there is greater incentive to finish the course and candidates are highly motivated to add new skills to their applications.
Increase employability rate40% students get employed via PitchMe
One of the important indicators of the course quality for students is the probability to increase chances for employment. Our personalised course suggestion to students makes them more competitive and therefore their success rate is much higher. Use our data to calculate the employability rate of your students!
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