The “skills gap” isn’t just one thing. Rather, it’s an umbrella term used to encompass any area where employers are having trouble finding qualified employees to fill open positions. In a recent article for Talent Culture, Spark Hire CEO Josh Tolan identified five main areas where skills gaps exist. We decided to explore how well MOOCs could help employers—and job seekers—bridge the biggest skills gaps.
1. Digital media skills
More than three-quarters of companies report that a digital skills gap is preventing them from adapting to new digital trends. It’s pretty safe to say that MOOCs have digital skills covered in spades. Specific digital media courses include Social Media and Digital Media One, both offered via Canvas, and Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps and Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing on Coursera.
2. Soft skills
Close to one-half of employers find that employees are lacking soft skills like communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. These are often considered some of the most difficult skills to train, but MOOCs are taking a stab at it. Here are a few: Creativity: Music to My Ears and Decision Skills: Power Tools to Build Your Life from NovoEd, Critical Thinking in Global Challenges and Creativity, Innovation, and Change on Coursera, and Corporate Communication from Saylor.
3. Marketing skills
Business is another area where MOOCs are flourishing. Marketing-specific MOOCs include An Introduction to Marketing on Coursera, Digital Marketing: Challenges and Insights on FutureLearn, and Services Marketing: Selling the Invisible on OpenLearning.
4. Skilled trades
OK, this might be a tough sell for MOOCs, since trades are primarily learned hands-on. However, many trades industries already use elearning for parts of their training programs, and these parts could translate well to MOOCs.
5. STEM skills
STEM skills are in continuously high demand. Computer science, software, and math courses are abundantly available, and both Coursera and edX also feature a collection of MOOCs in the natural and other sciences.
Looking for a particular MOOC to enhance your skills? Explore Degreed’s MOOC list.