Two New Entry-Level Certificate Programs on Sales Development and Data Analytics from Salesforce and IBM

IBL News | New York

Coursera announced yesterday it teamed up with Salesforce, IBM, and SV Academy to launch two entry-level Professional Certificates on sales development and data analytics.

These programs, priced at $49/month, do not require any specific education or work experience from learners.

  • Sales Development Representative (SDR) Professional Certificate from Salesforce and SV Academy.  This five-course program covers SDR basics, including how to prepare a professional portfolio and develop a personal brand, the Conversational Selling methodology, and tech tools. It integrates content from Trailhead.com, Salesforce’s free online learning platform, to prepare learners for a career in sales development.
  • Data Analyst Professional Certificate from IBM. This eight-course, nine months program includes a mix of theoretical coursework and hands-on labs in order to provide learners with skills on data-driven decisions.


“Offering the new IBM Data Analyst Professional Certificate on Coursera will help learners develop skills and gain practical experience for working with data and ultimately, preparing for their next career steps,”
said Leon Katsnelson, Director and CTO of IBM Developer Skills Network.

Coursera Issues a Certificate Program on “Facebook Social Media Marketing” for Non-College Graduates

IBL News | New York

Coursera announced yesterday a Social Media Marketing Professional Certificate from Facebook, designed for learners without a college degree or any prior experience who aspire to an entry-level job in the field—with median salaries starting at $70,000 per year.

The certificate is a self-paced five-course program, designed to be completed within 20 weeks, at five hours per week. It costs $45 per month.

Upon completion of the program, learners will earn both the Coursera and the Facebook Digital Marketing Associate Certification. The program will include skills to use Facebook Ads Manager.

Coursera, through its CEO, Jeff Maggioncalda, said in a blog post—in addition to announcing its partnership with Facebook—that there is a consortium of top employers committed to source candidates who complete the program. “The consortium includes L’ange Hair, Snow Teeth Whitening, Ruggable, Freelancer, Facebook, and a growing number of other leading brands,” he explained.

 

Coursera Expands in Latin American by Adding Three New University Partners

IBL News | New York

Coursera.org announced yesterday new partnerships with three Latin American universities.

The Mountain View, California-based learning platform also said it added over 5 million new learners in the region in the past year. The company now has 15 university and industry partners in Latin America, and over 530 courses subtitled or natively in Spanish.

The new partners are the following:

  • Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana (UAM). A first-course, Geometría Analítica Preuniversitaria, was launched yesterday on Coursera. The institution plans to expand its online catalog with general education courses.
  • Unversidad de Palermo (UP). The new course of this Argentinian university, Psicologia, was issued yesterday. Courses in business, psychology, and other areas are also planned.

Last year, it also announced its first Spanish-language degree program — an online master’s degree in software engineering from Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia.

Coursera.org Will Allow Its Employees to Work from Home until January 2022

IBL News | New York

Coursera.org announced that it will allow employees to continue working remotely until January 1, 2022, “when we anticipate bringing our offices back to full service”. 

The learning company–with 1,800 employees and a valuation of $2.5 billion–presented the decision as a new vision for work-lifeand part of its “unique and innovative culture out of the typical office mold.” 

Rich Jacquet, Chief People Officer, explained that “even after our offices safely reopen, Courserians will have the flexibility to work remotely for the long term, work from a nearby office, or split their time between the two arrangements.”

Due to the pandemic, “remote is here to stay,” he added.

The Mountain View, California-based firm also will offer to each employee $1,000 for home-office equipment, in order to “create a productive home environment.”

An additional financial saving for the company will come from recruiting candidates who live beyond a commuting distance from their office. 

UT Austin Launches a Master’s Degree in Computer Science that It Doesn’t Require GRE

IBL News | New York

The University of Texas at Austin announced this week an online Master’s Degree in Computer at $10,000 that doesn’t require the GRE examination for applying. “It’s one big step to increase education access,” said Anant Agarwal, CEO at edX.org.

The degree will be hosted at the edX platform. The program start date was August 26th, 2020.

“The GRE requirement for all applicants has officially been waived for Spring 2021, Fall 2021, and Spring 2022 semesters,” the university explained.

The institution revealed that GRE requirement was “temporarily waived” due to the “challenges that many students were facing because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Master’s Degree in Computer Science includes 10 courses fully developed online. Its tuition is $10,000 (30 credits at $333 each).

Coursera Expands Its Learning Products, Including Guided Projects, Paths, and Live Meetings

IBL News | New York

Coursera.org announced that its Guided Projects product attracted over a million enrollments since launching in April.

Currently, there are 380 Guided Projects, which offers skills-based hands-on learning experiences based on Ryme.com, an underlying platform acquired last year. In a split-screen video, the workspace appears on the left side of the screen while an instructor provides step-by-step guidance on the right.

The learning company plans to reach 1,000 by the end of the year. Organizations can create their own projects using Coursera’s authoring tools. [See an example below].

The second announcement of Coursera last week was the launch of Career Learning Paths, a free online resource that shows learners curated content, along with progression and details on the skills.

To date, Coursera has added six fields on Career Learning Paths: Digital MarketingAgile Project ManagementNetwork EngineeringData EngineeringDesign, and Data Science.

The last announcement was Live2Coursera, which enables instructors to teach live classes and integrate Zoom recordings into their courses.

Coursera has 68 million learners and over 200 university partners.

The University of Cambridge Offers a 30-Credit Program on ‘Writing for Performance’ on edX

IBL News | New York

The University of Cambridge will offer a MicroMasters program of 30 credits on Writing for Performance on edX.org. The program, priced at $1,432, will start in October 2020 and will comprise of 8 courses instructed over a period of 8-months.

Learners who complete this micro-degree will be able to apply to the Master of Studies (MSt) in Writing for Performance (180 credits) at the University of Cambridge in the UK.

The program is designed for professional dramatists, writers, and those involved in related creative industries or interested to engage with the film, TV, and digital entertainment industries. Johannes Heinlein, VP of Partnerships at edX explained that“creativity is the most sought after soft skill for 2020.”

The University of Cambridge–with renowned 800-year history– is partnering with the MIT and Harvard’s non-profit edX Inc through its Institute of Continuing Education. This MicroMasters is its first offering on edX.org

“This collaboration is a critical step to further scale the University’s strategy for online education, whilst at the same time complementing the University’s traditional offer,” said Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education Professor, Graham Virgo.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen the societal importance of high-quality film, television, and radio; they’ve entertained, educated, and lifted our spirits,” said Dr. James Gazzard, Director at The University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education (ICE). “We hope this new course will engage and inspire future writers, some of whom may aspire to study for a Master’s degree at Cambridge.”

 

Arm Offers a Free Course on Embedded Systems and IoT Devices at edX.org

IBL News | New York

Arm Education launched a free course on edX.org about Embedded Systems which includes a virtual simulator to apply real-world applications [see below].

The class, now open for enrollment, will start on September 15, 2020. It will teache over six modules for six weeks, at 3-6 hours per week, on the fundamentals of the embedded systems that power mobile, wearable, and smart devices of AI and 5G-based Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Arm–which is the industry-standard microcontroller architecture– designed the course for engineers and developers, especially interested in IoT.

Learners will be able to apply their knowledge of digital and analog I/O, interrupts, low power features, timer and pulse width modulation to program an audio wave generator and audio player, and control peripherals along the way.

“Embedded Systems Essentials with Arm: Getting Started” is Arm Education’s first course on edX.

The Cambridge, the UK-based company, joined the edX consortium this month.

Udacity Will Award 1,000 Program Scholarships to the Black Community

IBL News | New York

Udacity announced this week that it will award 1,000 Nanodegree program scholarships “to members of the Black community in order to create a more diverse talent pipeline for in-demand skills like machine learning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and data analysis.”

Top-performing recipients will receive Udacity’s career counseling and interview guidance for one year. Recipients will need to be able to commit 10-15 hours per week per program and participate in the student community. The scholarship application period concludes on September 17, 2020.

This initiative is part of its Pledge to Equality Scholarship Program.

“The release of the scholarship comes at a time when the United States is still grappling with systemic racism, especially in the Black community,” said Udacity. “What’s more, this issue forced the tech industry to look inward and reflect on the continued lack of representation that persists in this field.”  

As of 2019, African- Americans make up, on average, 9% of the jobs in STEM, while the LatinX community makes up 7% of roles in STEM, according to Udacity’s data.

Udacity has launched other scholarship programs this year in partnership with technology employers like Amazon, Intel, Microsoft, and Alteryx.

The Mountain View, California-headquartered learning company said that “it has already awarded 7,000 challenge scholarships and 1,175 Nanodegree scholarships, with an ultimate goal of 20,000 this year, to those who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The company also partnered with the Egyptian government to upskill the country’s emerging workforce.

Canvas LMS Will Provide Its Learning Platform to 13 U.S. States

IBL News | New York

Thirteen U.S. states will offer Canvas LMS as a statewide solution to support blended and online classes amid the pandemic.

Instructure, the company behind leading Canvas LMS, announced the partnership agreement yesterday.

Statewide deals for LMS solutions have been relatively infrequent until this year. Of the 13 states working with Canvas, four of them were implemented previously to this pandemic year. North Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming offered the LMS for student use across the state, while Texas implemented Canvas as a statewide offering for professional development for its educators. 

Education officials in AlaskaIowaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew MexicoSouth Carolina, and Utah join the four mentioned states in implementing statewide agreements that allow every district to use Canvas. Wyoming and New Hampshire have made Canvas available for students from kindergarten through college. Schoology also recently announced one statewide deal for its LMS to be made available to districts across Texas.

Canvas said that is providing a platform based on open standards and interoperability that encourage districts to integrate its LMS with other educational technologies.

The implementation of statewide deals is often dependant on the individual districts. Each state and each district within the state has differing needs, and with so many states adopting new technologies in the past few months amid the pandemic, education leaders aren’t able to implement the purchases immediately. Many states will offer a multi-year implementation to help teachers, students, and parents become more comfortable with the technologies.

“We have seen that Canvas creates a more equitable and consistent learning experience for students in the classroom and online whether it’s used to support a 2nd-grade spelling assignment, an 8th-grade algebra class, a 12th grade AP English class, or their bachelor’s degree honor’s thesis,” said Melissa Loble, chief customer experience officer at Instructure.

 

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