WorkingNation Overheard: Jeff Maggioncalda on region-specific demand for online learning

In the past year, the interest in online learning has grown significantly, according to Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera, which provides learning content from 240 universities and industry educators.

“The pandemic basically closed every school in the world. It closed every office in the world and for workforce development programs—it forced all these programs to move online. So, in 2020, we were very busy. Thirty million people came to Coursera to learn online,” says Maggioncalda.

“And now as the pandemic eases up a little bit, we’re seeing a lot more interest, especially from workforce development boards, looking to online learning as a way to upskill people for new digital jobs.”

Working with educational partners in different states, cities, and even countries is exciting, because learning can be tailored to a specific region, says Maggioncalda.

Maggioncalda also notes changes in workplace learning. “We have over 2,000 companies around the world who use Coursera for Business. Companies are starting to look first to the job, then to the skills, then to the content.”

“I would say that four years ago it was content first. Now, it’s much more—which jobs are in demand, where are the job openings that people can be hired into. Then there’s the question of what skills are needed to do those jobs. We have to make sure that we’ve got the content and the course assessments to make sure that the skills that are needed for those jobs are being taught in the content. And those skills are measurable. And you can benchmark them against people who are actually in those shop positions, as well.”

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