The fight to replace that piece of paper millidegrees at a time

Even USA Today is reporting the rise of the free massive open online course (MOOC) in their news article ‘Start-ups want to give you a college education for free’. I now hold two MOOC certificates, one each from Udacity and Coursera. There is undoubted educational value present. The question remains how much value and how will employers respect that value, if at all.

Some of the typical arguments put forward by the MOOC practitioners are reflected in these quote:

Thrun of Udacity:  ‘Less than 1% of U.S. college students attend Ivy League schools and these students don’t necessarily reflect the world’s brightest and most capable thought leaders, but rather the people who’ve been afforded the most opportunities to succeed’.

Bali of Udemy: ‘It’s the dying companies that value college degrees. You have to think beyond that piece of paper’.

We await the reaction of the employers. My guess is it will take a bold employer to dismiss MOOCs out of hand. The worth of a MOOC certificate in terms of a unit of one thousandth of a bachelors degree (millidegrees). My initial estimate from the two MOOC certificates I earned is that:

1 MOOC certificate equates to a range of 20-40 millidegrees

Reader, what is your estimate?


About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

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