Digital short-courses: look globally and then act locally

The short-course market is picking-up as universities offer not-for accreditation, (but badged with their brand), work-related subjects

Uni Southern Queensland has announced 18 on-line “mini-courses” in its UpSkill programme. They take 40 hours over four weeks and cover marketing comms, management, business and education at costs ranging from $625 (childcare subjects) to comms and business ($735).  Completers can qualify for a digital completion badge, (CMM September 6).

Another provider also announced products in the space last week –  MOOC giant Coursera, which has a hard-to match offering – professional certificates, which “help you gain marketable skills and become job-ready for an in-demand career in less than 12 months. … “Learn from top companies and universities … with affordable programs starting at US$39 per month.” Participants include Google, IBM and alpha entrepreneur US university Arizona State. The courses have a completion significant and some serve as prep for accreditation exams, for example SAS Base Programmer certification.

The corporates involved don’t have education partners – why would they? They are teaching their own products and don’t need any institution’s imprimatur.   They are also on-offer in a global marketplace.

So how do Australian institutions compete with that? They can’t. Most providers will be fine while they offer courses that meet specific Australian professional registration requirements and are designed for local conditions – unless they really want to invest to compete in borderless disciplines and can find the money to pay for it.


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