With the evolution of technology leading to information being accessible from multiple devices, regardless of location or time, it has fostered the expectation for everything to be instantly available. The internet has become an integral part of everyday life, from influencing our television viewing habits to the way that we order takeaways. The increased speed of accessing information has altered the attention span of future generations, creating a need for instant gratification. This societal expectancy is also something that has influenced the landscape of education. Higher education institutions are having to alter the way that courses are taught in order to ensure that they are always providing content that is catering to this need, whilst remaining both engaging and of high-quality. Whilst attending a physical class will most likely remain permanent, students are now requiring education itself to be more flexible and accessible.
Massive Open Online Courses
The educational landscape is something that must change with the evolution of society in order to continue to positively impact students and their learning. There has been an increase in shorter online courses that although are not full university degrees, still provide enough content to educate students on certain areas or skills. For example, there has been an increase in MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) which not only require less of a commitment than an online degree but can also be taken by anyone at any stage of their career. These courses have become more mainstream because whilst they are still educational and globally recognised, they also provide individuals with the required knowledge. As society becomes more reliant on the internet for information, MOOCs are a way to provide an education whilst catering to this new way of consuming information, making it possible for employees to broaden their understanding of niche areas without taking time off from their jobs.
These shorter courses allow for career progression and provide candidates with a competitive edge by demonstrating that an individual is committed to self-growth. Whilst a majority of candidates may possesses similar qualifications and experience, enrolling in a short online course is an advantage due to the candidate continually seeking knowledge and skills which will inevitably impact the workplace.
These courses can also be beneficial for ever-changing industries such as tax or cyber-security where it would make sense for employees to enrol in a short online course than a university degree due to the continual shift. Education is now considering working professionals as a part of their target audience, therefore ensuring that the learning experience will have a positive socio-economic impact.
Shorter courses are also more likely to be completed due to the concision of the content feeling more attainable. As users become more digital, it is integral for education to evolve and ensure that content is being engaged with. Education is no longer just a means of gaining qualification but a learning experience which can act as a catalyst for career progression and improving the workplace. Therefore, as more employers continue to invest in enrolling their workforce on these courses, education will continue to change accordingly in order to cater to this audience.