Tue, Oct 25, 2016 | updated 03:46 PM IST

edX launches MicroMasters Programs with IIMB, Top Universities across the World to advance careers

Updated: Sep 21, 2016 17:23 IST

New Delhi [India], Sep 21 (ANI-NewsVoir): EdX, the leading nonprofit online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT, today launched 19 MicroMasters programs, a new category of advanced, online education, with IIMB and other top education universities across the globe.

Originally pioneered by MIT, MicroMasters programs bridges the knowledge gap between higher education and the workplace, and it marks the next evolution in edX's mission to expand access to high-quality, career-relevant education in India and across the globe at a fraction of the price.

The modular programs, which offer a certificate with a pathway to college, provide high-quality education from top institutes to help learners launch or advance their career, or follow a path to an accelerated on-campus program.

"The workplace is changing more rapidly today than ever before and employers are in need of highly-developed talent. Meanwhile, college graduates want to advance professionally, but are realizing they do not have the career-relevant skills that the modern workplace demands. edX recognizes this mismatch between business and education for learners, employees and employers," said Anant Agarwal, CEO of edX and MIT professor.

"MicroMasters, including the one from IIMB, provide the next level of innovation in learning, addressing the skills gap by creating a bridge between higher education and industry to create a skillful, successful 21st-century workforce," added Anant.

14 universities including MIT and now Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), Columbia University, University of Michigan, Thunderbird School of Global Management, a unit of the Arizona State University Knowledge Enterprise, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), launched MicroMasters courses in subjects ranging from entrepreneurship to business management and supply chain management.

MicroMasters programs are created by esteemed edX university partners, valued by top companies and linked to specific career outcomes. While developing the new MicroMasters programs, edX consulted with industry leadership to understand their challenges, both in hiring and developing a smarter, more capable workforce.

"IIM Bangalore has always leveraged technology to increase the reach and effectiveness of its programmes. We are delighted to partner with edX on the MicroMasters initiative. Through this we hope to make high quality management education accessible to all. IIMBx MicroMasters in Business Management and in Entrepreneurship both create pathways for deserving learners to come to IIM Bangalore and enhance their online learning with in-class experiences, taking hybrid learning to the next level," said Prof. Raghavan Srinivasan, Director Incharge, IIM Bangalore.

Learners who excel in the MicroMasters courses, successfully earning the credential, may then apply to an on-campus program; for those who are accepted - either at the institute offering the MicroMasters or another institute that acknowledges the MicroMasters certificate - the digital credential will count as credit toward a portion of the on campus program. Moreover, the MicroMasters initiative offers "inverted admissions," where learners can prove their abilities via online courses and institutes have more data to inform admissions decisions.

Additionally, companies are looking for ways to provide their employees with deep, in-demand learning that will help them advance in rapidly growing fields.

"The world is full of entrepreneurs, each with a potentially innovative business idea. What they need is the right skill set to ensure that they stay on track to set up and grow their ventures. This MicroMasters program from IIMBx is aimed to do just that and I'm sure that thousands of entrepreneurs will acquire the right armory to transform their ideas into new ventures. The opportunity to incubate at NSRCEL and benefit from the entrepreneurial ecosystem at IIM Bangalore is an added plus," said N. S. Raghavan, Patron, NSRCEL, IIMBCo-founder, Infosys Technologies.

On this announcement, Prof. P.D Jose, Chairperson, IIMBx stated, "We are proud to be a part of this path-breaking initiative for making management education accessible to learners worldwide. This is also in line with our vision of increasing our social impact factor." He also added, "We are very excited to launch two separate MicroMasters in Entrepreneurship and Business Management in January 2017. Both programmes allow learners to experience virtually the essence of IIMB's management courses and earn a credential, which we believe will be highly valued by the marketplace. Those who excel in these can then continue their engagement with IIMB with specially tailored on-campus programmes."

An edX survey of online learners revealed a demand for a series of rich and rigorous courses, informed by today's job market. Learners want flexible, affordable, real-time knowledge and skills that fit their lifestyles and prepare them for a specific in-demand job or career, such as Supply Chain Management - a field experiencing a worldwide talent shortage.

"The MITx Supply Chain Management MicroMasters covers all aspects of supply chain management. The knowledge gained from these quality courses helped me to face interviews confidently and build a strong supply chain profile," said Smit Panchal, from India, an edX learner enrolled in the MITx Supply Chain Management MicroMasters. "I'm ecstatic my MicroMasters learning got me the job of my dreams."

Pearson, the world's education company, with over 35,000 employees in more than 70 countries, will also collaborate with edX to support the newly launched MicroMasters programs. Learners around the world will have the opportunity to take MicroMasters courses at local Pearson learning centers, which offer regional, in-person support, access to dedicated cohorts and additional learning resources. This blended learning experience has the potential to help students complete and thrive in online programs in places where online education is less established.

The edX mission in India is to empower learners with access to high-quality education from the world's best institutions and universities. With more than 986,000 Indian learners, India makes up 12 percent of the edX learner base overall. (ANI-NewsVoir)