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How MOOCs can raise a company’s IQ and increase competitiveness

What benefits do companies gain from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)? The obvious one is a better-educated workforce, but how does this translate into making enterprises more competitive and profitable?

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Innovative online educational programs such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are bringing professional education into the digital age. Their global reach, limitless subject range, open enrollment and relatively low price point give employees of all stripes the opportunity to improve their job skills. What benefits do companies gain from MOOCs? To find out, we interviewed companies where the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics’ (MIT CTL) supply chain management MOOC, the SCx online program, is being used by employees. And we analyzed feedback from hundreds of SCx learners. The research suggests that a MOOC platform can contribute to competitiveness by giving employees—both within and without the supply chain function—a more holistic view of the enterprise and the competitive environment in which it operates. These programs also deliver in-depth knowledge that can be put to practical use. Companies that recognize this and harness the benefits can capture first mover advantage.

Expanding options
The number of MOOCs has grown dramatically over recent years. An article published by Forbes in January 2016 estimates that there are more than 4,200 MOOC courses available, and many more if corporate training programs are included in the total. MIT CTL launched the SCx online pro¬gram in September 2014. To date, the program has enrolled over 114,000 learners in 180 countries.

In October 2015, we launched the first MicroMasters Credential in the world, the MITx MicroMasters Credential in Supply Chain Management (SCM) program. This program effectively bridges the traditional and online class¬rooms. MicroMasters gives students a standalone career development certificate, as well as the chance to be accepted into the on-campus MIT master’s degree program, SCM, if they elect to go this route. The percentage of MOOC students who have opted to join the MicroMasters track has increased from 4% to 12% since this option was introduced.

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Innovative online educational programs such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are bringing professional education into the digital age. Their global reach, limitless subject range, open enrollment and relatively low price point give employees of all stripes the opportunity to improve their job skills. What benefits do companies gain from MOOCs? To find out, we interviewed companies where the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics' (MIT CTL) supply chain management MOOC, the SCx online program, is being used by employees. And we analyzed feedback from hundreds of SCx learners. The research suggests that a MOOC platform can contribute to competitiveness by giving employees—both within and without the supply chain function—a more holistic view of the enterprise and the competitive environment in which it operates. These programs also deliver in-depth knowledge that can be put to practical use. Companies that recognize this and harness the benefits can capture first mover advantage.

Expanding options
The number of MOOCs has grown dramatically over recent years. An article published by Forbes in January 2016 estimates that there are more than 4,200 MOOC courses available, and many more if corporate training programs are included in the total. MIT CTL launched the SCx online pro¬gram in September 2014. To date, the program has enrolled over 114,000 learners in 180 countries.

In October 2015, we launched the first MicroMasters Credential in the world, the MITx MicroMasters Credential in Supply Chain Management (SCM) program. This program effectively bridges the traditional and online class¬rooms. MicroMasters gives students a standalone career development certificate, as well as the chance to be accepted into the on-campus MIT master's degree program, SCM, if they elect to go this route. The percentage of MOOC students who have opted to join the MicroMasters track has increased from 4% to 12% since this option was introduced.

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