With the advancement of technology, outreach for the educational sector has reached an all-time high thanks to the global interconnectivity available to us by the Internet of Things. Recent statistics show us that universities now crave more diversity than ever before and, as such, open their doors to the world for eager, young minds to explore their education and career opportunities. Education is moving towards a more inclusive approach- wherein the gaps between research and information is shortening, and the major challenge is figuring out how to make it available to a larger number of people than it already does.
One of the people to recognize this paradigm shift relatively early on was Richard C. Levin, who in 1993, was the President of Yale University and stated that it was the responsibility of great universities to drive global change in a controlled, research driven environment. To that end, Levin took the position of chief executive at Coursera with the objective of providing world class education for free or at a comparatively nominal fee, with the objective of making education available to anyone. According to his statements to The Chronicle,” In 10 or 20 years, we will not just judge universities on the quality of their research but rather the extent of their teaching.”
His current endeavours at Coursera seek to make it a major educational option for the future, and its reputation has made it a pioneer in digital learning. He stresses that great universities hold the responsibility of grooming world leaders, and platforms such as Coursera make for the execution of these principles opportune. Mr. Levin has been consistently refining the manner in which Coursera makes its courses available, and to whom, with the objective of achieving a greater representation of the people not associated with traditional higher education. And, like traditional education, it seems to be the prime challenge for Coursera right now, who are coming up with ways to make education available to the underprivileged. They have begun search for a vice president of marketing, who can handle professionals from the best universities in the world, and ensure their courses receive adequate credibility and exposure.
Innovative revenue streams such as the Signature Track program which offer verified educational certifications for the courses they teach at a price. These seem to make up the bulk of their revenue- verified certifications for educational courses, majority of which stem from dispensing skill-based courses such as computer science, data analysis, and business. While there exists an inequality in the type of certifications that are delivered, that looks to be shrinking as Coursera continues to grow and begin a more expansive marketing strategy. While investment in the platform is heavy, with pressure from investors like any business, Mr. Levin expects that Coursera will truly begin to grow when it breaks even which he expects will take at least “a couple of years”. The company looks to innovate modern approaches to dispensing education in the new future, once it begins a more significant investment strategy for its expansion and consolidation.