Sep 02, 2016

    Coursera helps firms with training - for a fee


    ONLINE education leader Coursera took aim on Wednesday at workplaces with a version of its platform tailored for advancing employee careers and skills.

    Coursera for Business was designed to let companies, for a price, tap into courses created by universities or other educational institutions to address training needs in a fast-changing world.

    The launch marked Coursera's official entry into a multi-billion-dollar market for online learning at businesses.

    Companies signed up with Coursera for Business at launch included L'Oreal, Boston Consulting Group and Axis Bank in India.

    "Our goal is to touch 100 per cent of L'Oreal's employees every year, whether they work in our corporate offices or one of our factories," said Laurent Reich, governance and digital learning director at the French cosmetics colossus.

    "We love that the Coursera platform will allow us to provide a breadth of high quality programmes and a learning experience that our employees can self-select into to drive their own personal development."

    The online courses run a broad gamut from liberal arts and people management to artificial intelligence, big data and software development.

    "You can really be trained to do something; it is not just a video giving you an insight," Coursera chief executive Rick Levin said of what the learning platform has to offer.

    More than 21 million people have registered globally for Coursera online classes, which are free.

    Coursera for Business is a paid product, with companies usually charged US$79 (S$108) per user.

    Coursera sprang from a vision in which anyone can expand their prospects with lessons from top universities.

    Schools offer online versions of classes at, a website launched by two Stanford University professors who said they saw education as a right, not a privilege.

    Coursera backers include the investment arm of the World Bank and Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner.