As rapid developments in online learning shake up higher education, students face a dizzying array of course, degree and certification options with little sense of which path will lead to a job.
Now, efforts are under way to fill that void and offer some structure to an otherwise difficult-to-navigate and fast-growing market, Wall Street Journal reports. Apollo Education Group Inc., best known for its University of Phoenix for-profit college, is expected to launch an “online marketplace” dubbed Balloon on Tuesday. It will start with a catalogue of nearly 15,000 technology classes from big-name course providers including Microsoft Corp., Adobe Systems Inc., Coursera and Udacity, and explicitly link them to job opportunities.
“We are associating two groups of data that typically don’t meet,” said Rob Wrubel, Balloon’s founder and president of Apollo’s innovation arm, Apollo Lightspeed LLC. Apollo declined to say how much money it has invested in the initiative.
Users, who can access the platform for free, will be able to search for skills that are coveted by employers, what courses teach those lessons and who is actually hiring, according to Mr. Wrubel. Course providers don’t pay to be included on the site, but benefit from the broad exposure to prospective students, he says.