February 5, 2016: Friday news roundup

Greetings from Super Bowl City! Yes, it’s a frenzy of excitement around these parts… maybe not inside the Udemy office itself, but we’re very close to party central, where football fans can get (more) pumped up for the big game. The game itself, meanwhile, will actually take place 45 miles south. But why talk about football when you can talk about important things like learning and careers?

Coding bootcamps are getting so competitive that there’s now a $3,000 prep program
Most of us are familiar with the rise of so-called bootcamps designed to fast-track aspiring programmers into their desired career. These programs tend to be very competitive and rather pricey too, averaging almost $12,000 for tuition, but as the headline says, a new cottage industry has sprung up to help applicants increase their chances for acceptance — if they have a few MORE thousand to spend.

Learning needs a makeover
It sure does! Especially at the corporate level, which is what this article is all about. The irony is that, as research shows, learning and development is increasing in importance every year, yet companies aren’t doing much to optimize it. We loved this line: “Learning is not an event but an experience.” That’s exactly the philosophy behind Udemy for Business.

Online entrepreneurship courses show popularity spike
Udemy analyzed data on students in the UK and found entrepreneurship courses have risen in the ranks to become the fifth most popular category after tech and design categories. As our CEO Dennis Yang points out, people are “feeling insecure about the traditional jobs market and want to take control of their careers, and one way they’re doing that is by starting their own businesses.”

The Open University at 45: What can we learn from Britain’s distance education pioneer?
I’d never heard of Britain’s distance learning program, Open University, before reading this article. It’s really interesting to see how they evolved from their early days broadcasting over BBC radio and television and how they’ve “tried hard to ensure that cost savings weren’t earned on the back of academic quality.” Many of the practices established by Open University continue to be relevant for today’s adult learners too.

Is America’s Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem?
Listen to this podcast or read the transcript, and you may be convinced (if you’re not already) that we need to change the way we evaluate and reward teachers in this country. This program walks back through history and explains how the teaching profession has changed over time, such as how in the 1800s it was viewed as a job for men and considered inappropriate for women to earn money this way.