June 19, 2015: Friday news roundup

Welcome to the first edition of a new, recurring feature on the Udemy blog: it’s the Friday News Roundup! While our focus will be primarily on articles with a connection to online learning and teaching, working and hiring, and other industry trends, we’ll also be curating other stories we think will resonate with the Udemy community. And we’ll throw in some fun stuff too… because it’s Friday!

Millennials Need Stronger Core Skills

No, this isn’t about having to do more sit-ups. According to the study cited in this article, “managers feel entry-level employees lack both hard and soft skills in certain areas, but that managers put a premium on soft skills like work ethic and creativity when assessing entry-level employees.” Rather than see this as a problem, motivated millennials will embrace this opportunity to stand above the crowd by developing those skills themselves. That’s why Udemy goes beyond tech and business skills to offer courses on things like building teams, giving feedback, and maximizing creativity.

Bridging the Gap Between Education and the Future Workforce

This article looks at the gap between what students learn in college and what’s expected from them when they enter the working world and how that’s leading to underemployment for the millennial generation. This is a problem for companies seeking qualified candidates just as much as it is for hopeful job-seekers. (Disclosure: the author is a Udemy investor with Norwest Ventures)

Congratulations, graduates! Now it’s really time to learn

Our CEO, Dennis Yang, shared similar ideas to the previous article in this “commencement speech.” As the title suggests, today’s new grads can’t rest on their laurels when it comes to landing that first job and making career plans for the longer term. HR leaders may feel their employees are lacking skills, but companies haven’t committed to providing adequate training either. Not surprisingly, Dennis encourages the latest crop of college grads to take ownership of their development in order to keep their skills current and marketable.

Cambridge is hiring a professor of “Play in Education, Development, and Learning

It’s not officially on the course list at the venerable British institution yet, but we are way on board with the idea! The LEGO Foundation even kicked in some pounds to make this really happen, which makes sense given their mission “to build a future where learning through play empowers children to become creative, engaged, lifelong learners.” Sounds like this initiative could churn out a whole bunch of future Udemy students and instructors!

2015 Audubon Photography Awards

Now for some lighter fare. Photography courses are always among the most popular on Udemy, so we’re sharing these gorgeous images of birds selected for recognition by the National Audubon Society. Hope it provides a creative spark as you’re out and about this weekend.