Udemy, a San Francisco-based startup which specializes in online learning, has just launched a new corporate training platform. Could this be a new way to foster lifelong learning?

MOOCs now aimed specifically at companies and employees


In-company lifelong learning programs enable companies to remain dynamic and competitive and that is why many firms insist that their employees follow these types of programs on a regular basis. However, many training programs, especially those run in groups, do not always fit into the normal working day and may not suit the level or needs of the individual participant, which means that staff are not making optimal progress. Udemy, a startup which provides online courses for anyone and everyone and on every topic from yoga to computer programming, has just launched Udemy for Organizations. This new platform is targeted at firms, enabling them to offer their people ongoing training suited to their level and desired pace.

An ongoing training platform for company staff

In contrast to other Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS) run by organizations such as such as Coursera, Udemy has always positioned itself as a platform which offers courses directly from experts in their fields, not necessarily university faculty members. On the strength of the success it has achieved so far, the educational startup has now decided to extend its model to firms, with the launch of Udemy for Organizations, a corporate training platform that will give employers who are willing to pay an (as yet undisclosed) fee the right to customize online training programs from Udemy's library of 7,000 classes. As many as 75% of the courses, covering many varied topics, are available to current MOOC users free of charge. All a company has to do is to register on the website. Further down the line, they will be able to co-brand their training by incorporating the firm’s logo and colorway.

Enabling every employee to work at his/her own pace and level 

According to Udemy, employees have already been using the Udemy platform at work to acquire new skills related to their jobs, in order to remain effective and up-to-date in the workplace. The new platform therefore formalizes, adapts and simplifies this practice both for firms and their employees. The learning formula Udemy offers works on the basis of demand from each employee, and the program is customized to his/her needs but – as is characteristic of online courses – the overall architecture of the site is nevertheless preserved. Employees can also pre-select courses which interest them together with company-specific content. A monitoring system uses analytics to track the employee’s progress and measure current performance. Company staff can also work as a group if they wish to. This new solution therefore gives them a great deal of flexibility for learning and making progress.