Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The University of Information Technologies Online?

In this article, the author describes the up-and-coming online IT training courses known as Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs for short). These online classes are "comprehensive and tailored to the needs of IT employee positions who need constant training to keep up with their tasks." One example of a company saving cost and improving efficiency claims to spend $7,000-$10,000 per employee per year. By implementing this new technology, the company claims to save more than $50,000 a year now.

            It is a no-brainer for companies with employed IT-position workers to use this technology to increase the productivity and reduce their costs. These MOOCs are “online and on-demand, coursework and study time can be squeezed in almost anywhere and students finish at their own pace.” However, the article might overlook the big picture with this technology; in a rapidly growing technology-world, it is safe to say that IT jobs are greatly needed. In fact, according to a CompTIA survey statistic, 129,600 technology-industry jobs were added between 2013 and 2014, showing an increase in the employment trend.[1] What the article looks over though, is not where the current field is, but where the future might be. Think about this; if IT continues to grow at the rapid rate it currently is, and more and more technology starts to replace humans and all technology workers in general (not limited to IT), then less people are going to need the training from these MOOCs and the business and technology may flunk out. In a way, it could be seen as these MOOCs may be the downfall of MOOC in the long run.

            While personally I do not see a good business in the creators or investors of MOOCs, it does not mean that the technology itself isn’t improving the IT world. Without a doubt this technology is cost-efficient and probably more beneficial to the IT users of this technology. However, another problem I find with this concept is that this training is limited to only professionals who already have secured jobs within the IT world. Personally, I think that the reason all education and training in general has not moved to the internet of things yet is because the personal human connections, relations, and social interactions that one experiences through ‘old-school education’ is more valuable than the things the computer may teach you through these MOOCs. This article talks about the intended use for students applying for jobs, but I think that a student looking for a job who has no interpersonal skills is less likely to get the job than someone who has interpersonal skills and can work with groups of people on various IT issues that a hiring company may face. Overall, I would summarize this in saying that I think this technology will be booming for a short period of time, but like all things in life; time eventually will catch up with it.

Article: Sharon Florentine, 4 Ways MOOCs are Changing Professional Development. CIO.com. http://www.cio.com/article/2986306/it-skills-training/4-ways-moocs-are-changing-professional-development.html. September 29, 2015. 

[1] CompTIA. United States Tech Industry Employs 6.5 Million in 2014. https://www.comptia.org/about-us/newsroom/press-releases/2015/02/10/united-states-tech-industry-employs-6.5-million-in-2014. September 29, 2015. 

1 comment:

  1. I think a very important part of this essay that has been missed in the expansiveness of this technology; by that I mean that these MOOCs do not have to be so singular in its approach to IT training. This is a perfect testing ground for online courses, but I don't see it just growing bigger and bigger just for IT classes. I can see a future where every possible class offered at colleges around the world will be offered online. MIT is already trying to do this by making classes available online for a small fee, essentially you can be taught by MIT professors, arguably the best in the world. Recently, I've heard people talk about universal education in the United States, the beauty of this technology is that in 30 years, we could have a universal education system whether you want it or not. Colleges and Universities will not be able to charge quarter million dollars in tuition when you can get every one of their classes online for a few hundred dollars.


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