Canada markets closed
  • S&P/TSX

    20,287.80
    -24.00 (-0.12%)
     
  • S&P 500

    4,395.26
    -23.89 (-0.54%)
     
  • DOW

    34,935.47
    -149.03 (-0.42%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.8024
    +0.0005 (+0.06%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    73.11
    -0.84 (-1.14%)
     
  • BTC-CAD

    49,238.11
    -3,256.82 (-6.20%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    963.11
    +13.21 (+1.39%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    1,810.00
    -7.20 (-0.40%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    2,226.25
    -13.78 (-0.62%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.2390
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • NASDAQ

    14,672.68
    -105.62 (-0.71%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    18.11
    +0.41 (+2.32%)
     
  • FTSE

    7,106.13
    +73.83 (+1.05%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    27,781.02
    +497.43 (+1.82%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.6749
    -0.0003 (-0.04%)
     

'Corporations are becoming the new universities of the future,' Pearson CEO says

·3 min read

Enrollment at colleges and universities dipped amid the pandemic, and one education company chief is optimistic about the increased usage of remote and alternative learning. 

"During the pandemic... in many ways, corporations are becoming the new universities of the future, where the need to re-skill and upscale your workforce and for employees to learn new skills along the way is becoming more and more prevalent," Pearson CEO Andy Bird told Yahoo Finance Live (video above). "We see a very, very large opportunity in that space."

Pearson, which previously excelled as a textbook giant, is pivoting to digital learning and helping companies secure accreditation and certifications for employees. (Other companies in this space include Coursera and edX.)

"The way that students learn is becoming more modular, and there's going to be a lot more choices out there," said Bird, a former Disney (DIS) executive. "And really at Pearson, we're in the intellectual property creation business. In our higher education business, we create those coursewares. ... We're launching a college app for U.S. colleges for the fall this year, which we're very excited about."

JACKSONVILLE, FL-November 12, 2020: Eric Lipka takes notes during their online psychology class in the bedroom of their Jacksonville, Florida apartment. Georgetown University sophomore Eric Lipka, 19, started college on campus but the outbreak of COVID-19 forced Lipka into a remote learning situation from their apartment in Jacksonville, FL. Lipka is currently waiting for the school to announce its plans for the spring semester which will determine if they return to in-person class or take a gap semester. (Photo by Bob Self for The Washington Post via Getty Images)
A student takes notes during their online psychology class in the bedroom of their Jacksonville, Florida apartment. (Photo by Bob Self for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Some accredited for-profit colleges, such as the University of Phoenix, have deep experience offering online education for students. Many traditional colleges have also begun dipping their toes into online education, as seen from the University of Arizona's acquisition of for-profit online school Ashford University.

At the same time, however, Education Department (ED) data details how hundreds of thousands of borrower defense claims have been filed against for-profit schools and so-called covert for-profits — for-profit institutions that have sought to switch their schools to nonprofit status — by students who felt they were misled by empty promises and misleading marketing.

Companies are becoming 'a lot more focused on the type of learning that their employees are getting'

Pearson also sees an opportunity amid the major surge of interest in alternative credential programs offered by employers.

Amazon recently launched an "upskilling program" for employees to become software engineers, partnering with Lambda School and Kenzie Academy.

(Source: Amazon corporate website)
(Source: Amazon corporate website)

Coursera has also developed a program to help some students earn professional certificates from companies including Google (GOOGL) and government agencies such as the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

Employers are becoming "a lot more focused on the type of learning that their employees are getting," Bird said. "That positions Pearson very well because we can not only assess the workforce, but we can then create bespoke courseware for corporations to ensure that employees get the type of learning, re-skilling, up-skilling that they're going to need moving forward."

Aarthi is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. She can be reached at aarthi@yahoofinance.com. Follow her on Twitter @aarthiswami.

Read more:

Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flipboard, SmartNews, LinkedIn, YouTube, and reddit.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting