The Institution of Engineering & Technology Joins the MOOC Business
Shawn Wasserman posted on December 13, 2013 | 7059 views

British Prime Minister David Cameron and Chairman of FutureLearn Martin Bean, provider of the UK’s first massive open online course (MOOC), recently announced new courses sponsored by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

The IET’s membership spans over 160,000 members (myself included) across 127 countries, making it one of the largest engineering and technician organizations in the world. It is the hope of the IET that the addition of these courses will pass on knowledge to those professionals that will help to advance their careers and technical skills.

“The IET is a trusted source of essential engineering intelligence. This partnership with FutureLearn means we can give even better access to technical training to our members and the wider engineering community” added Nigel Fine, IET Chief Executive.

The partnership between FutureLearn’s university affiliates and the IET will create MOOCs to assist engineers in achieving professional development, qualifications and membership. The courses will launch in the upcoming year and will be available to FutureLearn and the IET’s collective membership.

“Through the use of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) we will be able to provide huge opportunities for our members to brush-up their skills, move into new technical areas, and with the additional outcome of a certificate to prove completion of a course and accrual of CPD hours” said IET Publishing Director, Amanda Weaver.

The IET also hopes that these free courses will help the younger generation aim for technical roles in the future. “In an increasingly competitive global economy, people around the world need to know they can access the education they need to get ahead. By working with FutureLearn, the IET will be able to boost the talents of engineers everywhere while also inspiring the next generation of skilled professionals in this vital sector” noted Bean.

Weaver added, “Our involvement with FutureLearn and MOOCs will also greatly support our efforts to support STEM courses and attract more people into the subject.  There is a global skills crisis affecting engineering and technology which is negatively affecting the economy.  Through this work we can open up learning and knowledge to the next generation of engineers and technicians whilst also helping current engineers to develop the professional skills they need to develop their careers.”

For the North American view Drew Noble, Chairman of the IET’s Americas Region Communities Committee was contacted. He noted that “the skill gap created between what the Universities are teaching and what the employers require is growing every day. You would be hard pressed in the States to see a job posting asking for anything less than 5 years of experience. It is our hope that these MOOC[s] will help bridge the gap.”

It appears then that once available, these MOOCs might be the perfect course to take as an engineer just starting out their career.

Source FutureLearn.

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