New Coursera Study Indicates a Narrowing Gender Gap in Online Learning
September 09, 2021 at 03:01 AM EDT
Women and Skills Report captures the pandemic’s impact on learning trends among women
Coursera, Inc. (NYSE: COUR), one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, released a new study that examines the pandemic’s impact on skills and learning trends among women. The Women and Skills Report compares pre-pandemic enrollment and performance data with trends observed on the Coursera platform since the onset of the pandemic through June 2021. Women in the U.S. are learning online at higher rates compared to pre-pandemic, representing 52% of new learners in 2021, up from 47% in 2019, according to Coursera data. More women are also participating in certificate training programs aimed at entry-level digital jobs.
The unemployment crisis caused by the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women. As of February 2021, women accounted for the majority of the decrease in U.S. labor force participation, despite making up less than half of the workforce. According to the August 2021 Jobs Report, there are over 1.6 million fewer women in the labor force today compared to February 2020. However, during this period, women increased their investment in learning new skills on Coursera despite the more difficult labor market conditions.
“Our research suggests that gender gaps in online learning narrowed during the pandemic, even as gender employment gaps widened,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera CEO. “We are encouraged by how women are embracing online learning to develop new skills that can help accelerate their return to work and promote economic mobility.”
U.S. insights from the Women and Skills Report include:
“I earned my computer science degree with only a handful of women alongside me, and while a great deal has changed since then, we still have important work to do to increase women’s representation in technology and leadership,” said Betty Vandenbosch, Chief Content Officer at Coursera. “Access to flexible, job-relevant education can help women learn the new skills they need to enter high-demand roles and achieve better gender balance in the workforce.”
With over 87 million learners and 5,000 courses on the platform, Coursera has one of the largest data sets for identifying and measuring skill trends. The Women and Skills Report includes data from 40 million new learners who registered during the pandemic between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
To download the full report and explore the global and regional findings, visit the Coursera website here.
Source Code: COUR-IR
Coursera was launched in 2012 by two Stanford Computer Science professors, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning. It is now one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, with 87 million registered learners as of June 30, 2021. Coursera partners with over 200 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalog of content and credentials, including courses, Specializations, Professional Certificates, Guided Projects, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Institutions around the world use Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students in fields such as data science, technology, and business. Coursera became a B Corp in February 2021.