Gaurav Vohra of Jigsaw Academy talks about why niche academy courses make a lot more sense after MOOC-based learning solutions
Unlike the e-learning marketplace model adopted by many Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), where courses from a variety of disciplines are hawked, niche academies focus on a specific subject or interrelated cluster of subjects.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the field of Big Data and Data Science, which the Harvard Business Review dubbed the “sexiest job of the 21st century”. There are more Big Data and Data Science jobs than there are data scientists today. This is in part because of how intellectually demanding this area is, and the level of expertise it requires. Since it is also insanely lucrative, professionals from backgrounds as diverse as marketing and engineering have started gravitating towards Big Data and Data Science. The average MOOC is ill-equipped to meet the needs of enrolees from divergent disciplinary backgrounds, since their skill-levels in statistics and mathematics vary. These aspiring data scientists benefit most from niche academy courses.
MOOCs cast a wide net, providing large swathes of people with access to knowledge that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Niche academies on the other hand, provide non-traditional students with the same depth of perspective and expertise that traditional universities offer, but within a much shorter span of time, at lower costs, stressing on marketability.