Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Monday, August 27, 2012

New Site Helps Sort Through Online Course Offerings

College students can go online for everything from a pizza to their textbooks for the upcoming semester. Now there’s a web site that purports to help them get a better job after graduation.

Skilledup.com is a portal for online courses and practical training programs. With a sluggish economy and a tight job market for college graduates, the site has been designed to make it easy to find and compare course options through the use of keyword searches. It claims to have more than 40,000 online courses from hundreds of providers, and is working to include massive open online course sites, such as Udacity and Coursera.

“If education doesn’t have [return on investment], it probably doesn’t deserve to be called education,” said Nick Gidwani, who launched the site Aug. 21. “There are so many kids out there earning seven bucks an hour who can have a decent life in a short period of time. … And this is one way to achieve that.”

Gidwani created the site after watching two interns he had hired for $12 an hour land high-paying jobs in just months after taking a series of low-cost online courses. The site was his solution for workers to sort through all the possible courses available online.

“There are so many kids graduating these days who are smart and really computer-savvy, but don’t really have any skills that translate on Day One,” he told eCampus News. “So many people spend $100,000 on a college education and don’t have much to show on the first day of work. That’s unfortunate.”

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