Algorithms Are Coming For Their Jobs, So Workers Are Teaching Themselves Algorithms

By Tracey Lien
Los Angeles Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Online learning and micro-certification are increasingly appealing to individuals and businesses seeking to future-proof themselves against automation, or introduce automation without having to fire and rehire a more highly skilled workforce.

Los Angeles Times

When cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes started automating its quality assurance testing last year, it knew that the move could put more than four dozen employees out of work.

Rather than simply replace them with tech, though, the Santa Clara, Calif., firm turned to tech to save their jobs.
The company signed up with Udemy, an online learning platform that teaches courses ranging from data science to sourdough bread-making. Malwarebytes identified the skills its quality assurance testers would need to stay relevant in the rapidly changing cybersecurity industry.

Then it told its staffers to buckle in, it was time to get “up-skilled.”

As automation becomes ubiquitous, education start-ups such as Udemy, Coursera and General Assembly are positioning themselves as the nexus between today’s workforce and tomorrow’s jobs.

Unlike traditional college programs that can take anywhere from two to four years and tens of thousands of dollars to complete, the online schools frame themselves like vocational programs for the Silicon Valley set.

They offer training in a specific skill, say, learning a programming language, in months, rather than years.

Coursera offers some of its courses for free but also has programs where it charges upward of a few hundred dollars. Udemy’s courses for individuals start at $10.99, while its enterprise-facing arm, Udemy for Business, offers group rates for companies that want to sign up entire teams.

Online learning and micro-certification are increasingly appealing to individuals and businesses seeking to future-proof themselves against automation, or introduce automation without having to fire and rehire a more highly skilled workforce.

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