Edinburgh Business School offers in-demand industry skills through Coursera’s Career Academy

Heriot-Watt Edinburgh campus James Watt

NEARLY 60,000 online students and alumni of Heriot-Watt University are to get access to Professional Certificates in high-demand areas alongside their degree, at no additional cost, it was announced today. 

Students and alumni studying online with the university’s Edinburgh Business School will be able to choose from more than 500 courses, designed by some of the world’s leading companies – including Google, IBM, Meta, Salesforce, and Microsoft. 

The Professional Certificates cover subject areas including cybersecurity, project management, digital marketing, accountancy, real estate and data science​,​ and are being provided through a new partnership with Coursera, one of the world’s largest global online learning platforms, with a global learner base of over 148 million. 

“This is an incredible opportunity for our students and graduates to supplement their learning with the job-relevant skills that leading employers are looking for,” said Professor Angus Laing, Executive Dean of Edinburgh Business School and the School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University.

“This new partnership with Coursera builds on our mission to deliver accessible, practice-oriented education that transforms lives and the world around us. It is just one of the ways we continue to deliver real value for our global community of students not just while they study with us, but throughout their lives and careers.” 

Edinburgh Business School is one of the world’s largest providers of postgraduate business education, with a diverse, global community of over 50,000 alumni across 158 countries.

The school offers a portfolio of flexible, career-aligned online master’s degrees in subjects including business and management, finance, strategy, business psychology, supply chain management, and business analytics. The Professional Certificates – also known as micro-credentials – are short courses designed to nurture employability by enhancing learners’ workplace skills. 

“Through Coursera’s Career Academy, our students and alumni will be able to augment their learning with flexible industry credentials directly applicable to the workplace and aligned with their career goals and interests”, said Russell Brooks, Chief Executive Officer of Heriot-Watt Online. “The world of work is changing and this partnership with Coursera is just one of the ways we continue to innovate to ensure our programmes remain industry aligned and future fit.”  

Micro-credentials are short courses, typically of between four to 12 weeks, which help students develop skills and knowledge aligned to specific roles and industries. Students can use them to earn certificates, create a portfolio of work, prove a level of mastery in their chosen skill, boost their CV and enhance their value to employers.  

Examples of Professional Certificates that a student can earn include Google IT Support, IBM Cybersecurity Analyst, Meta Digital Marketer, Salesforce Sales Operations and Goodwill Career Coach. Other employers offering Professional Certificates through Coursera’s Career Academy include Microsoft, Intuit, Unilever, SAP, AWS and Tableau.  

According to data from Coursera, 90% of students believe a Professional Certificate will help them stand out with employers. Amongst employers, 88% also believe a Professional Certificate helps a candidate stand out. 

Marni Baker Stein, Chief Content Officer at Coursera, said: “The Professional Certificates our industry partners offer through Coursera Career Academy are helping learners – irrespective of prior experience or background – secure jobs and promotions, increase their salaries, and move into high-growth sectors.

“Students are able to study in their own time, from anywhere in the world, and complement their degree programmes with training from industry leaders for high-demand roles. Most importantly, the flexibility and accessibility provided by Coursera’s Professional Certificates enable this reskilling to occur at speed and at scale, which is imperative as the world of work changes at an unprecedented rate.” 

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 148 million registered learners as of March 31, 2024. Coursera partners with over 325 leading university and industry partners to offer a broad catalogue 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 Delaware public benefit corporation and a B Corp in February 2021. 

Edinburgh Business School students and graduates logging onto their online learning platform will be able to access Coursera’s Career Academy alongside their degree programme courses. 

Edinburgh Business School launched the world’s first distance learning MBA in 1990. The school is now one of the world’s biggest providers of distance learning MBAs. 

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