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Forbes launches new eLearning platform

Forbes launches new eLearning platform

Forbes is angling for a bite of the Continuing Professional Education market with learn.forbes.com, its new eLearning platform launched June 6. Aspiring professionals, the bedrock of Forbes’ readership, can now choose from 60-plus self-paced online courses focused on leadership, entrepreneurship, business, IT, sales and cybersecurity.

Described as ‘a time-saving alternative to traditional online schools’, learn.forbes.com offers exactly what traditional online schools offer: a catalog of courses organised into subject areas, a user account and a swathe of course descriptions and buy now buttons. Time-saving? Yes, if the course durations are anything to go by. But is the fare a little too thin and introductory?

Sure, you’ve got to start somewhere. Hence the constant demand for introductory courses to business skills like project management, cybersecurity, social media marketing and negotiating. Yet a $199 introduction to project management that says it will equip you with an ‘arsenal of knowledge’ of this quite large and complex subject in just 3.5 hours of course time makes ‘scratching the surface’ seem like ‘deep open cast mining’.

One’s heart goes out to those young aspiring professionals who think that such a course will in any way equip them for real-world project management. Yes, it’s intended as a first step, but why make it such a baby step? These people need to be stretched further, even at the introductory stages, if they are to succeed. Or is this the new reality in which no millennial is allowed to leave their comfort zone?

Some of the courses offer certification or Continuing Education credits, which is good for those pursuing a pick-and-mix business education with just-in-time skills acquisition. As Forbes’ own blurb says, “ …  the Learn@Forbes platform was built for professionals who need to fill a knowledge gap or improve a certain skill.” It is in no way intended or presented as an online university or business school or MBA program.

At online schools like these you can cherry-pick the skills you need to develop right now, rather than having to remember back to the point in your long-duration course when you learned them. That is the way professional education is going, and it’s much more efficient than the old ways of cramming your head with everything related to a subject and then forgetting 90% of it before you graduate.

Lean continuing education is great; it saves time and money and increases employability with up-to-date, workplace-relevant skills that are acquired as and when needed. But how lean can lean go? In this case, one can’t help feeling that there needs to be more meat on the bone.