Europe’s biggest companies are investing in online learning and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in an effort to close the digital skills gap, according to a new report by the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT) released today.
The ERT, a forum bringing together 50 CEOs and chairmen of multinational companies of European parentage, highlighted a need for digital skills to stay competitive in the global market.
Together, ERT companies invest more than €50 billion annually research and development. Their combined revenues exceed €2,250 billion, sustaining around 6.8 million jobs in the region.
According to the report, Vodafone now conducts 90% of its in-company learning online, having shifted from a traditional classroom-based approach.
At Deutsche Telekom, employees explore how digitization is impacting the company through a company-sponsored MOOC, covering topics like automation and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Orange recognizes its employees’ efforts to improve their digital skills with a ‘digital passport’, which employees can add to their email signature once they have successfully completed digital training.
“Digitization is transforming all industries—that’s why digital skills should be conveyed at all levels and in all forms of education,” says Joe Kaeser, CEO of Siemens AG, and chairman of the ERT Digital Single Market Working Group.
“Vocational education and training is particularly effective in this regard because there is a more direct link between education and employment. But we cannot stop there. The pace of change is so fast that learning must be lifelong.”
The report emphasizes the need for an educational system which embraces new technologies to prepare the current and future workforce for a digital future. It’s something Europe’s business schools are tapping into.
France’s EDHEC Business School introduced a new big data and artificial intelligence (AI) course to its MBA program earlier this year. MBA students network with data science experts from Google and Amadeus on campus.
Italy’s MIP Politecnico di Milano designed its tech-focused MBA program in collaboration with over 30 official partners, including top tech firms like Microsoft, Amazon, and IBM. The MBA curriculum covers cutting-edge topics like big data analytics and the IoT.
And there’s changes in the methods of delivery too. Nottingham Business School launched an Online MBA with Data Analytics in response to employer demand. Birmingham’s Online MBA is the first 100%-online MBA to be accredited by AMBA.