Coursera launches health content to train next generation of health workers

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15 top ranked universities to launch 100 new health courses, 30 specialisations, and two health degrees.

The healthcare industry—and the world—is undergoing a fundamental shift.

Coursera, the global online learning leader, announced the launch of their health vertical—a broad portfolio of health content from the world’s top universities curated specifically to help address the acute shortage of skilled workers in the health industry and meet the demands of a digital health economy. The 100 new courses, 30 new specialisations, and two public health-focused master’s degrees will provide learners with the skills they need to enter high demand jobs, particularly related to Health Informatics, Healthcare Management, and Public Health.

The healthcare industry—and the world—is undergoing a fundamental shift. Changes in demographic factors, an aging world population, an increase in the incidence of chronic diseases, and a resurgence of untreatable infectious diseases, mean that traditional healthcare systems are under significant pressure to provide costly care to a growing number of people. At the same time, new opportunities for personalised care driven by genetics, genomics, immunotherapy, and integrative therapies are beginning to change the skills required to power the modern health system.

With this rapidly growing need for health services, the demand for workers in the healthcare sector is already outpacing other industries and expected to skyrocket in the coming decade. McKinsey estimates that healthcare-related jobs could grow by 80 million to 130 million by 2030 globally. These changes will create demand across a broad range of occupations, including Informatics Nurse Specialists, Clinical Analysts, Bioinformatics Scientists, Hospital Administrators, NGO Workers, Researchers, Community Health Coordinators, Policymakers, Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, and Nursing Assistants in many countries.

As per a study by the Indian Journal of Public Health, India needs about 2.07 million doctors to achieve the World Health Organisation-directed doctor-population ratio of 1:1,000 by 2030.  India is also short of 1.94 million nurses, according to data from the Indian Nursing Council (INC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO). There is an immediate need to transform the training system of healthcare professionals, especially in ancillary profiles such as nurses, assistants, technicians, which many of the new courses directly address as part of this launch.

Coursera and top-ranked partners in health—including Columbia University, Emory University, Imperial College London, Johns Hopkins University, University of Colorado, University of Michigan and University of Minnesota —are committed to making high-quality content and healthcare education more widely accessible. The new portfolio of content which includes Specialisations focused on Biostatistics, Population Health Management, Nursing Informatics, and Social Welfare Policy is designed to develop or supplement knowledge for those already working in the healthcare space or to provide a path to a career in healthcare.

Coursera has a long history of democratising access to education. It has equipped millions around the world with the knowledge and skills required to enter sought-after careers in business, technology, and data science. By making cutting-edge health education accessible, Coursera and top-ranked health institutions are once again acting on a shared commitment of equipping people around the world with skills they need to advance their careers and impact their communities.

The new Specialisations will roll-out through 2019 and will be available for a subscription range of USD 39 to USD 79 per month. The two health-focused master’s degrees from Michigan and Imperial are accepting applications in January.

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