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Coursera Rolls Out Healthcare Vertical to Bridge Skill Gap

By Cait Etherington
January 18, 2019

On January 17, 2018, Coursera made an announcement about its new health vertical. Offering a spectrum of health-related courses some of the world’s very best universities, the new vertical has been curated to help address the current shortage of skilled healthcare workers.

Coursera’s Commitment to Supporting Health Sector Training and Education 

In many respects, it is no surprise that Coursera’s first major announcement of 2019 is a suite of courses focused on training professionals to work in the healthcare sector. As reported on eLearning Inside in late 2018, Coursera’s CEO Jeff Maggioncalda believes that health management skills will be in great demand over the coming decade. As Maggioncalda wrote in a blog post in early December 2018, healthcare occupations may see as much as 18% by 2026, adding more than 2 million new jobs to the economy.

If the healthcare sector is now expanding at a rapid pace, there are many reasons why. First, there are demographic changes, which include an aging world population. Second, new technologies are creating new types of patient treatments and care–for example, informatics nursing. Coursera’s health vertical hopes to offer the courses and degree programs to train people for these new and expanded roles.

This is likely why Daphne Koller, Co-Founder of Coursera, agrees that now is the time to scale up health training, especially on the informatics side of the profession. In a press release issued by Coursera on January 17, Koller emphasizes that the sector is “under enormous strain” to train workers for these new and emerging roles. 

Coursera’s university partners are also excited about the launch of the new program. As F. DuBois Bowman from the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health explains: 

“The world’s most pressing health issues require interdisciplinary, population-based strategies and training. In partnership with Coursera, the University of Michigan School of Public Health is expanding its efforts to meet these needs through an integrated online Masters of Public Health degree program.” 

Bowman adds, “The field of public health will benefit from increased access to prestigious training opportunities, especially for adults who cannot participate in full-time residential programs.” 

More Information on Coursera’s Health Vertical 

Coursera will work with several new and established partners to deliver its new suite of courses and programs, including but not limited to the University of Michigan and Imperial College London. The specializations already planned include biostatistics, informatics, and population health management. All together, Coursera’s new health vertical will house 100 new courses, 30 new specializations, and two public health-focused master’s degrees.

Coursera plans to roll out its new healthcare specialization throughout 2019. Subscriptions will be affordable, ranging from $39 to $79 per month. Anyone interested in pursuing a health-focused master’s degrees from University of Michigan or Imperial College London will find applications available online beginning in January 2019.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.


  1. Good points, it goes to show, when we move beyond our comfort zone (narrated powerpoint) quite a bit more can be accomplished. The difficulty often lies in the design, not so much the execution of the tool. Speaking of tools, don’t forget to let your readers know that there are other options out there like Lectora and dominKnow that can easily be used to develop this type of content and bring their own pros (and cons) in terms of capabilities.

    Another thing for developers to start thinking about is designing these items as responsive so they can be easily interacted with on smaller and larger devices and stepping away from “shrink the page” designs/tools. At dominKnow – we developed one such sample interactive video based course that was responsive which may be of interest.

  2. Just ran across a tool called Badgr that seems like it might also be a good fit for this. It looks like it can create pretty sophisticated branching pathways that even have a tech-tree look and feel. Very familiar to those of us who grew up playing games. Looking forward to checking it out.

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