By Cait Etherington June 10, 2018
On June 6, Forbes, the online publication best known for letting executives share their views on everything from personal finance to training, launched Learn@Forbes. The new eLearning platform will offer 60 self-paced courses for aspiring professionals who want to learn more about leadership, entrepreneurship, business, sales, IT, cybersecurity, and software.
In a press release issued earlier this week, Forbes Media emphasized, “Learn@Forbes courses will be immediately applicable in the workplace. From coding and cybersecurity to data analytics and digital marketing, the Learn@Forbes platform was built for professionals who need to fill a knowledge gap or improve a certain skill. The online courses are affordably priced, self-paced and may offer certification or Continuing Education credits (where applicable).”
Anurag Malik, President of Learn@Forbes, says, “We make online learning accessible, so professionals can take any course they want at any time they need it, whether they’re preparing for their next promotion or just polishing their programming skills for an upcoming project.”
However, with Learn@Forbes, Forbes is also clearly interested in attempting to make the most of the current disruption unsettling workplaces across sectors. By 2020, the world will face a shortage of 5 million trained workers. Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor-In-Chief, Forbes Media, emphasizes “With Learn@Forbes, business professionals have a resource for learning real-world skills so that they can achieve success at every stage in their career.” This, notably, is also precisely how Forbes appears to be marketing their new suite of courses to workers.
On the Learn@Forbes website, potential subscribers are urged to “Pull ahead of your competition and become the person your company can’t afford to lose with Learn@Forbes online courses.” The site further states, “Combining the power of Forbes Media and a global network of executives and educators, our courses are tailored specifically toward the skills employers demand, and developed exclusively for on-the-go professionals. With real-world cases studies, interactive features, and audio/video presentations you can access from any device, you can pick up where you left off, and learn what you need to know when you need to know it.”
Notably, Learn@Forbes will be launched on the Bridgepoint Education platform. As reported on eLearning Inside News earlier this year, Bridgepoint, while not new, is a newly restructured entity. In March, Bridgepoint, which was previously the holding company for two private online universities (Ashford University and the University of the Rockies) announced plans to separate from its academic institutions and become an online program management (OPM) company. Notably, earlier this year, Ashford University and the University of the Rockies merged and restructured to seek nonprofit status while Bridgepoint Education repositioned as an OPM with Ashford as its first customer. Now, Bridgeport appears to be taking a new direction as it contracts with Learn@Forbes.
To date, Learn@Forbes has only a limited number of courses in five categories (business, coding, sales, entrepreneurship and leadership) and several separate certifications. By contrast, Lynda offers thousands of courses and is a known and trusted brand. Indeed, long before being acquired by LinkedIn, which was in turn acquired by Microsoft, Lynda had established itself as a trusted online training platform in the business sector.
Another question that remains is whether or not Bridgepoint Education has the capacity to support Forbes Media’s new initiative. While by no means new to eLearning nor to dealing with high numbers of students (notably, Ashford University is the nation’s fifth largest university by enrollment), can Bridgepoint Education provide Forbes Media with a stable platform to scale its ambitious new project?
For both Forbes Media and Bridgepoint Education, the stakes are obviously high. For Forbes Media, Learn@Forbes represents a new venture–one that will edge Forbes Media into the growing online workplace training sector. For Bridgepoint, Learn@Forbes represents a bold move to rebrand as an OPM serving the training sector and not simply higher education.