Can MOOC Programs Improve Student Employment Prospects?

25 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2018

See all articles by Aboozar Hadavand

Aboozar Hadavand

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Ira Gooding

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Jeffrey T. Leek

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Date Written: October 4, 2018

Abstract

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) exploded into popular consciousness in the early 2010s. Huge enrollment numbers set expectations that MOOCs might be a major disruption to the educational landscape. However, there is still uncertainty about the new types of credentials awarded upon completion of MOOCs. We surveyed close to 9,000 learners of the largest data science MOOC program to assess the economic impact of completing these programs on employment prospects. We find that completing the program that costs less than $500 led to, on average, an increase in salary of $8,230 and an increase in the likelihood of job mobility of 30 percentage points. This high return on investment suggests that MOOCs can have real economic benefits for participants.

Keywords: MOOCs; Online Education; Return to Education; Data Science; Propensity Score Matching

JEL Classification: I26; J62; J24

Suggested Citation

Hadavand, Aboozar and Gooding, Ira and Leek, Jeffrey T., Can MOOC Programs Improve Student Employment Prospects? (October 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3260695 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3260695

Aboozar Hadavand (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

Ira Gooding

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

Jeffrey T. Leek

Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health ( email )

615 North Wolfe Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
United States

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