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OpenClassrooms expands degrees, guarantees jobs

Students who complete an online degree through OpenClassrooms will have a job linked to their qualification within six months of graduating or have their tuition fees refunded.

The online learning platform has also launched a new course explaining what it's like to work at OpenClassrooms. Photo: OpenClassrooms.

“In the modern world it is essential to offer this level of commitment to students”

This is the guarantee promised by the France-based vocational online learning platform, which has undergone a concerted shift towards full accredited degrees.

At the moment, the job guarantee is only available to students studying in France, but OpenClassrooms plans to roll it out to “everywhere in the world”, CEO Pierre Dubuc told The PIE News.

“A balance must be struck between vocational education and the employment opportunities it leads to”

“It should be opened up this summer,” he added.

To qualify for the guarantee, students must graduate, have the right to work in their country of residence and search for a job during the six month period.

If they haven’t found a job with a minimum six month contract by then, they will receive a full refund.

“In the modern world it is essential to offer this level of commitment to students,” Dubuc wrote on the platform’s blog. “A balance must be struck between vocational education and the employment opportunities it leads to.”

OpenClassrooms has been working to make employability a key selling point of its degrees since it launched its course in 2015.

Alongside academic teaching, the platform offers coaching and support with employability skills such as creating a CV.

OpenClassrooms has rapidly built up its portfolio and now offers 29 ‘paths’ leading to full state-accredited degrees.

The company launched its first English-taught degree at the end of last year in front end web development, and now offers curricula in French, English and Spanish.

Its most recent addition is a Master’s in Data Science with CentraleSupélec, one of France’s top business schools.

By the end of the year, the platform will offer more than 50 of these paths, according to Dubuc.

However, the new focus on degrees doesn’t mean a move away from free online courses, Dubuc said. Since its degree paths are made up of a series of MOOCs, “the more we create degree courses, the more MOOCs we publish,” he explained.

“Our mission and our commitment remain to make education accessible, and that’s why every single course is for free on OpenClassrooms.”

The degree courses run on a monthly subscription model, with students paying between $300 and $500 per month to access additional mentoring and employability support as well as the courses leading to the degree.

The platform has also launched a new course explaining what it’s like to work at OpenClassrooms, covering topics such as its working culture, social mission, and working conditions such as paid leave.

OpenClassrooms is one of a growing number of education providers issuing jobs guarantees.

Another online learning platform, Udacity, has offered a similar refund promise if students don’t end up with a job six months after completing its Nanodegree Plus program, while the University of Law has promised to refund 50% of graduates’ tuition fees if they failed to find full-time employment within nine months.

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