Coursera Launches Employer Matching Service

Massive open online course (MOOC) provider Coursera launched a new recruiting service to match students with employers. The new service, called Coursera Careers Service, will allow the company to begin creating a revenue stream by selling students' information to potential employers.

Because it's currently limited to high-performing students working in software engineering, the service has attracted interest from brand-name tech companies like Twitter and Facebook. Coursera does plan on expanding the system to include students in other fields at some point in the future.

Coursera has tried to address student and institutional privacy concerns by designing the match-making service to be an 'opt in' system. Students who choose not to participate will not have their information shared with potential employers.

Coursera's partner schools also have the ability to decide not to participate, and students taking from schools that opt out will not be included in the information presented to the for-profit companies partnered with Coursera.

For the students and schools that do elect to participate, Coursera promises to use "sophisticated analytics" to find the best possible student-employer match. Coursera has not revealed the full list of the companies it has partnered with or how much they are paying for students' information.

Coursera is not the only MOOC provider in the business of introducing students to potential employers; Udacity also has a similar program. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Udacity has partnership agreements with 350 companies and their candidate matching service functions more like a recruiting firm, pairing their students with openings provided by the partner companies.

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