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We are excited to announce the launch of the Open Education Alliance today. The purpose of this alliance is to provide students worldwide with the relevant and necessary skills and knowledge to pursue successful careers in technology. This alliance consists of leading technology companies who are stepping up to define the education requirements for the workforce of the 21st Century. And it includes educational institutions who provide pathways and assessment that will empower students to learn the skills required for success in the workforce.

Some context from a recent McKinsey Study on global education and employment:

  • There are currently 75 million youth unemployed around the world
  • Half of young people are not sure that their postsecondary education has improved their chances of finding a job (see Exhibit 1)
  • Almost 40% of employers say a lack of skills is the main reason for entry-level vacancies (see Exhibit 2)
  • 58% of youth said, “practical, hands-on learning is an effective approach”; however only 24% of academic-graduates and 37% of vocational graduates said that they spend most of their time in this manner

For more than a year now, Udacity has closely collaborated with leading tech companies to design online courses and certifications in skills and knowledge that matter, — taught in an applied and interactive format, — to help bridge this gap. These courses, built together with industry, have already attracted hundreds of thousands of students, many of whom used their learnings to advance their careers.

In launching this initiative, we broaden the circle of industry partners, and also invite other educators. To participate, members of the alliance commit to assisting in the curation and development of a new 21st century curriculum and to connect learners with opportunities in industry.The alliance echoes the core of Udacity’s mission to advance both the education and careers of our students. We believe education should empower students to succeed not just in school but in life. With the launch of this initiative, we are excited to continue working in tandem with other companies and institutions, currently including but not limited to:

  • AT&T
  • Autodesk
  • Cloudera
  • Cadence
  • Google
  • Intuit
  • Khan Academy
  • 23andMe
Clarissa Shen
Clarissa Shen
Clarissa Shen is the Chief Operating Officer for Udacity. She joined as Udacity’s first business hire leading all business functions. Prior to Udacity, she co-founded a K-12 start-up, led digital change at Apollo Group, and advised Fortune 500 and government clients throughout Greater China, Asia, and Europe as a management consultant with Deloitte/Monitor Group. Clarissa has also managed a Google Top 10 digital marketing team, and led an internationally-renowned touring contemporary dance company. Clarissa graduated magna cum laude with a BA in English and Environmental Studies from Williams College, and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.