More Than a Course: Participation in MOOCs to Signal Professional Value

More Than a Course: Participation in MOOCs to Signal Professional Value

Sergey Gorbatov, Monika Hamori, Svetlana N. Khapova, Evgenia I. Lysova, Janneke K. Oostrom
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 28
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3583-7.ch004
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When searching for a job, signaling one’s professional value is important, as employers have to make hiring decisions based on limited information about the applicants (Bangerter, Roulin, & König, 2012). However, with the growing speed of globalization and digitalization much has been changed in how individuals signal their professional value (Manroop & Richardson, 2016). For example, there is a growing number of novel technology-enabled learning tools to gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be competitive in the labor market (De Vos, De Hauw, & Van der Heijden, 2011; Williams, Stafford, Corliss, & Reilly, 2018). Although such technological opportunities are important enables of career success (Chen et al., 2018; Zhenghao et al., 2015), current job search models omit such new developments for job searchers (Manroop & Richardson, 2016).

In this chapter, we propose that technology-enabled learning tools have the capability to change how individuals signal their professional value to prospective employers. Specifically, we focus on one example of such technologies: massive open online learning courses (MOOCs), defined as “open, large-scale web-based courses designed and delivered by accredited higher education institutions and organizations” (Deng, Benckendorff, & Gannaway, 2019, p. 48). Since its emanation about a decade ago, this educational model has gained considerable popularity in higher education because it offers virtual educational opportunities (Pomerol, Epelboin, & Thoury, 2015). The emergence of MOOCs has impacted not only higher education (Rosendale, 2017; Veletsianos & Shepherdson, 2016) and the ways how employers upskill their employees (Hamori, 2019), but also how individuals plan and manage their careers (Callanan, Perri, & Tomkowicz, 2017). A growing number of MOOC providers offer the learners credentials, most often with the intent to include those in their resumes to signal their qualification and suitability for a job (Bersin, 2016).

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