The Year of AI: Round-Up 2019

Coursera shared the latest learner trends from 2019, calling it ‘The Year of AI’. Based on a detailed analysis of the 45 million learners on the Coursera platform, AI came out as the most demanded subject with the related courses and specializations accounting for nearly 2 million enrollments through the past year alone. To put things in perspective, it would take the combined 2018 enrollments of more than 40 of the largest American public universities to reach the same number.

The company also cited how AI as a subject became accessible to the masses in 2019, with AI For Everyone which was launched in February, from deeplearning.ai and is taught by Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng. A primer course geared toward non-technical learners – from marketers and designers to financiers and CEOs, the course became the fifth most popular course of the year globally, and the fourth most popular in India. Considering its phenomenal reception, the course is now subtitled in several languages, including dedicated Spanish and Arabic versions.

In addition to AI for Everyone, tech-centric content like Stanford’s Machine Learning and Programming for Everybody from the University of Michigan, attracted the most interest from learners in India. Learners also enrolled in courses such as Neural Networks and Deep Learning and  Introduction to TensorFlow  from deeplearning.ai which are important tools for AI. However, presenting a completely contrasting picture, a non-tech course like Learning How to Learn from McMaster University and UC San Diego, garnered a lot of learner attention and claimed the second spot globally and the eight in India, on the top ten courses list for 2019. English for Career Development by the University of Pennsylvania also fared well, gaining the ninth rank on India’s top ten list.

Sharing his thoughts on the demand for AI and other tech-centric courses, Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera said, “Technologies like AI will continue to be significant economic and innovation drivers in India and across the globe. As we can see, technology, data science, along with relevant business courses are also the most popular domains by enrollments on Coursera, especially among career-focused learners. In India, we have observed more and more executives and c-suite level officials have been enrolling in AI courses over the past year realizing its significant impact on business.” 

Additionally the analysis also revealed a strong demand for stackable career credentials and career relevant programs like Professional Certificates that prepare learners for high-demand jobs in less than a year. 2019’s list of India’s most popular Specializations and Professional Certificates featured Python for Everybody by the University of Michigan, Deep Learning by deeplearning.ai and the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate featuring at the top of the list, in that order.

Talking about the growing need for delivering stackable credentials Raghav said, “With the growing relevance of new age skills needed to keep pace with the changing workplace, employers are acknowledging the importance for stackable credentials. Therefore, to upskill talent and to advance careers, increase employability, and boost business outcomes we are increasingly offering stackable and modular content on our platform. This will change the way how the workforce will learn, develop competencies, and earn credentials in the years to come.”

Over the past year, Coursera’s learner base grew over 8 million, with the US, India, China, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, and Russia emerging as the largest markets. As 2019 comes to a close, 45 million learners around the world, including 5 million in India, now have access to impactful learning options through more than 3,800 courses, 400 Specializations, 16 degrees, 13 Professional Certificates, and six MasterTrack™ Certificates — all from leading universities and industry educators.

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