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17 Modern Education Platforms that Teach Skills for the New Economy

17 Modern Education Platforms that Teach Skills for the New Economy


Technology has changed the world in every sector of business imaginable. It has transformed healthcare, communications, design, manufacturing, transportation, and any other sector you can think of.

Modern education programs have to exist for educational innovation to happen. If not, millions of people in the workforce or people coming into the workforce will be left behind. Automation is and will take away more jobs, but new jobs will form. As these new jobs form, students or current employees must have the ability to learn these skills and shift career paths quickly.

As with much of technology and education the same questions always come up. How did you learn that. Where can I learn that. How long will it take to learn? If I train for this, am I guaranteed a job?

Many of these questions are absolutely valid and the right ones to ask. The first place to always start is Youtube. Youtube is many things to many people, but the one thing you can use it for is to educate your self on topics you are interested in learning.

Its the greatest free modern education resource on the planet. Just search what you want to learn and tons of free courses will come up.

You can search for any thing:

  • How to become a web designer
  • How to become a shoe designer
  • How to start a nonprofit organization
  • How to start a blog
  • How to grow legal cannabis
  • How does blockchain work
  • How to build a machine learning algorithm
  • How to create an organic farm
  • How to build games for the iPhone
  • How to build digital maps
  • How to build a sustainable home
  • How to become a Photographer
  • How to start a solar panel company

The list can go on forever.

Its a great first step to research and become knowledgable on things you are interested in or may be interested in, because you may think you want to be something, then you see how the sausage is made – so to speak – and maybe its not for you.

For those who are beyond this first step, below are some really interesting and innovative platforms and programs that are now available to basically anyone with an internet connection. Some are free and some do cost money, but all of them provide relevant in-depth skills you may want to acquire in your modern educational journey.


Paid & Free Courses and Programs

TechChange is a social enterprise based in Washington DC that builds online courses for individuals and organizations on topics that matter. TechChange has trained over 50,000 alumni from every country in the world and worked closely with over 150 social sector organizations (UNICEF, USAID, The Malaria Consortium, Ashoka, Engineers for Change, Catholic Relief Services, etc.) to design the next generation of online educational experiences for the sector. The TechChange model features courses around:

  • Artificial Intelligence for International Development
  • Blockchain for International Development
  • Technology and Agriculture Innovation
  • Mapping for Social Good
  • Technology for Disaster Response

Many more innovative courses are available. To see the full list of courses click here.

Strayer University / Cheddar – Digital Entrepreneurship MBA

Strayer University / Cheddar - Digital Entrepreneurship MBA  - Modern Education Platforms that Teach Skills for the New Economy

Paid MBA

Strayer’s Digital Entrepreneurship MBA gives you a solid foundation for success in today’s increasingly digital business world. The entire curriculum is built on industry-relevant case studies and business readings selected by Jon Steinberg, Founder & CEO of Cheddar, and former President & COO of BuzzFeed.

Courses will be offered in the context of Strayer’s current Master of Business Administration curriculum. The nine core classes of Strayer’s existing MBA will be infused with material related to digital entrepreneurship and will feature Cheddar’s insights into the field, and students will take the three additional digital entrepreneurship-specific courses to earn the MBA with a concentration in digital entrepreneurship. Students will also have the option of completing an MBA with just ten courses, consisting of the nine core MBA courses plus one of the new digital entrepreneurship courses.

The New School – Impact Entrepreneurship

Paid Courses and Programs

The Impact Entrepreneurship Initiative (IEI) is an initiative that supports early-stage social entrepreneurial leaders in developing the mindsets, skills, and sense of purpose needed to thrive in a rapidly changing world. The initiative aims to catalyze the creation of an inclusive economy by making entrepreneurship education, resources, and networks more accessible to students from diverse backgrounds at different stages of the entrepreneurial journey.

Examples of course topics include:

  • Children, Rights, Poverty, Equality
  • Communities in Urban Development
  • Sustainability Perspectives and Practices
  • Re-imagining Social Movements

Drawing on The New School’s design-infused curriculum, faculty, community of mentors, seed funding, and partnerships with the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem, the IEI provides students with the support needed to transform challenges into opportunities that have economic, social, and environmental impact. Through courses, co-curricular activities, practical training, expert coaching, and funding, we encourage positive risk taking, equipping students for leadership in a range of fields requiring creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills.

Modern Labor


Meet the Y-Combinator backed startup, Modern Labor. Modern Labor is a revolutionary educational platform that will pay you $10k to become a full-stack developer. Once you have completed the five month curriculum, Modern Labor will also help you find a job. Most of us can’t take five months off work or from family obligations to immerse ourselves in learning how to code for the modern workforce.

Modern Labor removes the financial constraints that prevent many talented individuals from spending the necessary time needed to learn a high-value skill and better their lives. According to PayScale, in 2019 the the salary of an entry-level front-end developer is $91,476. Many tech companies and traditional companies becoming tech companies have a major shortage of full-stack developers. This creates an amazing opportunity for the current workforce.


Paid Courses and Programs

IDEO U is an online school where leaders can unlock their creative potential and build their problem-solving skills. IDEO U is part of an award-winning global design company that takes a human-centered, design-based approach to help organizations innovate and grow. Learn IDEO’s approach to design thinking and creative leadership through an online school that equips individuals with the tools and mindsets necessary to ignite creative confidence and tackle complex challenges.

Examples of course topics include:

  • Designing for Change
  • Storytelling for Influence
  • Insights for Innovation
  • Human Centered Service Design


Paid & Free Courses and Programs

Gain the skills and moral imagination necessary to lead in the 21st century. +Acumen offers world-class online courses that empower you to think differently, learn collaboratively and join a global community of learners and doers with a burning desire to change the world. They offer free and low-cost courses aimed at all levels of social change-makers.

Examples of course topics include:

  • Business Models for Social Impact
  • Social Entrepreneurship 101
  • Designing for Environmental Sustainability and Social Impact
  • Financial Modeling for the Social Sector

See full list of courses here.

EdX – MicroMasters Programs

Paid Courses and Programs

MicroMasters programs are a series of graduate level courses from top universities designed to advance your career. They provide deep learning in a specific career field and are recognized by employers for their real job relevance. Students may apply to the university offering credit for the MicroMasters program certificate and, if accepted, can pursue an accelerated and less expensive Master’s Degree.

MicroMasters programs are validated by top tier companies to ensure a competitive advantage for career success. Apply to the university that accepts your MicroMasters program certificate for credit and, if accepted, the certificate will accelerate your degree.

Examples of MicroMaster program courses include:

  • Sustainable Energy
  • Emerging Automotive Technologies
  • Chemistry and Technology for Sustainability

See full list of courses here.

SDG Academy

Free Courses and Programs

The SDG Academy is the online modern education platform of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations. SDG creates and curates free educational resources on sustainable development and offer them as a global public good. the courses cover the headline issues and a multitude of interdisciplinary topics related to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, a set of aims and targets adopted by member states of the United Nations in 2015.

Examples of course topics include:

  • Sustainable Food Systems
  • Addressing the Global Water Crisis
  • Feeding a Hungry Planet
  • Natural Resources for Sustainable Development

See full list of courses here.

MovingWorlds Institute(MWI)

Paid Program

The Moving World Institute combines learning, networking, and coaching to compliment a real, in-the-field Experteering experience so you can stand out from the crowd to earn – or create – your dream job.

Just like MBA programs use case-studies to build business leaders, MWI use case-based curriculum to move you from theory to practice in Human-centered Design Thinking and Shared Value. Lessons are delivered through our virtual calls, monthly Q&A with industry leaders, cohort-based homework, ongoing Slack chats, and an in-person, 3-day in-person immersive workshop.

The Institute is a 6-month program for mid-career, high achieving professionals that can easily be combined with a full-time job, sabbatical, or career-break. While some elements are set, many are flexible and can be customized for you and your busy schedule.


Free and Paid Courses and Programs

Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes in design, business, tech, and more. Anyone can join the millions of members in the community to learn cutting-edge skills, network with peers and discover new opportunities. Their purpose is to make the new economy an open meritocracy, where the skills and expertise needed to succeed are available for anyone willing to learn them.


Paid Courses and Programs

PluralSight helps technology leaders evaluate the technical abilities of their teams, align learning to key business objectives and close skills gaps in critical areas like cloud, mobile, security and data. The platform includes 6,000+ courses from leading experts, skill assessments, on-demand mentoring and more.


Udemy is the leading global marketplace for teaching and learning, connecting students everywhere to the world’s best instruction anywhere.


Free and Paid Courses and Programs

Every course on Coursera is taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. Courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. When you complete a course, you’ll receive a sharable electronic Course Certificate.

If you want to master a specific career skill, consider joining a Specialization. You’ll complete a series of rigorous courses, tackle hands-on projects based on real business challenges, and earn a Specialization Certificate to share with your professional network and potential employers. Coursera also offers online degree programs

Future Learn

Free and Paid Courses and Programs

Future Learn offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life. The platform believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.


Paid Courses and Programs

Recently acquired by LinkedIn, is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, corporate, academic and government subscriptions, members have access to the video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts.

Khan Academy

Free Courses and Programs

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. The courses tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. The math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. Khan Academy has also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.


Free and Paid Courses and Programs

Udacity’s mission is to democratize modern education through the offering of world-class higher education opportunities that are accessible, flexible, and economical. Virtually anyone on the planet with an internet connection and a commitment to self-empowerment through learning can come to Udacity, master a suite of job-ready skills, and pursue rewarding employment.

Udacity began as an experiment in online learning, when Stanford instructors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig elected to offer their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online to anyone, for free. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled. The potential to educate at a global scale was awe-inspiring, and Udacity was founded to pursue a mission to democratize modern education. It would take several years of intensive iteration and experimentation to clarify our focus on career advancement through mastery of in-demand skills, but today, Udacity proudly offers aspiring learners across the globe the opportunity to participate in—and contribute to—some of the most exciting and innovative fields in the world.

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