Verizon, one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services, has announced the launch of a new online education portal in collaboration with edX, a prominent global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), to help Americans in upskilling and reskilling for today’s fastest-growing jobs. According to recent data, one-third of workers lack the digital skills to enter today’s jobs. Verizon Skill Forward, which was previously scheduled to start in 2020, will use Verizon’s new strategic partnership with edX to provide tuition-free, technical and professional pathways across in-demand industrial sectors, with Verizon covering the costs for learners.
With no prior experience or college degree required, participants can register for Verizon Skill Forward to access self-paced, expert-led online courses designed by leading universities and industry experts in edX’s partner network for 12 months at no cost, including dedicated courses in Spanish. Participants will be able to access curated lists of more than 250 courses spanning 84 unique professional certificate programs that they can take on their own time and are designed to help them gain the skills necessary to pursue high-growth jobs across the in-demand areas of artificial intelligence, business, coding, communication, data, finance, IT and more.
Commenting on the initiative, Rose Stuckey Kirk, Senior Vice President and chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for Verizon, said:
When you make quality education accessible to all, you give individuals the freedom to pave their path. Through Verizon Skill Forward, we remain committed to bridging the digital divide and providing access to opportunities for economic advancement in under-resourced communities across the country, from when a student enters a classroom to the moment they embark on pursuing a career and higher education.
Verizon Skill Forward participants will also be granted ongoing access to edX’s Career Engagement Network, which offers a suite of career development and exploration tools, such as career advice, resources, a job board, and industry-related events and workshops. Furthermore, participants can explore the Skills Builder, a tool designed to match participant career goals to relevant learning opportunities across courses and programmes.
This initiative is part of Citizen Verizon, Verizon’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental, and social advancement. It will build on the company’s goal of preparing 500,000 individuals for future jobs by 2030 and accelerate digital inclusion efforts nationwide through access to educational tools and resources.
Citizen Verizon empowers Verizon to fulfil its mission of moving the world ahead through action by extending digital access and resources, safeguarding the environment, and ensuring people have the skills needed for future jobs. Verizon, headquartered in New York City and with a global presence, began operations on June 30, 2000, and provides data, video, and voice services and solutions through its award-winning networks and platforms, meeting customers’ demands for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security, and control.
Anant Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer of edX, stated:
In an era where technology rapidly evolves and the nature of work continuously shifts, the need for lifelong learning and skills development has never been more crucial. Together with Verizon, edX is expanding access to education, ensuring everyone can achieve their ambition regardless of their background or current skills. This collaboration is a testament to our shared belief in the power of high-quality online education to create a better future for all.
Harvard and MIT established edX to open the best educational experience to everyone. The company provides online learning to over 78 million people globally, delivering real professional growth across nearly every career discipline, from artificial intelligence and robotics to sustainability and public health. In collaboration with organisations and universities at the forefront of their fields, the platform offers numerous job-relevant programmes designed to give every ambitious learner a road to success.