A Galway-based company is spearheading the growing popularity of online learning, both in Ireland and across the globe. Alison (advance learning interactive systems online) offers more than 500 courses at certificate- and diploma-level, from some of the world’s leading publishers. All courses are free to the learner. Alison boasts 250,000 graduates worldwide, with 50,000 coming from Ireland.
CEO of Alison, Mike Feerick, who says he is a serial social entrepreneur, set up the company in 2007, funding it through advertising. Initially, Alison focused on English and IT literacy. The latter, in the form of a learning module called ABC IT, is a 15-20-hour training programme that remains the site’s most popular course.
Feerick says there is a mismatch between what higher education teaches and what employers actually want. “I think that’s a huge issue. Many of us went to college and did some kind of degree. But when we go in the door of a job, how much of our degree do we actually apply? How much do we really remember and how relevant is it to the work we’re going to be doing?”... read more.