Cengage Announces Expansion of Online Skills Business to Meet Growing Demand for Workforce Development and Reskilling
Balraj Kalsi will lead the Online Skills Business as Senior Vice President and General Manager
BOSTON—September 23, 2020— Well positioned to meet the surging demand for online certificates and micro-credentials, Cengage, an education and technology company, today announced plans to expand its Online Skills business. Through its current ed2go business, Cengage is already a recognized leading provider of online instructor-facilitated courses and career training programs for the adult continuing education and training markets. Leveraging its portfolio of globally recognized content and deep understanding of the digital learning experience, Cengage aims to build on current success and greatly broaden its offering in this rapidly growing segment.
“At Cengage, our mission has always been to meet students where they are and ensure they have access to affordable, high-quality learning materials that can help them succeed,” said Michael E. Hansen, CEO, Cengage. “The need for continued career training and reskilling as individuals progress in their career is becoming essential for advancement. We see this expansion of our Online Skills business as a natural step for Cengage as we continue to innovate to meet the needs of learners.”
In 2017, McKinsey estimated that as many as 375 million workers – 14 percent of the global workforce – would have to switch occupations or acquire new skills by 2030 because of advancing technologies like automation and artificial intelligence. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the need for education alternatives to help the global workforce reskill in the face of unprecedented unemployment. A recent Strada Education Network poll found one in five Americans would pursue education or training within six months if they lost their job, with the majority (62 percent) preferring online training. To respond to this immediate need during the COVID-19 pandemic, ed2go offered several of its most relevant self-paced tutorials for free this past Spring. These courses focused on topics that help people acquire new skills such as website development, management, communications, and personal finance. In the course of 10 weeks, ed2go had more than 300,000 enrollments – a fifty-fold increase over historical enrollments.
Balraj Kalsi will lead the Online Skills business as General Manager reporting to CEO Michael E. Hansen. Kalsi has been with Cengage since 2014, most recently as Senior Vice President, Global Technical Product Management. In this role, Kalsi helped to accelerate the digital transformation of the business, including the launch of Cengage Unlimited in 2018. Prior to Cengage, Kalsi held leadership positions at Skype and Elsevier.
“Education is a powerful tool to change people’s lives,” said Balraj Kalsi. “However, there is a growing disconnect between the skills students have upon graduating with a traditional degree, and the skills needed to succeed and advance in their career. There is a pressing need for digital innovation to address this widening gap. Through the power of online learning, Cengage will help millions of people develop the knowledge and capabilities they need to advance their careers and improve their lives.”
Cengage Online Skills will continue to focus on the growth and development of ed2go and other existing skills offerings. Additionally, the expanded Online Skills business will include dedicated R&D, working directly with students, employers and educators to remain at the forefront of innovation that best supports learners. For more information about current online skills offerings, visit: www.ed2go.com.
About Cengage and ed2go
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. The company serves the higher education, K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide. ed2go, a Cengage company, is a leading provider of online instructor-facilitated courses and career training programs for the adult continuing education and training markets. With a catalog of over 600 offerings and a network of more than 2,100 top colleges and universities, ed2go offers partner institutions and organizations the opportunity to provide unprecedented access to affordable online education. www.ed2go.com