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If you're a frequent user of Uber, you've probably had one or two interesting conversations with a driver. On my way home from TPA (the airport in Tampa) this week, my back and forth with Alan the Uber driver resulted in a 15 minute advising session on his career trajectory.

Alan informed me that he used to have a career in information technology and networking. However, he had been "out of the game" for a while (his words, not mine). He mentioned that he had taken a few classes, but nothing had kept his interest. My first thought was that Alan probably needed the flexibility of online options as well as an affordable way to sample a variety of content areas.

I asked him if he'd ever heard of EdX and/or FutureLearn. My apologies to Coursera or Udacity...the other two came to mind first.

Like a lot of people who don't spend their lives working in higher education, both organizations as well as the concept of open online learning (moocs), were new to Alan. Fortunately, he seemed really excited by the idea.

We chatted about the fact that these particular online course providers were like a buffet of opportunity. Alan could sample as many different technology-focused topics as he wanted until he came to something that might just turn into a future career.

When I mentioned that there were usually certificates/credentials connected with certain programs/classes/tracks, he was quite enthusiastic about having the ability to show content mastery of a particular topic as well as a lot more depth via assignments/assessments.

After all of that, the trip was over and I was finally home after a long day of travel. Who knows if Alan will check out EdX or FutureLearn, but he did seem interested in exploring his options.

Have you taken any classes from EdX, FutureLearn, or another similar provider? Did the experience cause you to change your career path?


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