More than a course: Participation in MOOCs to signal professional value

Sergey Gorbatov, Monika Hamori, S.N. Khapova, Evgenia I. Lysova, Janneke Oostrom

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


When searching for a job, signaling one’s professional value is important, as employers have to make hiring decisions based on limited information about the applicants (Bangerter, Roulin, & König, 2012). However, with the growing speed of globalization and digitalization much has been changed in how individuals signal their professional value (Manroop & Richardson, 2016). For example, there is a growing number of novel technology-enabled learning tools to gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to be competitive in the labor market (De Vos, De Hauw, & Van der Heijden, 2011; Williams, Stafford, Corliss, & Reilly, 2018). Although such technological opportunities are important enables of career success (Chen et al., 2018; Zhenghao et al., 2015), current job search models omit such new developments for job searchers (Manroop & Richardson, 2016). In this chapter, we propose that technology-enabled learning tools have the capability to change how individuals signal their professional value to prospective employers. Specifically, we focus on one example of such technologies: massive open online learning courses (MOOCs), defined as “open, large-scale web-based courses designed and delivered by accredited higher education institutions and organizations” (Deng, Benckendorff, & Gannaway, 2019, p. 48). Since its emanation about a decade ago, this educational model has gained considerable popularity in higher education because it offers virtual educational opportunities (Pomerol, Epelboin, & Thoury, 2015). The emergence of MOOCs has impacted not only higher education (Rosendale, 2017; Veletsianos & Shepherdson, 2016) and the ways how employers upskill their employees (Hamori, 2019), but also how individuals plan and manage their careers (Callanan, Perri, & Tomkowicz, 2017). A growing number of MOOC providers offer the learners credentials, most often with the intent to include those in their resumes to signal their qualification and suitability for a job (Bersin, 2016).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocioeconomics, diversity, and the politics of online education
EditorsK. Setzekorn, C. Farrelly, N. S. Patnayakuni, T. Burton
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781799835851
ISBN (Print)9781799835837, 9781799835844
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in Mobile and Distance Learning (AMDL) Book Series
PublisherIGI Global


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