Online courses and skills sharing with Jinn: for who, for what?

online course, a new way to share skills

Empowerment is mainly a matter of being confident in one’s skills. Jinn proposes a new approach to skills sharing, to empower as many people as possible via online courses. The current situation is the ideal time to apply this approach.

From anticipation to power to knowledge

In the current coronavirus crisis, we hear a lot about how our leaders failed in preparing for such event. I am not saying this because I am part of the horde. I hold no public responsibility, contrary to most of them, and I do not claim to be an expert. Even if I was an expert, I would probably know little about covid-19 now, like many others. My point is elsewhere. It is ok to not know. It is less acceptable to not know that you do not know. And it is unacceptable to think that you know, although you do not. Knowledge helps us in anticipating, and therefore building a better future. Some of our leaders should make theirs this quote from Leonardo da Vinci, “Not to anticipate is already to moan“.

In any case, knowledge is key. A lack of knowledge brought us in today’s situation. Making decisions without all information is something that happens for everybody. The good news is, knowledge is more shareable than ever, thanks to the Internet. The other good news is, we are all indoors now. So we have more time to learn, contrary to our leaders. There are many online courses available on the Internet to learn. But Jinn comes with a different philosophy, that I am going to explain.

Learning skills in the world and the philosophy of Jinn

Jinn was created with the idea of making knowledge exchange easier, and worthwhile. Indeed, it is easy to follow any course online, it is another thing to have this achievement recognized by the community.

Learning skills in rich countries

In wealthy countries, people acquire their skills through education at first. Once they enter the job market, they get other skills with their employers throughout their professional life. Often, some continuous education or professional certificates can help them in boosting their career. To sum up, trust in education system is very strong in rich countries. Meaning that a successful education, preferably up to university, leads to a successful professional career. Field experience is relevant too, but usually later in the career, as the candidate becomes older. This chart from OECD, showing adult education level in different countries, shows perfectly this tendency.

Learning skills in poor countries

In poorer countries, people work mainly in the informal economy, whose characteristics are:

  • Insecure jobs
  • Few skills required
  • Not well paid.

These people represent more than 60% of the world labor force, according to the following chart from the International Labor Organization.

informal jobs in the world

In emerging markets, knowledge is not just about having a certificate from a high school or a university (anyway, the education there is very often misaligned with the requirements of the job). It is rather about having the right skills to create enough value for the employer to get paid. Therefore, the more you have proven skills, the more you are valuable. In other words, the field experience is more valued than the education. Which creates another problem: formal education is not adapted to the needs of the market, but it is impossible to collect certificates from the employers to prove one’s experience, meaning that all skills acquired with one employer are often lost when going to another one.

The interest of creating online courses with Jinn

This is the reason why anyone registered on Jinn can create its own online courses, tests and certificates, in any area. Of course, one could argue that without a formal certificate, the courses are worth nothing. But for the employers in these markets, the skills are worth something, if they fit what they are looking for. Like I said before, field experience matters more there than university degrees. How does that translate in courses on Jinn? Every user can vote for courses in which he or she is enrolled. The more positive are the reviews, the more a course is trustworthy. The instructor profile is also available at any time, so you can make your opinion about his or her expertise.

What about courses from the best schools and universities?

I would love, of course, to have partnerships with famous universities and schools, and propose their certificates. However, it is not currently a priority if we target emerging markets, as:

  • It is not the kind of skills needed for these persons
  • They cannot afford such courses
  • Many other platforms propose it already

How would courses look like then?

Instead, courses might be more down-to-earth in the beginning. At least, these are skills probably more useful on a short term for these people. Moreover, experts in their area are free to set the price they want for their courses. Although I would suggest you start giving free courses first. Later, you can set a price based on your reputation.

Finally yet importantly, the certificates you earn follow you when you apply for a job on Jinn. Thus, it becomes possible to verify some skills you could not have done before, because you learned them in the field and not at school. With verified certificates and professional experience, finding a job would be easier than never before.

Our contribution to better courses

Of course, we all want to make sure that we are investing our time in the best suited course. And we may not be sure about that, if everybody can post a course. Which is why Jinn commits to verify and promote the best courses it receives. Ultimately, our mission is for everyone to empower oneself, and we provide the tools we think relevant for that. And maybe, in the future, we will be able to propose courses from famous schools and universities too, allowing them to reach out to a bigger audience. In the meantime, it is time to learn: after all, tomorrow is prepared today.