Using online courses in Spain to teach entrepreneurship

December 18, 2012

Posted by Francisco Ruiz Anton, Policy Manager, Google Spain

At the end of the third quarter in 2012, roughly 25% of adults in Spain were out of work. More than half of adults under 24 years old are unemployed. Recent graduates and young adults preparing to enter the workforce face the toughest job market in decades.

The Internet presents an opportunity for growth and economic development. According to recent research, more than 100,000 jobs in Spain originate from the Internet and it directly contributes to the GDP with 26.7 billion euros (2.5%). That impact that could triple by 2015 under the right conditions.

One of those conditions is making high-quality education accessible, echoed by a recent OECD report on the youth labor market in Spain. This is no easy task. University degrees are in high demand, straining the reach of our existing institutions.

The web has become a way for learners to develop new skills when traditional institutions aren’t an option. Recent courses on platforms like Udacity, Coursera and edX have seen hundreds of thousands of students enroll and participate in courses taught by prestigious professors and lecturers.

Google is partnering with numerous organizations and universities in Spain to organize UniMOOC, an online course intended to educate citizens in Spain and the rest of the Spanish-speaking world about entrepreneurship. It was built with Course Builder, Google’s new open source toolkit for constructing online courses.

To date nearly 10,000 students have registered for the course, over two-thirds of them from Spain and one-third from 93 countries. It recently won an award for the “Most innovative project” in 2012 from the newspaper El Mundo.

Spain’s situation is not entirely unique in Europe. Policymakers across the continent are asking themselves how best to create economic opportunity for their citizens, and how to ensure that their best and brightest students are on a path toward financial success. Our hope is that the people taking this course will be more empowered with the right skills and tools to start their own businesses that can create jobs. They will push not only Spain, but Europe and the rest of the world towards economic recovery and growth.

The course is still running, and you’re able to join today.