EC Study

MOOCs Are in High demand

Brussels (BE), June 2014 - The European Commission has published a new study on the supply and demand of MOOCs related to web skills. It shows that while MOOCs are widely recognized as a valuable learning opportunity, students struggle to find appropriate courses.


The study is based on the analysis of over 200 MOOC providers and almost 3,000 online survey respondents from around the world. The objective of the study was to investigate the supply and demand of MOOCs related to web skills and better understand the potential of MOOCs to develop the skills needed in the current market. The survey sample includes learners, MOOC providers, entrepreneurs, leaders of innovation support programmes, corporate managers, and IT professionals.

Key findings

  • MOOCs are a widely recognized learning opportunity – three in four respondents knew what a MOOC is and 64% claimed to have taken one
  • The web skill highest in demand among students was web design
  • IT professionals indicated that one of the difficulties of the current labour market is acquiring employees with domain-specific skills such as iOS, Android, and HTML5 experts. They ranked MOOCs alongside on-the-job training as the best approaches to develop such skills.

One of the barriers to uptake is that learners have a hard time finding appropriate courses for themselves. Among the findings of the survey was that, “The current provision of MOOCs seems to be sufficient, but the students do not necessarily know where they can easily find the MOOCs they are looking for.”

The study also illustrated the diversity of MOOC business models. The most prevalent approach was to use the MOOC as a tool for promotion and public image, but other models were well represented, such as the freemium model and the hybrid model. 

The European Commission strives to promote web entrepreneurship and the creation of new jobs in the digital sector. The study was carried out by P.A.U. Education on behalf of the EC in the context of the EC's MOOCs for Web Talent initiative.