edX Named to Fast Company’s 2021 List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies
edX ranked No. 5 in the Education category for its MicroBachelors® Programs; recognized for transformative approach to skills-based, undergraduate learning for working adults
Cambridge, MA - edX is honored to announce that we have been named to the annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company. The list honors the businesses that have shown resilience and made an impact on their industries and culture as a whole over the past year. It's a testament to the work of the entire edX community that our movement has been recognized for making progress and tackling challenges that were exacerbated in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 list recognizes edX for its innovative MicroBachelors programs, the first credit-backed, stackable undergraduate credential designed to serve working adults without a college degree. When we launched MicroBachelors programs in January 2020, we knew the programs solved a real and urgent need for working adults, an often overlooked segment of the higher education sector. Now, as the global economy deals with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the programs are more relevant than ever. Each MicroBachelors program offers immediately transferable skills for people looking for new or more secure jobs, and academic credit for those with college plans left up in the air. In just over a year, we have gone from offering two MicroBachelors programs to 11 programs serving over 140,000 learners from over 240 countries worldwide. Most recently, we launched two new programs with Southern New Hampshire University, a fellow innovator in the education space dedicated to reimagining the undergraduate learning space.
Kevin Miller, a student from the Chicago area, had 63 credits from two different colleges until he became aware of MicroBachelors programs. He enrolled in DoaneX’s Marketing Essentials program, pursued credit from TESU, and hopes to ultimately complete an undergraduate degree program and earn his bachelor’s degree. “I was stuck trying to find a way to learn. There’s not a lot of educational opportunities around me outside of the community college. When I found edX, it was the right course at the right time,” Miller said.
“Innovation is part of edX’s DNA, and from the start we’ve envisioned a new reality where every learner can access the education they need to unlock their potential,” said Anant Agarwal, edX founder and CEO. “When MicroBachelors programs launched, we couldn't anticipate how the short-term need for social distancing due to COVID-19 would result in a long-term transformation of how universities deliver, and workers take advantage of, online learning experiences. We are honored to be recognized alongside other global companies that are looking to change the world for good.”
The pandemic has not only accelerated the adoption of online learning, but has also set higher educational institutions firmly on a path towards the future. By reimagining the undergraduate degree, edX is pushing the higher education industry to think differently about how learning is delivered, how credit is granted and shared, and how to package meaningful educational content into smaller, more relevant chunks. This is a piece of edX’s larger vision where 10, 20 years from now, we see a future where our restless learners use unbundled learning from many higher education institutions to build the degrees and credentials that unlock their potential.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
The launch of MicroBachelors Programs was made possible through the generosity of American Student Assistance, Boeing, Lumina Foundation, Truist Foundation, Walmart, Jeremy M. and Joyce E. Wertheimer Foundation, and Yidan Prize.
To learn more about MicroBachelors programs on edX, visit www.edx.org/microbachelors.
edX is the education movement for restless learners. Together with our founding partners Harvard and MIT, we’ve brought together over 35 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world, and industry-leading companies onto one online learning platform that supports learners at every stage. And we’re not stopping there—as a global nonprofit, we’re relentlessly pursuing our vision of a world where every learner can access education to unlock their potential, without the barriers of cost or location.