Top-quality learning available to 108K employees, with emphasis on data science, digital technologies, and soft skills

Coursera, the world’s leading online learning platform, today announced a global collaboration with Novartis, a leading global medicine company.

Novartis will use Coursera’s enterprise platform, Coursera for Business, to offer a transformative learning experience to its about 108,000 employees of more than 140 nationalities worldwide.

As a strategic upskilling partner, Coursera is working closely with Novartis to deliver critical digital skills, establish a culture of learning that increases employee retention, and promote innovation across the company.

Starting this month, Novartis employees will have unlimited access to Coursera’s catalog of 3,600 courses from top university and industry educators. They will also have access to a stackable and customized curriculum, curated by Coursera, that emphasizes data science, digital technologies, and soft skills.

This launch follows a successful pilot with Coursera earlier this year, during which more than 2,000 Novartis employees enrolled in courses on the platform. Upon completion, Novartis employees receive shareable electronic course certificates, which highlight the new skills they have gained to advance their careers.

“At Novartis we believe that curiosity fuels innovation and we are on a journey to provide the best opportunities to learn and develop,” said Simon Brown, Chief Learning Officer at Novartis.

“This collaboration, providing all associates access to learning and certificates from leading global universities is an important part of our efforts to unleash the power of our people and reimagine medicine in new and powerful ways.”

Building digital capabilities is a key learning objective for Novartis, which aims to use data science and technology to discover breakthrough treatments for its 750 million patients. 24 percent of pharma companies similarly report that digital will play a critical role in finding therapies for incurable or difficult to cure diseases.

Although the impact of digitalization is understood, proficiency in digital skills remains a challenge. According to Coursera data, pharmaceutical companies overall have lower skills proficiency in data science and computer science compared to other industries, ranking in the 30th and 10th percentile, respectively.

By developing a curated learning program that addresses these skills gaps, Coursera is helping drive digital capabilities among Novartis employees that will set the stage for more rapid innovation.

“We’re honored to be collaborating with Novartis in its pursuit of becoming a learning leader,” said Leah Belsky, Senior Vice President of Enterprise, Coursera.

“Novartis is setting an example for its peers by using talent transformation as a means to compete and pioneer new forms of medicine. As the opportunity for digital transformation among pharmaceuticals companies continues to grow, Novartis’ strategy will be the one to emulate.”


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Learning contributes to employee engagement and retention, with 21 percent of employees reporting that they are more likely to stay with employers that support their development, and Millennials in particular demanding continuous learning, with 42% saying they are likely to leave because they are not learning enough.

Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends data from 2019 also shows that 54% of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling in just 3 years. In addition to offering a robust catalog of Coursera courses, Novartis has kicked off a “Curiosity Chapter” to engage and encourage employees to acquire new skills and catalyze personal growth.

Coursera for Business has helped over 2,000 organizations worldwide upskill their talent by working closely with companies to identify the upskilling needs of their workforce, curate a learning program drawn from a world-class course catalog, and deliver a transformative learning solution.

Customers have access to in-depth content from over 190 top university and industry educators, reputable and stackable certifications, and an easy-to-use mobile platform.

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