Philippines leads record-high increase in women learners on Coursera

September 17, 2021 - 1:43 PM
Photo provided by Coursera

The Philippines posted the highest increase in enrollment of women on the learning platform Coursera, according to a report.

One of the world’s largest learning platforms, released a Women and Skills Report that showed that the Philippines had more women learners this year, making it rank first among 190 countries.

In the report released on September 15, there is an impressive 774% increase in enrollments among Filipino women in certificate training programs aimed at entry-level digital jobs in June 2021 as compared to the same month last year.

A majority or 56% of new enrollees or newly registered individuals in the Philippines are also women, thus bringing the total of registered women on the platform to 650,000.

In relation to this, the report also showed that Filipino women are enrolling in more courses than before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

“Women’s enrollments in entry-level Professional Certificates increased from 33% in 2019 to 47% in 2021. These certificates, from industry leaders such as Google, IBM, and Facebook, are designed to prepare learners without a college degree or technology experience for a wide range of high-demand digital jobs,” it said.

Of the skills offered, the study showed that most women are invested in learning business-related skills.

Last year, among the top skills among Filipino women are communication (1.2 million enrollees), leadership and management (880,000), entrepreneurship (740,000), marketing (630,000) and business analysis (550,000).

This year, the most popular skills are Excel Skills for Business from the Macquarie University and Write Professional Emails in English from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The study also found that most Filipino women are interested in STEM-related courses.

“For STEM courses, the gender gap narrowed from 38% enrollments from women in 2019 to 43% in 2021,” it said.

Critical STEM skills with most Filipino women enrollees are:

  • Probability and statistics (680,000)
  • Data analysis (490,000)
  • Computer programming (480,000) with Programming from Everybody from University of Michigan

The report further showed that businesses, governments and campuses still play a vital role in reducing the gender gap in the Philippine workforce.

“In 2021, programs where Coursera is used by various businesses, governments and campuses in the Philippines, there were higher shares of registered women learners (44%, 57% and 54% respectively), as compared to global (36%, 51% and 42% respectively),” it said.

Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, India and APAC, Coursera stated that the remote work environment allowed Filipino women to gain access to enhance their skills online which may lead to a job opportunity.

“We believe that the new norm of remote work and online learning is setting a solid foundation of a more inclusive recovery. While women participation in the labor force is low in the Philippines, in the long-term, we may see this rise as the access to equal job-relevant online education leads to equal employment opportunity,” Gupta said.

“The encouraging trends from the report are a testament to the resilience of Philippine women learners and their determination to return to work and advance their careers,” he added.

Data from the Women and Skills report was gathered from 40 million new learners who registered during the pandemic between January 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.