Newly released data from HarvardX and MITx, the MOOC divisions of Harvard and MIT, has shed light on interesting trends emerging from the world of MOOCs. With nearly 2 million combined students, data shows that the majority of those students are male and already have college degrees.
MITx has the greatest disparity between male and female students with a 74.5 percent male population. The HarvardX male population was just over 63 percent. Each platform has an extended reach to more than 180 countries and had a median age of 27 and 28.
Another interesting trend was the amount of participants who already obtained a higher education degree. Over 60 percent of of students in both platforms had a bachelor’s or higher. Doctorate degrees made up roughly 5 percent of each platform.
So why are so many men flocking to MOOCs in shockingly disproportionate numbers? These reports highlight the need for continued research into the MOOC movement and its unique characteristics. Reaching so many countries is no small feat and MOOCs continue to have tremendous potential, but more research is needed to understand the lack of diversity.