Coursera, Inc., one of the largest online learning platforms in the world, recently released its annual study of learner trends based on data from over 716,000 registered learners in Malaysia. In 2023, Malaysian learners on Coursera demonstrated a remarkable 50% increase in their learning time commitment. Coursera saw a huge surge in interest for generative AI (artificial intelligence) content, with searches growing by seven-fold in Malaysia compared to the previous year.
The top 3 GenAI courses on Coursera among Malaysian learners include Introduction to Generative AI (Google Cloud), Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT (Vanderbilt University) and the newly launched Generative AI for Everyone (DeepLearning.AI). Within just six weeks of launch, this course by AI pioneer Andrew Ng became the fastest-growing course globally on Coursera in 2023. The enthusiasm among Malaysian learners for acquiring skills in emerging technologies, especially AI, aligns with the government’s aim to foster a tech-savvy workforce, and position the country as the regional technology hub.
The 2023 data shows that Malaysian learners are particularly enthusiastic about courses that provide high-demand technology and data science skills, indicating a keen desire to gain the competencies needed to thrive in the modern, digital economy. Courses by Google dominate the list, emphasising foundational knowledge in data management, project management, cybersecurity, digital marketing, e-commerce, and user experience design.
The most popular course among Malaysian learners is Google’s Foundations: Data, Data, Everywhere—a popular choice for those seeking to build foundational literacy to stay competitive in an increasingly data-driven world. Yonsei University’s First Step Korean continues to feature in the most popular courses list for four years, suggesting a constant interest in language and cultural studies, possibly driven by global connectivity and cultural exchange.
There was also a rising uptake of courses that are part of entry-level Professional Certificates, which require no background knowledge or college degree, and teach the skills needed for entry-level roles. 90% of the top courses in Malaysia like Google’s Ask Questions to Make Data-Driven Decisions, Foundations of Cybersecurity and Foundations of Project Management are part of these programs.
“In 2023, Malaysian learners’ passion for learning soared on Coursera. Their interest in genAI, tech, and data skills, not only reflects their thirst for cutting-edge knowledge but also their commitment to staying at the forefront of the digital revolution,” said Raghav Gupta, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, at Coursera. “In the year ahead, we’re excited to use GenAI to transform education, providing personalized, engaging and inclusive learning. The renewed focus on lifelong learning, tech and human skills, and blended learning on campuses will be the key to employability in the AI-driven world.”