Welcome to this course where we'll do our best to explain how we work at OpenClassrooms. 🤗
Before going any further, we need to clarify one key point. The question is not, "What does OpenClassrooms do?" (more on that later), but "Why does OpenClassrooms even exist?". What do we stand for?
We think that answering this question first will help you better understand the rest of this course. So let's get started, shall we? 😄
The Mission (long-term goal)
Everything ultimately comes down to one simple question:
Why does OpenClassrooms exist?
OpenClassrooms is here to make education accessible. This has become our motto: Making education accessible.
It looks simple, but it's a huge mission! It's one that we can't solve overnight and may never accomplish.
Can you imagine a day when we'll be able to say "OK, everyone has equal access to high-quality education, there's nothing more we can do, everything is great!" Yes? Wow, you're super ambitious. We like you already! 😀
We believe education is a basic human right, one that changes people's lives and pushes them to be their best selves.
The Vision (mid-term goal)
You've read the mission, and you probably think:
The mission is ambitious. How do people know what to do on a daily basis to get there? 🤔
This is why we also have a vision: it tells us how to pursue our mission for years to come.
OpenClassrooms' current vision is: We help people to find jobs and remain employable.
We have set an ambitious goal for 2025: We want to help 1 million people to find a job.
We think this is a goal worth pursuing. It makes a lot of sense: the world is moving at a faster pace, new jobs are being created, others are currently disappearing. How do we help all the people who struggle with these changes? With education! Yes, we think education is the answer to a lot of things. 😉
OpenClassrooms courses are designed with the professional world in mind. We've chosen to focus only on courses that can help you find work quickly. Therefore, we've decided to put aside younger learners (K-12) at least for the moment.
How We Decide What We Should Do
The mission and vision are essential. They help us determine when we should do a project and, perhaps more importantly when we shouldn't do a project.
This is a question we ask ourselves often: is it worth doing? Every new project requires time and effort, and we can quickly drown in the amount of work to do. On the other hand, we shouldn't miss new opportunities either.
Let me give you two recent examples (at the time of writing) of decisions we've made based on our mission and vision.
Yes, We Should Do This 👍
We've been delivering online courses to everyone for years. This is our main job, and we're getting good at this. We've even created full "learning paths" by regrouping specific courses and projects to help people learn a new job. These paths can lead you to a state-endorsed degree.
Then, one day, we had an idea: why should we stop when someone gets a degree? Isn't it part of our vision to help people get a job?
You could say that we've done our job since we've delivered a degree that tells people when they are ready. However, considering our vision, we can also say that we didn't completely achieved our work.
We've also decided to give professional advice to our learners who have finished a path. We offer courses and specific mentors to help them search for a job and prepare for interviews.
No, We Shouldn't Do This 👎
Let's look at another example. We've been delivering some maths courses for years on OpenClassrooms. There aren't a lot of them, but people seem to like it. They are targeted at K-12 learners who want to prepare for an academic exam.
These courses have been on hold for a while, because we've been busy with other topics. Then, one day, we had an opportunity to resume creating the math courses and found a good teacher who could help build them. Everything seemed perfect except - we didn't do it.
We asked ourselves: Should we do this project? Will it help people find a new job, as our vision states? Well, hardly. It is more an academic course.
Would it be useful? Sure! Did we want to do it? You bet! But sometimes we have to make hard choices, and our mission and vision statements help us make these kinds of decisions.