CNM Co-Founds National Education Marketplace to Help Students and Workers Skill Up Across U.S.

Many of CNM’s most sought-after classes, along with classes from several other participating community colleges, will now be easily accessible to anyone in the United States
November 05, 2020

For a long time the education-to-job pathway here in the United States was pretty straight forward. People would get training or a college degree, find a job, then work that same job (or in a similar role) until they retired. Nowadays, however, the economy and job requirements are changing so fast—thanks to technology—that employees and employers are constantly having to adapt.

That’s one of the reasons CNM became a founding partner in a new course-to-jobs educational marketplace called Unmudl. More specifically, Unmudl facilitates access to job-focused upskill and reskill courses across a diverse range of professions and trades through a proprietary network of public community colleges. With Unmudl, learners can achieve their education and career goals by simultaneously enrolling in classes from multiple community colleges instantly.

The website is national because the country currently has an estimated 64.5 million working learners, or people who already have a job but need to switch or grow. Unmudl partnered with community colleges such as CNM because of our work with non-traditional students and our commitment to designing programs that meet industry and workforce needs and offer quick paths to employment.

“People across the country really need an easily accessible upskilling or reskilling ecosystem because the linear job progression and work-to-retirement pathway aren’t static anymore,” says Erica Volkers-Barreiro, CNM’s Future of Work Strategist who’s served as the CNM lead for the Unmudl project.  

COVID-19, of course, has also made the need for these offerings more acute. As people have lost their jobs, many need to immediately develop skills so that they can find new employment.

“COVID-19 has caused massive job displacement and there are more workers than ever who need reskilling opportunities,” Erica says. “We were working on Unmudl before COVID-19, but the pandemic has definitely added an enormous amount of urgency and need.”   

Right now Unmudl is still in beta (test phase) but will launch fully later this month. Once everything is ready, Erica says the marketplace will have over 100 course offerings. New colleges, and new courses, will also be brought on over the next year. 

About 90 percent of the classes currently being offered will be online. Workforce training  classes from CNM include the Internet of Things Deep Dive Bootcamp and our Introduction to Teaching and Learning Online course. But if you browse the site, you’ll also see that in-person classes like CNM’s Line Worker Pre-Apprenticeship Program are being advertised.

Erica says select in-person classes are being offered because these classes are usually completed in just a few months and offer high-quality reskilling opportunities for people here in New Mexico, or even for people from out of state who are willing to temporarily relocate in order to get a completely new job. She says that down the road there might also be a hybrid model where national students interested in a CNM class would do the majority of their work online and then travel to New Mexico for something like a two-week intensive in-person bootcamp.

“We think people will likely be okay with temporarily re-locating if they’re given the opportunity to graduate from a program where they can re-enter the workforce and immediately find a job that pays somewhere in the range of $40,000 to $70,000 per year,” she says.

Because Unmudl is online and runs like a marketplace, users will see features they’re used to in other online marketplaces such as Amazon. For example, Erica says users will be able to read and leave course and instructor reviews so students can find the class or program that’s right for them. They’ll also be able to shop around and compare similar classes offered by different participating community colleges. As a partner in the marketplace, CNM has a profit-sharing agreement where a percentage of all the revenue—even from classes offered by other colleges—comes back to our college to bolster education here.

“It’s been a unique and exciting opportunity for CNM to collaborate with other community colleges across the nation as we launch this innovative educational marketplace,” Erica says. 

Learn more about Unmudl.