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Online education to revolutionize employment prospects in MENA

JEDDAH - Online education can revolutionize job prospects in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, but students need to be aware of the security risks, according to one of the world's leading web privacy and security experts.


Educational and skills gaps are acute in the Middle East and North Africa regions, which have the world's highest unemployment rates at 25 and 24 percent, respectively, according to the International Finance Corporation and Islamic Development Bank.

"Educational institutions and private sector companies in the MENA region are rapidly augmenting traditional education with online options, which are a cost-effective, engaging, and flexible way to build 21st-century skills," said David Gorodyansky, CEO, of Hotspot Shield VPN creators AnchorFree.

The overwhelming majority of educational experts polled in a recent survey from the Middle East e-Learning Association agreed that e-learning will enhance the current model of education in the Arab World by increasing access to education for all (88 percent), while 69 percent said e-learning will build capacity for a globally-competitive workforce.

Worldwide demand for higher education is projected to increase from 100 million students in 2000 to 250 million students in 2025, according to the UN's International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), while McKinsey Global Institute predicts a global shortage of up to 85 million medium-to-high skill workers by 2020.

Online education incorporates Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs), which offer video lectures to potentially thousands of students at the same time. 

"The sheer number of courses and resources available prospective students is astonishing, but it is important to be aware of the risks of cyberattacks, malware infections and identity theft - particularly when dealing with sensitive and valuable information online. This is where apps like Hotspot Shield can make a huge difference," said Gorodyansky.

AnchorFree's Hotspot Shield is the most trusted VPN service in the world, protecting users' IP addresses, encrypting all Internet communications and preventing hackers from stealing sensitive data while using unsecure Wi-Fi networks. 

Globally, Hotspot Shield VPN has surpassed 200 million global downloads. Growing by more than nine million new downloads per month, it is now the most popular VPN service in the world and the No. 1 security and privacy app on iPhone and iPad devices. Hotspot Shield protects and keeps private more than 350,000 social media messages and 50,000 emails every hour. In addition to privacy, security and access, the mobile app saves money by compressing data: in 2013 Hotspot Shield mobile apps saved users more than 220 million megabytes (MB) of mobile data usage.
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