Options Abound for Free Online Education Programs

New online programs feature courses from top-ranked universities.

Students can explore new online education programs that offer free courses from prestigious universities.
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While Udacity's goal is to educate as many people as possible, the organization also focuses on job placement. Working with companies such as Google and Facebook, Thrun notes that Udacity has been able to "place about a half dozen students into jobs."

[Find out more about learning for free with MOOCs.]

3. Udemy: Offering courses such as "How to Create an Awesome Demo Video for Your Business," Udemy has branded itself by offering many courses that would not typically be found on a college campus.

"You go to Udemy because there's a specific thing you want to learn," says Richard Komaiko, who took the demo video course to improve the visibility of his business, AttorneyFee.com, a site for comparing lawyer costs. "The type of stuff that can't be found in a real university­—that's what Udemy excels at."

Founded in May 2010, Udemy provides anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to teach or learn online, says cofounder Bali, who leveraged online resources while growing up in southeast Turkey.

While some courses charge a fee, Bali notes that the majority of classes are free—including "The Faculty Project" courses, which showcase content from university professors—and focus on providing marketable skills to users.

"You cannot expect to just go to college and have it convert to the best job opportunity," he notes. "You need more unique skills. You have to improve your credibility."

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