MIT to offer certifications for those enrolled in free online education programs

While online educational courses have become a viable option for those looking to obtain Microsoft or Oracle certification from certified instructors in recent years, new news reports indicate that some of the nation's most prestigious universities are looking to provide job applicants in a number of additional fields with the means to enhance their education and career prospects at a relatively low cost.

On December 19, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced that it would be investing in technology that could soon allow interested students to take simulated labs, interact with professors and earn certifications online.

"It is making MIT available on a grand planet scale," Anant Agarwal, director of the university's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, told Reuters. "This is a great way to marry our mission in education and our mission in research."

While this may sound similar to currently offerings, "MITx," as the initiative is being formally called, also includes classes that could be taken for free. Individuals who engage in training would then be able to pay the school a small fee for a certificate that would prove their knowledge in their chosen area of specialization. Currently, Yale and Stanford offer similar programs to students, the latter of which also provides degrees available to select students in high school.

In recent years, the demand for online education has increased as the nation's under- or unemployed workers are seeking to take advantage of programs that could differentiate them from the pack of general applications. However, IT workers may still be best served by working with computer instructors that could help them enhance their skills with an Oracle or Microsoft training certification.

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