Coursera is opening access to its online education platform in a bid to help people unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative is an extension of the company’s Coursera for Government training program, an initiative originally launched in 2017 to help equip government employees and residents with in-demand skills.
The service — which typically costs $399 per year — has made 3,800 courses available for free through government agencies hoping to find jobs for residents. The main objective is to help workers left without jobs due to the pandemic to develop skills to become re-employed.
Topics run the gamut from digital marketing and analytics to cloud computing and app development, and Coursera’s partnership with several big names in tech allows users to earn qualifications tailored specifically to those companies, which include Google and IBM.
State agencies in Illinois, Arizona, and Oklahoma will be the first to offer Coursera’s new program, along with governments in Colombia, Costa Rica, Greece, Malaysia, Panama, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The company anticipates that more US states and countries will take up the offer over the next few weeks.