Greensboro, NC-- Ivy league universities, among others, offer free online courses to anyone. However, no degree or credits are earned.
You hear "Ivy League" and what comes to mind? Probably things like prestige, intelligence and costly. You likely don't think about things like: free and accessible to all.
However, now 33 universities including Princeton, Columbia, and Duke offer free courses to anyone, as long as you have access to the internet through a company called, Coursera.
Chris Allight has a bachelor's degree from the Art Institute in San Francisco. He works as a marketing producer in the promotions department at WFMY. Right now, he's taking more college level courses through Coursera, like a literature course from Duke. He just finished a sociology course from Princeton.
Allight talked with News 2's Liz Crawford about his desire to take these courses.
"When you go to school and get a degree, you're so focused on that piece of paper, but then, when you get in the real world and you're in the working environment, there's a lot of things you could have missed. This gives me a chance to go back and fill in the gaps in my education," said Allight.
Allight also took some classes as a practice run. Now he's thinking about getting his master's degree online.
News 2 wanted to know if these classes really help in the real world so we heard from two human resource managers in the area.
Wanda Swain is the VP of Human Resources at AmSol in High Point. She encourages the classes.
"It doesn't hurt to always be learning. It's healthy for you. It keeps you sharp. You learn, you meet new people, you learn new things that you didn't think you were going to be exposed to before," said Swain.
Paul Draeger is the VP and Chief Talent Officer at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro. Draeger thinks it's a good way to continue learning, but he's skeptical of the credibility.
He doesn't think it replaces a degree under any circumstance. A degree from these universities ensures a level of depth and credibility. A free course can't do that.
"I'd list it below education. I wouldn't list it as comparable to education but it might be continuing education on the bottom of my resume," added Draeger.
Coursera is the company that offers the free courses. It was founded by two professors at Stanford University.
WFMY News 2