ORLANDO, Fla. - In a time when job opportunities are tough to find, keeping your current job is more important than ever.
It's that need to stay skilled that's sending thousands of Americans back to school trade schools, night classes, and online universities.
But many are now getting the Ivy League education they had only ever dreamed of.
Schools like Princeton, Harvard, and Stanford offering classes to anyone for free.
The classes are called a MOOC- Massive Open Online Course.
MOOC'S are the brainchild of a partnership between Princeton university and Coursera, an education startup founded by two Stanford professors in 2011.
Coursera now has partnerships with 16 top universities some of them in other countries.
And a similar partnership between MIT, Harvard, and Cal Berkeley called "Ed-X" launched earlier this year.
"I think it will help lend credibility to some of the concepts that I'm talking to my clients about," said one Coursera student.
"It's actually a really great thing to add to my profile or my resume to say that I took a course in computer science from Stanford," said another student.
A Coursera survey found a majority of students who took a "machine learning class" last summer were working professionals, hoping to improve their skills for their current job, or get themselves a better one.
3-and a half percent were unemployed.
"I think that if you are unemployed, a good way to spend some of your time is conducting some training, so that you maintain your skills and also develop new skills," said Debra Wheatman of Careers Done Write.
"Many of the people that I had in my class this summer were not choosing between a Princeton class and an online class, they were choosing between an online class and no class at all," said Mitchell Duneier Princeton University professor who taught a summer Coursea course.
For now, you can't get college credit or a degree from Coursera, but it's a glimpse at an Ivy League education and more importantly, free training many people wouldn't otherwise get the chance to experience.
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