Many individuals dream of learning at an elite university, but actually getting into one isn't easy. Those who wish to continue their education but aren't able to attend a traditional learning establishment or pay for distance learning courses have had the option of taking free online courses for well over a decade now. However, the quantity of courses offered was limited and many were very simplistic in nature, merely providing a general overview of the topic without teaching anything practical.
This has changed for the better when some of the most prestigious universities have started offering free online courses. Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) are now provided by elite institutions of higher learning, such as Stanford, Yale and Harvard. They allow students from anywhere in the world to access the courses without having to pay any tuition. So far, millions of individuals have taken advantage of them and they have been praised as a way to make quality education accessible to anyone who has Internet access and a desire to learn.
There are many reasons why someone would take a MOOC. Some do so out of personal curiosity, while others want to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to obtain a better job or to start their own business. Even though completing courses doesn't lead to a degree or formal diploma, MOOCs have nonetheless allowed some individuals to obtain the job they wanted and are now recognized by some employers as being a legitimate way to acquire relevant skills.