DEED announces partnership with Coursera to provide free online learning content to Minnesotans
June 18, 2020
St. Paul, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced today a new partnership with Coursera, the leading online learning platform that offers courses from 200 top universities and businesses around the world, including more than 60 courses from the University of Minnesota. This partnership is made possible by the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative.
DEED will work directly with Coursera to create accounts for Minnesotans and provide immediate access to online courses. Learners in Minnesota who choose to sign up for Coursera will need to complete their registration before September 30, 2020. Thanks to additional support from the state government of Minnesota, learners will have full access to training through March 2021.
Any Minnesotan who has applied for unemployment insurance in 2020 and already has an account on uimn.org will receive an invitation to sign up for Coursera; other Minnesotans who are interested may also provide their name and contact information at CareerForceMN.com/Coursera to receive access.
“Providing access to free online courses is an important way that DEED is rethinking our service delivery in light of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said DEED Commissioner Steve Grove. “Whether you’re out of work or considering a career shift, this partnership with Coursera provides a unique and timely opportunity to earn certifications in high-demand jobs and industries at no additional cost.”
“DEED is focused on supporting our communities; creating hiring ecosystems that leverage the full capabilities of government agencies, educational providers and employers; and building pathways for meaningful employment,” added DEED Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development Hamse Warfa. “This important partnership with Coursera will help Minnesotans develop in-demand skills and strengthen the resilience of our state’s workforce.”
Through this initiative, learners will have access to 3,800 courses on Coursera that cover job-relevant skills in business, technology, and data science as well as courses related to professional and personal development. These include Professional Certificates from companies like IBM, Google, and Cisco that are aimed at helping prepare people for entry-level careers in fields like IT. Other in-demand industries with relevant upskilling content on the platform include construction, manufacturing, and health care. The platform is mobile-friendly, available in multiple languages, and provides extensive back-end support to ensure accessibility on any device. For learners without regular internet access at home, the courses can also be downloaded and accessed offline.
“The pandemic has affected millions of workers in the United States, including many hard-working Minnesotans,” said Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of Coursera. “Coursera is honored to partner with the state of Minnesota to equip workers with job-relevant skills taught by leading educators like the University of Minnesota.”
Full access to the Coursera platform typically costs individual learners $400 annually. This initiative will allow those costs to be waived for any Minnesotans that want to utilize the platform, including the cost of earning certifications and industry-recognized credentials. Minnesotans interested in extending their Coursera access after March 2021 will have an option to pay for additional access.