Minnesotans can learn new skills and earn certificates and degrees for free through a new partnership between the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and Coursera, an online learning platform that offers courses from 200 universities and businesses around the world.

Offerings include 3,800 courses in the humanities, business, data science, as well as personal and professional development, and include more than 60 courses from the University of Minnesota. The partnership is designed to aid the Minnesota workforce, which has been hit hard by shutdowns related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some courses offer professional certificates from companies like IBM, Google, and Cisco that help prepare people for entry-level careers in fields like IT. Other industries offering additional skills through Coursera are construction, manufacturing and health care.

Minnesotans can gain immediate access to online courses and must complete their registration before Sept. 30. They will have full access to Coursera's offerings through March 2021.

Minnesotans who have applied for unemployment insurance in 2020 and already have an account on uimn.org will receive invitations to sign up for Coursera.

Other Minnesotans can get access at CareerForceMN.com/Coursera.

“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.”

The platform is mobile-friendly, available in multiple languages, and provides support to ensure accessibility on any device. For learners without regular internet access at home, the courses can also be downloaded and accessed offline.

Full access to Coursera typically costs individual learners $400 annually. Those costs will be waived through this program, as will the cost of earning certifications and industry-recognized credentials.