This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Back-to-School for Grownups: Take a MOOC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shopping for No. 2 pencils, packing little lunch boxes and sending children back to class may have some grownups nostalgic to return to school themselves. Education, of course, never ends and today there are massive new options, which barely existed five years ago.

Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, open up college classes to anyone in the world with Internet access. Typically, it's free. While online courses have been around for years, they were relegated to video-based lessons, online quizzes and tuition-payers.

Today, an estimated 100 universities nationwide offer a MOOC, plus countless others around the globe. Classes can attract thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of students.

Providers like Coursera and Udacity have turned MOOCs into a business and are building their own network of online courses, taught by university professors. Yet, the first MOOC dates back to just 2008, when two professors at the University of Manitoba in Canada opened their course to anyone who wanted to take it. Around 2,200 signed up, according to MOOC News and Reviews, which tracks the industry. P/>While critics are skeptical about the effectiveness of MOOC learning and no one is quite certain how to make money, MOOCs offer people a taste of education from top-ranked schools.

Lessons may be abbreviated from a regular academic sessions, but students get the essentials and, if they complete the course, a plug for their resume. Some universities even offer college credit -- for a fee.

"I think we can say this confidently: Right now that the only money out there is from venture capital or foundation money. Coursera and Udacity are living off their venture capital money and edX is living off its foundation money. Everyone else is chewing gum," said Robert McGuire, editor of MOOC News & Reviews. "But you can't deny the energy of these tens of thousands of people. To me, the fact that there are tens of thousands of individuals signing up for a course, that's meaningful."

Anyone can sign up for a MOOC, but to complete the course, it takes dedication and commitment. Courses tell prospective students how much time is needed each week. Many are actual college courses that start on a certain date, encourage virtual study groups, include online quizzes and end with a final exam. Others are self-paced with no deadline.

1 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs