Job market embraces Massive Online Courses — from by Douglas Belkin and Caroline Porter
Seeking better-trained workers, AT&T, Google and other firms help design and even fund web-based college classes

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Big employers such as AT&T Inc. and Google Inc. are helping to design and fund the latest round of low-cost online courses, a development that providers say will open the door for students to earn inexpensive credentials with real value in the job market.

New niche certifications being offered by providers of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are aimed at satisfying employers’ specific needs. Available at a fraction of the cost of a four-year degree, they represent the latest crack in the monopoly traditional universities have in credentialing higher education.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with its MOOC partner edX, is starting a course sequence called the XSeries, and plans to ask for input from a consortium of about 50 companies, including United Parcel Service Inc., Procter & Gamble Co. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. For up to $700, students will be able to take a test and earn a “verified certificate” in subjects like computer science and supply-chain management.

Meanwhile, companies such as Yahoo Inc. have begun reimbursing employees who take certified courses from Coursera, another MOOC provider.