New level of courses now offered on edX

Rice to offer professional education courses for a fee on typically free MOOC platform

rice-edx-educationThanks to universities looking to diversify [and monetize] their online offerings, edX is starting to host for-credit, for-a-fee, and job market-targeted courses to recent graduates.

One of the first institutions to embark on this new level of course on edX, Rice University will offer three professional education courses in conjunction with the online education provider.

Subjects will include energy sustainability, laboratory safety and health care in the digital environment, and the courses will begin in 2015 or 2016.

Unlike free massive open online courses (MOOCs), participants will pay a fee to take these courses, build their professional knowledge and skills and earn certificates and/or continuing education credits. The courses are intended for recent graduates entering the workforce and current professionals seeking to advance their careers or transition into a new field.

“We realize that keeping up with continuing education can be a significant challenge for many professionals in the working world, and we hope that the convenience of our high-quality professional education courses will help meet the needs of people around the globe,” said Caroline Levander, vice president for strategic initiatives and digital education.

“We have initially focused on the needs of those working in the energy and health care sectors because these areas are so significant to Houston and real strengths at Rice,” Levander continued. “We look forward to growing our portfolio of professional education courses in the coming months.”

(Next page: A glimpse of what the courses will look like)