Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced Monday that General Electric, Microsoft and Partners Healthcare will partner with Harvard and MIT to increase the number of students who earn degrees and certificates online.
Under the deal, the companies will pay for thousands of Massachusetts residents to take online courses in artificial intelligence, health care management and other in-demand fields.
The courses will be offered by, the portal founded by MIT and Harvard.
“These partnerships represents another opportunity to capitalize on innovation and deliver an affordable education for people across the Commonwealth,” Baker said in a statement. “We appreciate our local employers and higher education institutions creating more online programming to help address the diverse and changing needs of employers and students, including non-traditional learners and young people.”
GE says the company will interview any resident who completes an edXprogram in supply chain management, cyber-security, cloud computing or artificial intelligence.
GE also announced anyone who completes an online program in those subjects will be considered for full-time job opportunities with GE or internships at the company’s new Boston headquarters.
GE will also provide 100 Massachusetts residents with a certificate in any online course offered on edX.org.
Microsoft announced the company will help cover the cost of any community college student enrolled to complete the Computer Science Professional Certificate program on edX.
The company also said it will provide 500 state residents with a certificate in any online course offered on edX.org.
Chris Gabrielli, chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, said these partnerships are a direct response to growing demand for programs that cater to adult working students.
"They're not scheduled courses," Gabrielli said. :The students move as fast as they want or they can take a break, and they only have to prove that they have the competencies that are in the course."