OpenClassrooms partners with Microsoft on a masters-level AI diploma

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French startup OpenClassrooms is announcing a new partnership for a masters-level online program. Students who enroll in this program will access a fully online program about artificial intelligence. Eventually, future graduates will join companies — Microsoft will likely hire some of them.

If you aren’t familiar with OpenClassrooms, the company first started with basic massive open online course content for people willing to learn more about a particular topic. The startup then started offering full-fledged diplomas that require six months, a year or more.

OpenClassrooms is accredited to deliver official degrees in France — and the company plans to do the same in the U.S. and the U.K. It’s not 100 percent just you learning by yourself as you get to talk to a mentor every week to talk about your progress. And it’s been working quite well for the company.

An online path generally costs less than a traditional degree, and you’re more flexible when it comes to hours, days and semesters. The startups is so confident that it guarantees you’ll find a job within six months of graduation.

More recently, OpenClassrooms has been partnering with companies to offer apprenticeship programs. The idea is that you work for a company several days a week and study when you’re not working. It’s a win-win as some companies struggle to find the right candidates, some students want to start working right away and don’t want to pay for their studies. And OpenClassrooms gets paid by companies directly. Uber, Deliveroo, Capgemini, BNP Paribas and dozens of others participate in the apprenticeship program.

Microsoft will help OpenClassrooms design a new degree around data science, machine learning and all things artificial intelligence. The company will provide content and projects. OpenClassrooms will recruit 1,000 candidates in France, the U.K. and the U.S. as part of this program.

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