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  • Accounting firm EY will offer enrollment for a free, remote master of business education degree to its 284,000 global employees.
  • The UK-based company announced the partnership with Hult International Business School on Tuesday.
  • Many companies are helping Americans laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic take free courses to learn new skills and prepare for a potential career switch.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za

Consultancy and accounting firm EY will let its 284,000 global employees get an online master's degree for free.

The UK-based company announced on Tuesday that it will partner with the Hult International Business School to provide employees with a chance to earn a fully remote corporate master of business education degree.

EY said the degree would help employees "navigate new ways of working," and offer specialised courses in artificial intelligence, robotic process automation, sustainable business practices, and more.

As the coronavirus pandemic put millions of Americans out of a job, many schools have made online classes free to help the unemployed find new work opportunities. Online learning platform Coursera, for instance, is allowing current undergraduates and graduate students to take 90% of its courses online for free. Americans have spent 7.2 million hours in May learning new skills on LinkedIn, the company told Business Insider, to prepare for a potential career switch.

OpenClassrooms, which helped companies like Amazon and Microsoft retrain their workers, has made its platform free for educational institutions to use during the pandemic.

"As the world continues to manage through and adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe the skills of EY people and their ability to serve clients will be a differentiating factor," EY global chairman and CEO Carmine Di Sibio said in a statement.

Many business schools are switching to online courses altogether and relaxing application requirements to stymie the spread of Covid-19. A fifth of all business chools - including Harvard, Wharton, and Columbia - pushed back start dates, and 17% changed application deadlines, per a survey conducted by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).

"Through this new fully accredited qualification, EY people will be able to develop the business leadership behaviours and technology skills that will build a better working world," Di Sibio said.

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