Harvard, Standford, MIT, Berkley, Wellesley, Rice, Columbia! When you read these names, what comes to your mind? Best in class education! Top Universities! Best Schools! Great Professors! Do you know that you have access to all these schools and that too free?

There are many websites available which offer free courses from these prestigious universities taught by the renowned professors. Due to rising tuition and school fees, drop out rate from schools have increased. Hence, top universities do not want to limit the education to thousands but they want to spread it to millions of students all over the world.

Some of the website which offer free massive open online courses ( MOOCs) are given below:

The Top Online College Courses: http://www.onlinecourses.com/
Coursera: http://www.coursera.org/
Venture lab Stanford: http://venture-lab.org/
edX: http://www.edx.org/
Udacity https://www.udacity.com/
Class2Go http://class.stanford.edu/

You can find a course on almost every topic on these websites ranging from technology, management, medical, etc. These websites are not-for-profit social enterprise working towards changing education for the betterment of everyone. You will also receive certificate of completion for certain courses. There’s also a course tracking site, http://www.class-central.com/ that covers all the free university level courses mentioned above. It’s easier to choose classes from the combined schedule at this site.

Coursera website also offers signature track, a new option that gives students the opportunity to earn a verified certificate for completing selected coursera course. Signature Track securely links your coursework to your identity, allowing you to confidently put it in your resume. Initially it is offered for few courses and will be expanded gradually. The details of the courses can be seen here. You can simply enroll in one of the above courses and you will be notified when you can join. Credits for the mentioned courses taken at coursera will be approved by the American Council on Education(ACE). Hence, a great help to fill the gap in your career.

There is another website which doesn’t have the professors from top universities but is famous worldwide as it explains each and every concept in a simplified way which makes it easy to understand. It is named as Khan Academy: http://www.khanacademy.org/ and has more than 4000 videos on various topics. In 2012, Time listed Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

While you are on a dependent visa and cannot work or study in US, these websites are a great source of skill development.