Computer science is the study of computational systems, their practical applications, and the examination of how humans interact with, and approve upon, new technology.
College computer science programs and their open online courses typically focus on these primary concentrations: the theory behind programming language, the pragmatic applications and development of new technology, instructional design, and the creation of more user-friendly tech interfaces. Specifically, many courses deal with algorithm creation and coding techniques, while others will apply this knowledge to real-world tasks such as software construction.
Online computer science courses are offered at both undergraduate and graduate levels, and since computers and mobile technology are so ubiquitous, it is possible to earn a viable education through online courses and degree programs. However, in most instances, hiring personnel will restrict their employee search to candidates with qualifying degrees or exceptional programming abilities. As such, an online computer science course cannot substitute for a degree in the job market, but you can ensure that you receive quality online instruction that equates that of an on-campus program.
The best way to do this is by selecting an online computer science class provided by a school accredited by either the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), or their subsidiary, the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC). These organizations standardize quality education practices in computer science and engineering fields for colleges nationwide.
Online courses in computer science are viable options if you want to learn more about software engineering, communication network construction, robotics, and coding theory. During these online courses, you will learn to answer questions such as:
When selecting an open online course from a university, it is essential that you first gauge their accreditation, viability, and relevance to your intended career. The CAC accreditation criteria will make these somewhat easier for you because it dictates that an accredited program should employ mostly faculty members that hold their Ph.D. in computer science. Unlike other accreditation boards, there is no magic number or percentage, but faculty should have a solid foundation of higher education, experience, and continuing education credits.
Additionally, you should select courses that require copious coding assignments so you earn real-world experience that can be applied to future field-related careers.
We have compiled relevant open courseware in computer science and organized it in the directory below. Open courseware is a collection of online tests, video lectures, and related course materials from universities around the world. While these materials are free to access, you will have to learn independently since you cannot interact with the professor. However, these courses can be excellent resources if you are considering an on-campus or online computer science degree and want to gauge your interest in the subject and your ability to meet classroom requirements.