In Computer Science, we constantly face the challenge of “keeping up” with technology. If you catch up with one, chances your skills are outdated within a few months or years. Part of the problem has been lack of affordable learning opportunities, just to keep up with trends in the field. Of course, there are courses available in Community colleges and local universities, for continuing education. They were challenging in terms of logistics and time. What if you can learn at your own pace and they are affordable and of good quality? Wait no longer!
Did I say affordable? Read Free! Recently I found that a lot of universities are offering free courses online. These are real courses that are offered in classes in those universities, with home works, programming assignments and even exams. The courses are literally free, including study materials online. Some courses even offer some kind of Certificate. They do not offer any course credits though. The universities include reputed institutions like Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, UC Berkeley. You can read more about this in this NYTimes article.
For more information on the courses offered, check out the links below.
I am currently taking a course at Coursera and it has about 60,000 students enrolled from all over the world! It’s definitely opening up new avenues in bringing technology to those remote areas of the world.Personally, if not anything else, I am using it to keep in touch with the trends in Computer Science. This is also a great opportunity to get your hands on newer technology, if you are stuck with old technologies at work!There is one course coming up at edx,org, offered by UC Berkely, called SAAS – Software as a Service. In this course, one can pick up some cloud programming and hands on experience in Ruby on Rails.
If you are a self learner, there are a lot options throughout the web. Youtube has been a great resource for several topics. Some great minds have put together videos explaining complex topics like Algorithms to mathematics modelling. There is also wikibooks and even a wiki university that have great resources for a self learner. But if you need structure and discipline of a classroom to learn, above sites will help.
So, if you want to brush up on those data structures before the next interview, pick up one of those links and have fun learning!