7 Best Computer Science Online Courses

Many people find they simply don’t have the time to invest in classroom learning. With today’s technology, however, learning has never been easier. Millions of courses are available online that can help you learn new subjects and advance further in your career. One skill employers are currently searching for is knowledge of computer science. Once you find the best computer science online course, you’ll be able to study your way toward success.

computer science degree

1. Intensive Introduction to Computer Science Open Learning Course

Harvard has a reputation for offering stellar academics. Now, you can access this Introduction to Computer Science course for free. The course is comprised of video lectures taught by Harvard professors David J. Malan and Gordon McKay. You will learn about topics like algorithms, software development, the architecture of computers and more. The knowledge that you learn in this course is designed to be applied to real-world situations, allowing you to think more critically and effectively. If you want the best computer science online course, Harvard Extension School should be your first stop.

Website: Extension.Harvard.edu
Certificate: No certificate of completion is offered.
Exam: A quiz is offered at the end of the course to test what you’ve learned.
Cost: This course is available for free.

2. Computer Science 101 (Self-Paced)

This self-paced course provides all the needed materials up front, allowing you to create your own schedule. This course is designed for the individual with no prior computer knowledge. To get started, all you need to know is how to use a web browser. You will learn all about the nature of computers and what they can do. Subject areas include topics on software, structured data, the internet and much more. By the end of the course, you’ll have a basic understanding of a computer’s wide range of abilities.

Website: Stanford.edu
Certificate: If all exercises are completed with a score of 80 percent or higher, you will receive a statement of accomplishment.
Exam: All exercises must be completed to pass the course. There is no final exam.
Cost: This course is available for free.

3. Principles of Computing

Principals of Computing is an online computer science course offered by Rice University through Coursera.com. This is a two-part course that is geared toward teaching common programming practices as well as mathematical problem-solving skills. Topics covered include probability, combinatorics, writing code and more. The course is laid out like an interactive textbook, with pre-recorded videos, subject quizzes and even projects. You can connect with peers in the online forum when you have questions on the material.

Website: Coursera.org
Certificate: If you complete the course successfully, you will receive a certificate.
Exam: Homework and assignments are graded. There is no final exam.
Cost: This course starts at $49. You can try the course before you buy with a free trial.

4. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming by MIT

Learn from the leading educators at MIT with the best computer science online course. Once you enroll, you’ll get access to the complete set of video lectures featuring professor Guttag. Handouts, slides and code files accompany the lectures for a fully-rounded learning experience. Homework problems will be given during this course to test your knowledge and identify areas you should study further. You’ll also be given all the tools you need to self-assess your learning and master covered topics.

Website: MIT.edu
Certificate: No certificate is offered for completion of this course.
Exam: Homework problems and practice tests are given to test knowledge. There is no final exam.
Cost: This course is offered for free.

5. Intro to Computer Science

Udacity is a great place to turn to when you want the best computer science online class. Learn the basic foundations of computer science with this self-paced introductory course. In this course, you will learn about coding with Python, a popular programming language used by developers around the world. You can also practice key computer concepts with hands-on projects and activities. Interactive quizzes help you test your knowledge and target areas you’re lagging behind in. If you ever have questions about the materials, a free student support community is available to you at any time of day.

Website: Udacity.com
Certificate: No certificate of completion is available.
Exam: Interactive quizzes track your progress throughout the course.
Cost: There course is available for free.

6. Digital Leadership: Creating Value Through Technology

This digital leadership course is offered by the University of Reading through FutureLearn.com. The four-week course gives you an overview of digital technologies and how they relate to the practical business. This is the best computer science online course if you want to advance in your career. You’ll learn how your career directly relates to current computer science technology. You will also learn about topics like mobile and cloud computing, business analytics, technology leadership and more.

Website: FutureLearn.com
Certificate: A certificate of achievement is available if you complete the course.
Exam: Quizzes are available throughout the course. There is no final exam.
Cost: The full course is available for $89, though limited access is available for free.

7. Internet of Things: How Did We Get Here?

The University of California at San Diego offers a highly recommended computer science course called the Internet of Things. This course is comprised of six segments, starting with internet history and ending with building your own software programs. In fact, this program is set apart from the rest by asking students to complete a final capstone project to show off your new skills. It is considered the best computer science online course when it comes to hands-on learning.

Website: Coursera.org
Certificate: You will receive a certificate of completion upon finishing the course.
Exam: In lieu of a final exam, you will be asked to complete a capstone project.
Cost: Pricing for this course starts at $49. Materials can be accessed for free before you decide to purchase.

Summing Up

Learning a new skill, such as computer science, can be done at your own pace on the schedule you determine. The best computer science online course will provide you with all the materials you need to learn and succeed. Once you finish, you’ll be able to use your new knowledge to help advance your career. What’s your favorite online computer science course?