Online College Courses in Computer Science
Computer science is one of the fastest growing areas in both academia and industry today. With so much of our daily lives dependant upon technology, individuals who are educated in areas of computer programming, computer hardware, and Web programming are highly desired. Online college courses in computer science cover a variety of topics, including artificial intelligence, computer architecture, operating systems, programming languages, computer databases, computer security, and much more. While some of the introductory courses offered in computer science are useful for many different majors and concentrations, most of these courses are completed by individuals seeking a degree in computer science or engineering. Many colleges both online and traditional offer both basic computer classes as well as computer science courses. Individuals majoring in computer science do not (most often) have to take basic college computer courses. Online college computer courses cover things like web-browsing and word-processing, whereas college courses in computer science cover the theoretical foundations of information and computation.
The general public often confuses computer science with other areas concerned with computers, such as information technology (IT). While it can be useful for an individual wishing to enter the area of information technology to take courses in computer science, the two subjects are only related, but not the same. A general knowledge and comfort with certain aspects of computer science can be desirable for many various college majors and professions. For this reason, it may be useful for you to complete some introductory online courses in computer science.
Before choosing an online computer science program, make sure that the courses you are interested in taking are properly accredited by a recognized accrediting agency. This will help ensure that you receive the highest quality learning experience you can and that the courses you wish to complete are legitimate. The U.S. Department of Education provides an online database of accredited online schools and degree programs. Use this database to check the legitimacy of your desired program or course. In addition, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and the Computer Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB) help to inform the computer science community about what programs, online and otherwise, are accredited.
Computer Science and Your Career
Courses in computer science are undeniably useful in today's professional job market for nearly any position. Even the most basic understanding of computer programming can act as a huge asset in numerous professional arenas today. With the Web industry booming, a basic familiarity with computer programming languages can be invaluable. Online college courses in computer science can help students learn essential skills in critical thinking, high level logic, mathematics, and gain a general fluency with various types of computer operating systems and programs. Many employers will hold a job candidate with expert knowledge about computers or computer science in higher regard than other less tech-savvy candidates, regardless of whether the position requires computer knowledge or not.
There are many emerging areas of industry that online courses in computer science can be useful for. Various medical positions and medical research areas are highly involved with computer science concepts. Students with computer science knowledge can enter the area of bioinformatics, which is the application of computer science and computer technology to the field of biology and medicine. Online courses in computer science that focus on databases, modeling and simulation, algorithms, discrete mathematics, software engineering, and more provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to enter the promising world of bioengineering and bioinformatics.
Free Online Computer Science Courses:
- Introduction to Computer Science and Programming – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Introduction to C++ – MIT OpenCourseWare
- Introduction to Computer Science: Programming Methodology – Stanford Engineering Everywhere
- Data Structures – UC Berkeley Webcast OpenCourseWare
- An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence – UMass Boston OpenCourseWare