Learning Computer Science Online

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
Students interested in learning computer science will discover many online resources to help them achieve their goals. Read on to learn about the different types of online computer science learning options.

Online Computer Science Topics

Whether your goal is to earn a computer science degree online, take an online course for college credit, or simply master a specific computer science subject for personal or professional growth, resources are just a mouse click away. Some computer science topics you can learn online include the following:

  • Applications and systems software
  • Computer hardware
  • The history and social impact of computers
  • Data communication
  • Computer networks
  • The World Wide Web
  • Software development
  • Programming methodology

Online Learning

You can learn as much or as little as you want in the field of computer science through online learning, and in some cases even earn college credit. Here are some resources that include segmented topics that you can select from, though you can also take the whole course. Use them for professional development, preparation for a credit-granting exam, or transfer credit directly to your school after completing a course. Short lessons, self-assessment quizzes and comprehensive exams make learning computer science online convenient for you.

  • The Introduction to Computing Certificate Course is an online course that is perfect for a variety of professionals - from managers to administrative assistants - for whom an understanding of computer hardware and software may help with career advancement.
  • The CLEP Information Systems Exam Prep course arms you with the knowledge and concepts you'll need to pass the CLEP Information Software credit-granting exam.
  • The Intro to Computing business course is perfect for professionals. The course is also ACE-approved, so check to see if you can transfer credit directly to your school after completing this course.

Online Certificate Programs

Certificate programs are a great option for professionals who could benefit from advanced knowledge of computers. Some certificate programs can prepare users for college credit, while others provide professional development. Some schools ranked highly for their computer science education by U.S. News in 2014 that offer online courses and certificate programs include:

  • University of California - Berkeley
  • University of Washington
  • University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
  • Carnegie Mellon University

Online Degree Programs

Online degrees in computer science are commonly offered at the master's level. You can find some schools that offer partially online programs at the undergraduate level. Some schools with top-ranked computer science degrees that offer these programs online include:

  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
  • Purdue University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Southern California

Free Computer Science Courses

Many colleges and universities, including Harvard and MIT, provide free non-credit-bearing online computer science courses for those who seek to master certain subjects or concepts. Openculture and Class Central provide searchable lists of the many free online courses available.

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.