Learn Technology Online for Free
If you're looking to expand your skills or learn a new trade, you might be able to accomplish this without spending anything. Many universities now offer online technical courses that don't require any fees. All you need is an internet connection to access free technical courses. Though these courses do not count towards a degree or certification, they still add value by adding skills that could impress potential employers. This is ideal for those on a budget, as this gives the ability to learn technology online free, without committing to a degree plan curriculum. Taking these courses may be beneficial if you're thinking about freelancing, starting a business or trying to break in to a new career field. These courses generally cover technology topics but branch off to include many subtopics such as:
- Computer science
- Network security
- Cloud computing
- Computer system engineering
10 Sources for Free Online Technology Courses
In addition to on-campus courses, Harvard also offers a diverse mix of free online courses, some of which are related to computer science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT's OpenCourseWare program is an impressive collection of archived courses that were once offered at the school's main campus.
- Practical Information Technology Management goes over information about technology logistics, managing information technology in businesses and information technology project management.
- Database, Internet, and Systems Integration Technologies provides students with skills in software development, application development, system integration, system security, data modeling and databases. Students can also practice with course exams, since solutions are provided.
- Information Technology Essentials covers topics in hardware and operating systems, software development, electric commerce, networks and computer security.
- Introduction to Computer Science and Programming provides students with a fundamental overview of programming using handouts, slides and lecture videos. However, students need to install the Python programming language and the IDLE interpreter to follow the programming instructions.
- Computer System Engineering is a course containing video lectures, projects, assignments and exams. Students can learn about software and hardware engineering, networks, virtual memory, encryption and security.
University of California - Berkeley
As part of California's public university system, UCB and its online division offer free online courses related to online technology, primarily computer science.
- Computer Science 169 goes into designing software systems, project management and programming. This course is composed of recorded lectures, most of which are more than an hour in length. Taught by Professor Armando Fox, these lectures are available on YouTube.
University of California at Davis
The University of California at Davis' course materials can be accessed online through a web page. Students can also find instruction on Linux installation if they choose to install the free software.
- Unix and Linux Tutorial Center course materials provide students with information on topics like Unix process management, bits and bytes, C programming, recursion and signals.
University of Michigan
Open.Michigan is an effort by the University of Michigan to allow faculty and students to share educational research and resources on a global scale. Courses can be found on the school's site and are also available through iTunesU.
- Introduction to Information Studies provides students with handouts and lectures. These materials contain information about intellectual property, computer and network architectures and computer hardware. There are 27 lectures that are podcast, and some include PowerPoint presentations or PDF files.
Carnegie Mellon University
CMU's Open Learning Initiative strives to make the college's vast library of courses available online, free of charge.
- Principles of Computing introduces students to fundamental concepts in computing. Students will learn about recursion, binary representation, iteration and data representation.
This learning initiative collects courses from other schools and universities and compiles them onto a single site for quick and easy access.
- Fundamentals of Network Security explores basic topics in the field of encryption and data protection, with students learning about firewalls, certification authorities, access control and key systems.
- Introduction to Cloud Computing provides an entry-level analysis of this topic. Students will define exactly what cloud computing is and how it functions, and then discuss the many benefits and drawbacks of using such a system.
Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology is a research university known for its comprehensive technology and science programs. Several of the school's courses are offered online for free.
- Computer Networking is a three-part course that focuses on advanced topics in computer networking, such as content distribution, software-defined networking (SDN) and data center networking.
- Advanced Operating Systemsexplores the various operating systems that dominate the modern world. Topics include cloud computing, cell phones, multi-core, parallel systems and distributed systems.
The Open University
Offered through iTunes U, The Open University's courses allow students to study numerous academic fields and are available at no cost.
- Computing & ICT introduces students to information and communication technologies (ICTs), which can involve anything from purchasing tickets online to sending important e-mails. Students can learn about both large- and small-scale systems as they study cell phone microprocessors and massive Internet servers.
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Designed by one of the leading computer technology companies in the world, Microsoft Virtual Academy's courses offer unique insider knowledge and advanced instruction in various online technology topics.
- Beginning Websites with Python & Flask assumes prior knowledge of Python. Using this software, students can learn the basic steps of building a website.
Online Technology Courses for Credit
Free technology courses are available online that don't require students to register or pay tuition. However, these courses don't lead to college credit. Students who want to earn college credit might want to consider online sources that charge a nominal fee for online lessons. Study.com's short, engaging video lessons and quizzes are available to registered members who pay a small fee.
Students can check out some of the chapters found in Study.com's Business 104: Information Systems and Computer Applications course below:
- Hardware and Systems Technology - Examine computer system components, computer memory devices, storage devices and ASCII and Unicode.
- Systems Software and Application Software - Topics in this chapter include hardware and software resources, operating system functions, file extensions, desktop publishing software and communication software.
- Decision Support Systems and Specialized Information Systems - Get info about decision making in organizations, business intelligence, management information systems, geographic information systems and statistical analysis.
- Data Management - Study database structures, management system models, relational databases, structured query language and data mining.
- Introduction to Programming Subjects include validation tools, analysis and design tools, code mapping, logic and syntax, object oriented programming and programming languages.