Online Programming Courses for College Credit?
December 4, 2012 10:49 PM   Subscribe

Any recommendations for online programming courses for college credit (NOT books or free online resources/tutorials)? Python and Java preferred but I'd be interested in other languages.

I'm a self-taught amateur programmer looking to develop my skills.

I am not looking for books or tutorials or free websites -- I would like to do coursework which will earn college credits. (My workplace will consider the courses to be professional development and reimburse tuition to an extent).

Ideally I would like to take courses a la carte (as opposed to enrolling in a degree program -- I already have an advanced degree and a full-time career in another field.

My local community colleges don't offer anything that fits my schedule, so I thought I'd look into online options. But search results are muddled with scammy-looking sites and thousands of free tutorials, so I thought I'd seek recommendations here.

My language of choice is Python, but I also have a strong interest in learning Java. I'd consider another language if a course/program comes very highly recommended.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!
posted by Alabaster to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Are you looking for college credit courses because your workplaces reimburses them?

If so, you can try the O'Reilly school courses, they are not college credit but will provide a certificate of completion. I took a few and my workplace reimbursed them. Unfortunately they aren't that great.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:19 PM on December 4, 2012

Online delivery universities?
I am taking classes at here and I am not required to be in any program (in fact I'm not!). Based in Canada, but last I checked, accept international students.
posted by electriic at 11:46 PM on December 4, 2012

Have you looked into "extension" classes offered by local four-year universities? I don't know where you are, but in California, the UCs offer continuing education classes for example. They might present the same scheduling issues that your local community colleges do, but probably worth looking into.
posted by dreamyshade at 12:20 AM on December 5, 2012

I believe Alabaster lives in Baltimore.

Anyway, I can't speak to quality, but there is University of Phoenix and DeVry. Also which has an online java programming class for developers, and a Python program (if you search for it in the search box).

but yeah, you want to search for online, self-paced, and attached to an accredited university. I'd pick 4 year schools you like in your area.
posted by gryftir at 3:47 AM on December 5, 2012

I've taken a bunch of online programming classes through Foothill College. The material and books are solid, although the instructors often seem kind of overworked and non-involved, so it's more like self-directed learning on a schedule for college credit than an instructor-driven course.

Enrollment for winter quarter (Jan 7) is happening right now. If you apply within the next few days, you should have no problem getting a spot in a Java class. There's no Python class this time around, but I've seen Python offered in other quarters. Fall quarter usually has the biggest selection of online classes.

I'll also second the suggestion of the UC extension courses, but I can't actually vouch for the quality, as I've never taken any.
posted by guybrush_threepwood at 5:31 AM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Look for 4 year colleges in your area that have online courses (as well as through extensions or special programs/departments for evening students) and apply as a non-degree seeking student. That's what students who just want to take a few courses here and there are usually classified as.

If you really are in Baltimore, UMUC has some pretty good online programs and is especially committed to non-traditional, working students. UMBC is pretty good for technical fields. I haven't heard much about Towson University, but I did have a friend who took a couple of online accounting courses there, and she said they were fine.
posted by bluefly at 5:35 AM on December 5, 2012

I'm pursuing a degree in "Internet and Web Development" over at Arizona State. I am not sure if they allow you to take a la carte classes. They are about $1400 per 3 credits.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:58 AM on December 5, 2012

Harvard Extension. I took Leitner's into to CS with Java a few summers ago and was very impressed.

If you're in a large-ish state, I'd check out the online programs at community colleges a little further away from you. In my state, offerings really vary from school to school.

I know that you said you were looking for college credit, but if you don't plan on using the credit towards a degree, you might consider that a number of college courses are available for free online these days. I'm a huge fan of David Malan, but there's a ton of stuff out there. MIT's Into to CS with Python, for example, might interest you.
posted by catalytics at 9:26 AM on December 5, 2012

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