Short Course in Programming
July 27, 2007 8:53 AM   Subscribe

What course can I take that capitalizes on my experience in computer programming and grants a recognizable certificate?

I took a lot of Computer Science courses in highschool (foreign country). I have also been doing a lot of programming on my own and for various projects in college.
I have coded fairly complex software in Visual Basic, Pascal, C++ and Matlab, but also dabbed in Javascript and PHP which are the two languages I am trying to learn currently in order to code web applications.

I would like some sort of short course(s) that upon completion would grant me a developer certificate as close as possible to a Computer Science or Software Engineering degree, but without having to pay an arm and a leg and take four years doing it.

I have a Bachelor and a Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering.
posted by spacefire to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
 
There is no certification that comes anywhere close to CS degree, pretty much by definition. But I certainly can't imagine that an employer would have any problem believing you can program if you have a master's in aerospace engineering and some good samples.
posted by kindall at 9:17 AM on July 27, 2007


MS has some developer certs. Can't say how much good they'll do you, but I cant imagine them hurting you.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:50 AM on July 27, 2007


I would like some sort of short course(s) that upon completion would grant me a developer certificate as close as possible to a Computer Science or Software Engineering degree, but without having to pay an arm and a leg and take four years doing it.

That's pretty insulting to all of the CS grads out there, man. They spend 4 years and upwards of $100k to get their degree and you want the same thing from a "short course"? Dude.

I'll echo the advice often given around here to people in your shoes- get involved in some OSS projects. Build out dynamic websites for yourself, your friends, and/or their businesses. I hire developers, and I'm always willing to overlook a degree if you can show me that you've produced good work.
posted by mkultra at 11:17 AM on July 27, 2007


I would like some sort of short course(s) that upon completion would grant me a developer certificate as close as possible to a Computer Science or Software Engineering degree, but without having to pay an arm and a leg and take four years doing it.

Sometimes I wish the bank would pay my mortgage.

I have a Bachelor and a Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Dude, why the hell do you want to get a lame certificate saying you can program? Do you regularly get rejected for jobs? I've worked with a fair number of programmers who have degrees in Applied Math, Physics, Engineering, etc. I would think only the lamest of companies is going to think only CS grads can program.
posted by chunking express at 11:31 AM on July 27, 2007


I plan to make a name for myself in a field called 'Computational Engineering" , which is a fancy name for simulation and modeling.

The purpose of the course would also be to polish and structure my skills in such a way as to be able to create full software packages.


@mkultra

I assume you skipped the part where I mentioned my prior experience, which should put me on a par with any CS graduate out there.
posted by spacefire at 12:19 PM on July 27, 2007


First result in search for "computer science certification". Notice that there are cert.'s for oracle, novell, ms, ibm, cicsco, and others. It also seems to be a good article for an overview of "certificates vs schooling".
posted by philomathoholic at 12:25 PM on July 27, 2007


Can you do a masters or professional program in Computational Engineering? Take a year and get a second masters? Or is that too much time as well? I honestly don't think there is an "el-generico" computer science certification that employers will look favourably on. Usually people get certifications to show they know some specific topic well.
posted by chunking express at 1:32 PM on July 27, 2007


Have you considered your local community college? Generally they offer a whole slew of different certificates, or you could just get a two year degree (which would take a lot less then two years if any of your general education credits are still good--or if you CLEP out of stuff). Cheap, generally recognized, and can transfer to a four year college if you decide you want to get another Bachelor's at a later date.
posted by anaelith at 1:43 PM on July 27, 2007


polish and structure my skills in such a way as to be able to create full software packages

Sounds like you're after some of the higher level concepts rather than straight programming classes. Take a look at some of the local university's higher level CS classes, focusing on design and software architecture type subjects. Take a look at the required texts, or just shoot off a mail to the instructor and see if he can give you a rundown of the source material if you can't swing a way to take a couple of courses. He might also have some hints on good places to take non-degree based instruction.

I'm not sure the certificate-style mcse type course is going to be what you're after.
posted by mikw at 6:31 PM on July 27, 2007


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