some of the best websites for cheap IT-related education and certification.

Building new IT skills, and in some cases, acquiring new IT certifications can make candidates much more attractive to prospective employers – and frequently enhances a candidate’s ability to command higher compensation. Surveys indicate that employers favor candidates who have shown the initiative to build their skills inventory – and many candidates find that self-learning via web-based resources is an effective method of acquiring new skills and insights.

We’ve compiled a list of websites and mobile apps that offer free or low-cost IT-related education. A future article will cover online certification resources.

The following sites offer a diverse collection of computer science and programming courses – it’s not exhaustive but a good starting point.

  • MIT Opencourseware – Mix of high-level computer science courses as well as courses on various programming languages.
  • EDX – Offers courses through a variety of school partners including MIT, Harvard, and UC Berkeley. A number of offerings are executive-level computer science courses but there are also many courses devoted to specific programming languages. Many of the courses are free but some charge a fee – usually nominal ($50).
  • Webcasts at UC Berkeley – Wide variety of computer science courses – few if any specific coding courses.
  • – Wide variety of courses and access to learning resources many geared toward specific programming languages and skills.
  • Udacity – Udacity offers a “nanodegree” program for which there is a monthly charge, but also an extensive list of free courses covering a wide variety of IT specialties. Udacity also offers a mobile app.
  • Udemy Online Courses – Wide variety of IT related courses including some to acquire certification. They range in price from free to more than $200. Udemy also offers a mobile app.
  • University of the People – A little bit of a different animal. Students can actually get a degree in computer science from the University – and although it claims to be “tuition-free” there is a $50 application fee and a fee of $100 per exam.

There are also a number of free or low cost mobile apps that offer specialized IT courses such as Programmer App (Javascript programming), Quiz & Learn Python, Javascript Anywhere, and Learn Python. 

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