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September 26, 2014
By Lisa Dare


The crisp fall air breathes new energy into humankind, blowing away summertime's complacency. This makes autumn a great time to make a push to help your career. Increasingly, IT professionals find that the cheap/free massive online open enrollment courses—or MOOCs—can offer career growth and personal satisfaction. 

A recent BBC article highlighted a former grocery store employee who scored a junior app developer position after taking an edX/Harvard course in computer science. “MOOCs are absolutely perfect for coding and computer science,” the developer told BBC. Seeing that this is an important trend in the IT world, we ran an in-depth article in February about how to best use free information technology MOOCs. Since then major providers have offered many new IT courses. We've highlighted the best below.

See whether MOOCs can help your career—and how to get the most out of them.

Udacity’s practical IT MOOCs

Udacity focuses on IT courses almost exclusively, and features complete tracks in data science, Web development, software engineering, Android and Georgia Tech’s masters in computer science. You can find everything from Intro to Computer Science to the advanced Developing Scalable Apps with Java. Udacity also offers courses that can help your chances at scoring a job in the hot Big Data and BI fields, such as Intro to Hadoop and MapReduce. If you’re interested in working for Google or Facebook (who isn’t?), you might help your chances by taking one of the classes they developed for Udacity.

New Udacity IT courses:

Intro to HTML and CSS

JavaScript Basics and Object-Oriented JavaScript

Website Performance Optimization

edX’s brainy MOOCs

If it’s prestige you’re looking for, edX offers it in spades. MIT? Harvard? Caltech? Perhaps you've heard of those schools. Many of the country’s best universities (along with some prestigious international ones) teamed up to offer free courses to anyone who cares to take them. They're also aggressively developing their open source platform to improve the user experience. 

New IT MOOCs from edX

Paradigms of Computer Programming – Fundamentals

A System View of Communications: From Signals to Packets (Part 1)

Learning from Data

Engineering Software as a Service

You can check out the rest of edX’s free IT courses here.

Coursera’s international selection of IT courses

Coursera has a wide array of courses from many sources. The company has a great selection for IT folks who want to pick and choose individual courses as opposed to staying on a formal track, and they have lots of niche interest MOOCs.

Interesting upcoming IT MOOCs from Coursera

Process Mining: Data science in Action

Interactive Computer Graphics

Algorithms, Biology, and Programming for Beginners

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