As we continue the slow march towards an AI-powered future, the coding and technical skills computer science graduates have are in increasingly high demand. This demand accounts for the high salary expectations of a computer science expert (the average salary in the field is €5,700 in Germany) and makes you more attractive as a hiring prospect to employers.

The challenge – finding a quality computer science course that provides the knowledge you need and has a reputation that forces employers to take notice. The four courses in this article (combined with related studies) transform you from computing enthusiast to sought-after computer scientist.

Top Free Computer Science Courses

Kicking off this computer science course list, we have a pair of the best free online computer science courses for building a foundation within the subject area.

Course 1 – CS50: Introduction to Computer Science (Harvard University)

If you’re looking for a free course that carries plenty of prestige, anything with the “Harvard” label attached is a good start. CS50 is a self-paced course, with Harvard estimating an 11-week completion time with between 10 and 20 hours of daily studying. It’s offered in English (sadly, no alternative languages exist at the time of writing) and it’s free to take, though you’ll pay $189 (approx. €175) for an official certificate.

The course covers programming language basics, starting with simple web-based HTML and advancing into Python and C. Advanced computing concepts, such as data structures and cybersecurity, are also covered, though you’re getting more of a baseline knowledge than specialized teaching. Think of the course as a computer science primer designed to give you a foundation that’s ideal for moving on to more complex studies. Add to that the Harvard seal of approval, which looks great on any CV, and you have a course that’s available globally and ideal for impressing employers.

Course 2 – CompTIA A+ (CompTIA)

This free course is A+ by name and mostly A+ by nature, with CompTIA advertising it as the perfect pathway to follow if you want a career in IT or computer sciences. You get an industry-recognized credential that employers will love, with the course focusing as much on practical skills (such as thinking on your feet in an IT crisis) as it does on theoretical instruction.

That’s not to say that theory isn’t covered. Once you’ve gotten to grips with the basics of the hardware and various operating systems, you’ll move into practical modules focused on networking, software, and cybersecurity. The course providers carry some industry weight, too, as titans like Dell, HP, and Intel recommend CompTIA’s courses for anybody who wants to break into the workforce.

There are some downsides – namely the minimal theoretical teaching makes it harder to understand why the practical things you’ll learn work. But as a companion piece to a more technical course (such as CS50), A+ is a great way to develop much-needed skills.

Other Notable Free Courses

The two courses listed above are far from the only free computer science course options available, with the following also being solid choices:

  • Python for Everybody – Coming from the University of Michigan, this course teaches the ins and outs of a popular programming language used in AI and machine learning.
  • IBM Data Science Professional Certificate – As something of a computer science-adjacent course, IBM’s certificate hones in on data science topics, such as visualization and machine learning models.
  • Introduction to Computer Science and Programming – Put together by the best minds at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), this is a great course for beginners who are starting from square one when it comes to programming.

Top Paid Computer Science Courses

If you have some money to spend on your education (or access to student funding) these are the best courses for computer science students who value a more traditional paid education.

Course 1 – Bachelor in Modern Computer Science (OPIT)

As an entirely online course, OPIT’s offering allows you to learn at mostly your own pace, though you’re still expected to complete coursework and pass exams at appropriate times. It’s a three-year course (though two-year fast-track options are available) and it’s provided by an institution that has European Qualification Framework (EQF) credentials.

Granted, the course doesn’t come cheap, with its €3,600 per year tuition fees adding up to €10,800 for a three-year course. But that money buys you a comprehensive computer science education, starting with the basics of software development before moving on to modern concepts, like AI and cloud computing. Along the way, you’ll earn professional certifications from Microsoft and Google, giving you something tangible to place on your CV even as you’re still studying. Credit transfer is also available for students who started a computer science course elsewhere and want to transfer to OPIT’s offering.

Course 2 – Computational Science and Engineering (Technical University of Munich)

Perpetually hovering around the top 50 universities in the world (it ranked 50th in 2021), the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is like the MIT of Europe. With this course, TUM offers something for students who’ve already started on the computer science track and now feel ready to bring those skills together with applied math and engineering for a Master’s certification.

Lasting four semesters of full-time study, the course costs €152.30 and delivers 120 ECTS credits. You’ll hone in on numerical simulation, focusing on how to develop math-based problem-solving methods that help in developing systems and simulations. Theory is king in this course. But you’ll come away with such a solid grounding in that theory (as well as experience with simulated applications) that prepare you for a computer science and engineering career.

Other Notable Paid Courses

More thought goes into choosing a paid computer science course because you’re investing more than just time into your studies. If neither of the above two courses whets your appetite, the following are a few other notable providers offering courses to European and international students:

  • Computer Science BSc by Cambridge University – You get more than a degree from one of the UK’s most prestigious universities with this course. Given that Cambridge University lies in the heart of “Silicon Fen,” this course puts you in the ideal location to gain exposure to over 1,000 Cambridge-based tech companies.
  • Computational Thinking for Problem Solving – Devised by the Penn University faculty, this four-week online course starts by teaching the “pillars” of computational thinking, ending with an applied task using the Python programming language.
  • Computer Science 101L Master the Theory Behind Programming – Available via Udemy, this course costs about €69 or is available with a monthly subscription to Udemy. It features nearly 12 hours of recorded teaching sessions, alongside articles and other resources, that teach the basics of computer science.

Related Courses for a Well-Rounded Computer Science Education

The courses covered so far focus on computer science, with some variance in a few cases, which is like building the foundations for a house. To turn those foundations into something special (and something from which you can make a living), you may need a few more materials. Computer science-related courses give you those materials, with the following areas being great targets for further study.

Programming Languages

Programming is the beating heart of computer science. Every piece of software you’ll ever use has a program behind it. Most basic computer science courses teach general programming skills, often in Python, but further study into languages like SQL, Java, and C broadens your skillset to make you more attractive to employers.

Web Development

According to web3.career, the average European web developer picks up €70,000 per year, with potential to hit six figures with the right company and training. Many of the basics of web development are things you’ll pick up in a computer science course, though those looking for more formal certification should consider the following:

  • Full-Stack Web Development for Free (CodingNinjas)
  • Intro to HTML 5 (University of Michigan)
  • Web Developer on Google Digital Garage (Google)

Cybersecurity

The European Council’s research suggests that the cost of cybercrimes amounted to €5.5 trillion on the continent alone, with ransomware attacks being among the biggest threats facing EU companies. Therein lies an opportunity – businesses don’t want to lose trillions of euros and your cybersecurity skills could be the shield they need to fend off cyberattacks.

Top cybersecurity courses to consider include:

  • Google Cybersecurity (Google)
  • The Complete Cyber Security Course (Udemy)
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity Foundations (Infosec)

Data Science

Estimates state that the data science industry will have a 29% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2022 and 2029, making it an ever-growing monolith in the computer science sector. Your ability to extract insights from massive datasets could be useful to employers and is buoyed by the following top courses:

  • Data Science MicroMasters (University of California San Diego)
  • CS109 Data Science (Harvard University)
  • Master of Science in Machine Learning and Data Science (Imperial College London)

Tips for Choosing the Right Computer Science Course

The computer sciences courses covered in this article run the gamut from beginner-level programs to full Master’s degrees. If you feel like you’re struggling to navigate the sheer volume of options available, these tips help you pick an appropriate course:

  • Be honest with yourself about your current skill level to choose a computer science course that challenges without being overwhelming.
  • Compare the course’s curriculum and learning outcomes with your goals to ensure you’ll get what you need from your studies.
  • Measure your time commitments (and how the course format allows for these commitments) against those the course demands.
  • Research the instructors who created the course and check online reviews from past and current students.
  • Determine whether the cost of the course (both monetary and time-wise) delivers a suitable return on your investment.

Start Your Computer Science Journey With the Right Course

Options abound when you’re looking for a computer science course, with quality free options sitting right alongside traditional paid courses. Whatever course you choose, always remember – one step in the right direction still means that you’re moving forward. By choosing a course, you take your first step into a constantly evolving and expanding world that could provide you with a lifelong career.

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Il Sole 24 Ore: 100 thousand IT professionals missing
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 14, 2024 6 min read

Written on April 24th 2024

Source here: Il Sole 24 Ore (full article in Italian)


Open Institute of Technology: 100 thousand IT professionals missing

Eurostat data processed and disseminated by OPIT. Stem disciplines: the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%

Today, only 29% of young Italians between 25 and 34 have a degree. Not only that: compared to other European countries, the comparison is unequal given that the average in the Old Continent is 46%, bringing Italy to the penultimate place in this ranking, ahead only of Romania. The gap is evident even if the comparison is limited to STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) where the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%, with peaks of virtuosity which in the case of France that reaches 29.2%. Added to this is the continuing problem of the mismatch between job supply and demand, so much so that 62.8% of companies struggle to find professionals in the technological and IT fields.

The data

The Eurostat data was processed and disseminated by OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. an academic institution accredited at European level, active in the university level education market with online Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the technological and digital fields. We are therefore witnessing a phenomenon with worrying implications on the future of the job market in Italy and on the potential loss of competitiveness of our companies at a global level, especially if inserted in a context in which the macroeconomic scenario in the coming years will undergo a profound discontinuity linked to the arrival of “exponential” technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics, but also to the growing threats related to cybersecurity.

Requirements and updates

According to European House Ambrosetti, over 2,000,000 professionals will have to update their skills in the Digital and IT area by 2026, also to take advantage of the current 100,000 vacant IT positions, as estimated by Frank Recruitment Group. But not only that: the Italian context, which is unfavorable for providing the job market with graduates and skills, also has its roots in the chronic birth rate that characterizes our country: according to ISTAT data, in recent years the number of newborns has fallen by 28%, bringing Italy’s birth rate to 1.24, among the lowest in Europe, where the average is 1.46.

Profumo: “Structural deficiency”

“The chronic problem of the absence of IT professionals is structural and of a dual nature: on one hand the number of newborns – therefore, potential “professionals of the future” – is constantly decreasing; on the other hand, the percentage of young people who acquires degrees are firmly among the lowest in Europe”, declared Francesco Profumo, former Minister of Education and rector of OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. “The reasons are varied: from the cost of education (especially if undertaken off-site), to a university offering that is poorly aligned with changes in society, to a lack of awareness and orientation towards STEM subjects, which guarantee the highest employment rates. Change necessarily involves strong investments in the university system (and, in general, in the education system) at the level of the country, starting from the awareness that a functioning education system is the main driver of growth and development in the medium to long term. It is a debated and discussed topic on which, however, a clear and ambitious position is never taken.”

Stagnant context and educational offer

In this stagnant context, the educational offer that comes from online universities increasingly meets the needs of flexibility, quality and cost of recently graduated students, university students looking for specialization and workers interested in updating themselves with innovative skills. According to data from the Ministry of University and Research, enrollments in accredited online universities in Italy have grown by over 141 thousand units in ten years (since 2011), equal to 293.9%. Added to these are the academic institutions accredited at European level, such as OPIT, whose educational offering is overall capable of opening the doors to hundreds of thousands of students, with affordable costs and extremely innovative and updated degree paths.

Analyzing the figures

An analysis of Eurostat statistics relating to the year 2021 highlights that 27% of Europeans aged between 16 and 74 have attended an entirely digital course. The highest share is recorded in Ireland (46%), Finland and Sweden (45%) and the Netherlands (44%). The lowest in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%) and Croatia (18%). Italy is at 20%. “With OPIT” – adds Riccardo Ocleppo, founder and director – “we have created a new model of online academic institution, oriented towards new technologies, with innovative programs, a strong practical focus, and an international approach, with professors and students from 38 countries around the world, and teaching in English. We intend to train Italian students not only on current and updated skills, but to prepare them for an increasingly dynamic and global job market. Our young people must be able to face the challenges of the future like those who study at Stanford or Oxford: with solid skills, but also with relational and attitudinal skills that lead them to create global companies and startups or work in multinationals like their international colleagues. The increasing online teaching offer, if well structured and with quality, represents an incredible form of democratization of education, making it accessible at low costs and with methods that adapt to the flexibility needs of many working students.”

Point of reference

With two degrees already starting in September 2023 – a three-year degree (BSc) in Modern Computer Science and a specialization (MSc) in Applied Data Science & AI – and 4 starting in September 2024: a three-year degree (BSc) in Digital Business, and the specializations (MSc) in Enterprise Cybersecurity, Applied Digital Business and Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI), OPIT is an academic institution of reference for those who intend to respond to the demands of a job market increasingly oriented towards the field of artificial intelligence. Added to this are a high-profile international teaching staff and an exclusively online educational offer focused on the technological and digital fields.

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Times of India: The 600,000 IT job shortage in India and how to solve it
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 2, 2024 3 min read

Written on April 25th 2024

Source here: Times of India 


The job market has never been a straightforward path. Ask anyone who has ever looked for a job, certainly within the last decade, and they can tell you as much. But with the rapid development of AI and machine learning, concerns are growing for people about their career options, with a report from Randstad finding that 7 in 10 people in India are concerned about their job being eliminated by AI.

 Employers have their own share of concerns. According to The World Economic Forum, 97 million new AI-related jobs will be created by 2025 and the share of jobs requiring AI skills will increase by 58%. The IT industry in India is experiencing a tremendous surge in demand for skilled professionals on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cybersecurity and, according to Nasscom, this is leading to a shortage of 600,000 profiles.

 So how do we fill those gaps? Can we democratize access to top-tier higher education in technology?

These are the questions that Riccardo Ocleppo, the engineer who founded a hugely successful ed-tech platform connecting international students with global Universities, Docsity, asked himself for years. Until he took action and launched the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), together with the Former Minister of Education of Italy, Prof. Francesco Profumo, to help people take control of their future careers.

OPIT offers BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science, AI, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Digital Business, attracting students from over 38 countries worldwide. Through innovative learning experiences and affordable tuition fees starting at €4,050 per year, OPIT empowers students to pursue their educational goals without the financial and personal burden of relocating.

The curriculum, delivered through a mix of live and pre-recorded lectures, equips students with the latest technology skills, as well as business and strategic acumen necessary for careers in their chosen fields. Moreover, OPIT’s EU-accredited degrees enable graduates to pursue employment opportunities in Europe, with recognition by WES facilitating transferability to the US and Canada.

OPIT’s commitment to student success extends beyond academics, with a full-fledged career services department led by Mike McCulloch. Remote students benefit from OPIT’s “digital campus,” fostering connections through vibrant discussion forums, online events, and networking opportunities with leading experts and professors.

Faculty at OPIT, hailing from prestigious institutions and industry giants like Amazon and Microsoft, bring a wealth of academic and practical experience to the table. With a hands-on, practical teaching approach, OPIT prepares students for the dynamic challenges of the modern job market.

In conclusion, OPIT stands as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to future-proof their careers in technology. By democratizing access to high-quality education and fostering a global learning community, OPIT empowers students to seize control of their futures and thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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