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Free Online Educational Offering: Major or Minor in Computer Science at Saylor

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Thanks for this, App! Somehow I missed it until today.

The best thing to do would be to take your newly-acquired knowledge that came with the sheepskin and do something with it.  Do lots of things.  Code something for NANY.  Contribute to some Open-Source projects.  Apply for every appropriate job you can think of on places like Odesk,eLance, or  Take all those things and keep details of every single one of them and whip it all into a spanky new CV/Résumé.  

THEN it won't matter if it's from Saylor, Harvard, or the local Public Library; you've got EXPERIENCE to back up your fancy certificate, which is worth much, much more.
-Edvard (September 03, 2013, 10:32 PM)
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That advice is some of  the best advice you'll ever receive.

In tech careers, it isn't so much the degree (except maybe to get past some HR blockhead as Vurbal noted) as it is having the proven ability to do something with it.

I've interviewed MCSEs who passed muster with Microsoft in fine color (thanks to some cram course) who couldn't troubleshoot or fix a network problem in the real world if their own children's lives were riding on it.

I've also interviewed people whose 'formal' education consisted of reading a lot of books while trying things out in a home computer lab they cobbled together out of whatever hardware they could beg, borrow, or repurpose following a dumpster dive.

Two guesses who IMHO had the better education.

Two guesses who got the job.

I'm a big believer in formal training. I think everyone should be given the opportunity to earn a degree. But I'm an even bigger believer in the ability to get the task done. And I never held the lack of an academic credential against somebody - although I've generally had better luck hiring when the person did have some college level background.

The only thing my sheepskin was good for was to open doors.  Everything I have done since I've been working has been based on real world experience, or what I've taught myself.  I took one class in college that a lot of the other was made possible by, however, and don't know why the same principle isn't taught more.

It was called the Organization of Programming Languages.  I took it in my senior year of college, though I'm not sure why it was a senior level course as you didn't really need a lot to get a lot out of it.  It was taught by a visiting professor that was actually a very successful businessman.  It basically taught that the delineation between languages should not be an impediment to using them as long as you know the principles.  And then, for our final project, we had to put it into practice, developing a solution to a problem (and by solution, I mean a full-fledged software solution to a real business problem) in a language that we didn't know and had no experience with.  And we had to do it in 8 weeks.

It was hell, but I learned a lot of what has taken me far in that one class, and I've put it into practice more than once to keep ahead of the changing technology curve, and stay employed...

Do you offer courses in other languages?
Our current focus for is to provide an entire suite of courses in the English language. Currently, we do not have plans to translate our courses into additional languages; however, we welcome opportunities to work with other organizations who wish to do so.-
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After reading the above in the FAQ, I was disappointed in the poor writing and grammar used in CS101 Unit 1.1.1 reading assignment. It wasn't too bad, but had enough mistakes and eccentricities to bother me.

Then I read the assignment from Unit 1.1.2 which is so bad I'm not even sure it was originally written in English. I seriously wondered a few times throughout the document whether someone had just used Google Translate to get it into English. I probably could have dictated it in better English when I was in first grade, and probably could have written it myself with better style not many years after that.

It makes it hard to take the so-called college level course seriously when the writing is not up to par with even Junior High school standards. :(

It makes it hard to take the so-called college level course seriously when the writing is not up to par with even Junior High school standards.
-Deozaan (September 04, 2013, 05:20 PM)
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Well, it's not all produced by them, so just grin and bear the portions that are. I believe most of the really meaty Java course materials are from Oracle (well, actually Sun, but they own it now). And some are from other actual universities. I think their own stuff is just to fill in the gaps of the things missing from freely available materials. I'd bet that poorer quality stuff would eventually be removed/replaced if somewhere someone published something better, with a CC-BY license... or if it already exists, someone brought it to the attention of the people that run Saylor.


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