5 Free University Courses to Learn Computer Science
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If you ever want to make a career in tech, learning computer science fundamentals is the first step you can take to make the career switch happen. This is a compilation of some of the best university computer science courses that’ll help you learn the following:

  • Foundations of computer science 
  • Programming with Python
  • Data structures and algorithms 
  • Essential tools for software engineering

Let’s go over the list of courses.



Link: Computer Science 101

If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly introduction to computer science, Computer Science 101 one from Stanford university is for you.

In this course, you’ll get to learn the following and much more:

  • What computers can (and cannot) do 
  • How computer hardware works 
  • How software works 
  • Loops and logic 
  • Abstraction, logic, and bugs 
  • How the Internet works 
  • Computer security



Link: An Introduction to Logic for Computer Science

Understanding logic is fundamental to problem solving, algorithm design, and much more. An Introduction to Logic for Computer Science from the University of Leeds will help you get up to speed on:

  • Propositional logic and 
  • Modeling with logic 

This course should only take a few hours to complete but teaches you logic fundamentals which are typically part of a conventional CS curriculum.



Link: CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science

CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science is taught by Prof. David J Malan and team at Harvard University. This course is super popular among aspiring developers across the world. 

You’ll learn the following while also actively working on projects to reinforce learning:

  • Programming concepts 
  • Algorithmic thinking and problem solving 
  • Data structures in algorithms 
  • Python 
  • SQL
  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript



Link: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python from MIT will introduce you to computer science and programming fundamentals using the Python programming language. 

So you’ll learn to think computationally and write Python programs to solve problems. Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn:

  • Notion of computation 
  • Python 
  • Testing and debugging 
  • Algorithmic complexity 
  • Data structures
  1. The Missing Semester of Your CS Education – MIT

Link: The Missing Semester of Your CS Education

The courses we have listed so far will help you learn programming with Python, data structures, and general foundations of CS. However these do not cover the tools that software engineers use tools like bash scripting and other command-line utilities all the time. 

And that’s where the Missing Semester of Your CS Education—a free course from MIT—comes in which will help you learn all of these and much more. Here’s an overview of what this course will teach you:

  • Shell tools and scripting 
  • Vim editor 
  • Data wrangling 
  • Command-line environment 
  • Version control with Git 
  • Debugging and profiling 
  • Meta programming 
  • Security and Cryptography



And that’s a wrap. This list of courses has been compiled so as to facilitate exposure to a wide breadth of topics. These courses will be especially helpful if you are planning to take the self-study route to teach yourself computer science and land a job in tech. 

Happy learning and coding!

Bala Priya C is a developer and technical writer from India. She likes working at the intersection of math, programming, data science, and content creation. Her areas of interest and expertise include DevOps, data science, and natural language processing. She enjoys reading, writing, coding, and coffee! Currently, she’s working on learning and sharing her knowledge with the developer community by authoring tutorials, how-to guides, opinion pieces, and more.

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