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When selecting computer programming online courses, you should identify the programming language that you need to learn, consider the reasons why you need to take the course, and develop a realistic understanding of both your schedule and your financial budget. Depending on your reasons for taking a course, you may also need to investigate which accreditations and approvals the school holds. It is also important to learn about the school's reputation and to familiarize yourself with the online learning environment of each program that you consider.
Many different types of schools and proprietary education providers now offer computer programming online courses. In some cases, you may be able to earn academic credit from taking these courses that you can apply to an undergraduate or postgraduate degree program. In other cases, courses may be taught for enrichment, career development, or continuing education purposes and may not be applicable to a degree. It is up to you to determine what type of course makes the most sense for you. Typically, courses offered for academic credit are more expensive than those offered for career development or continuing education courses. On the other hand, if you plan to obtain a degree at some point, it may be worth it to earn credits that can shorten the time you must spend on the rest of your program.
While many online schools are accredited or are approved by industry certification boards, not all computer programming online courses are evaluated by reputable third-party education evaluators or government agencies. If you want to ensure that the courses that you take are of high quality, it is a good idea to ask a course provider about its accreditation. In some cases, an employer, financial aid program, or workforce development program will only pay for or reimburse the cost of computer programming online courses taught by schools that are accredited or approved by pertinent government and private agencies.
If you need to learn a programming language for employment-related reasons and are already experienced in computer programming, you may wish to take advantage of one of the free courses available online. Some schools and universities place course materials online for free so that you can study the programming language at your own pace. Although this may not be a good option for those who need the supervision and support of an experienced instructor, for others this may be the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way of completing computer programming online courses.