Wouldn’t it be nice if you could search for your areas of interest and, with the press of a button (or a click), find free courses on the topic of interest?
Wouldn’t it be even nicer if these courses helped you develop skills that will help you unleash your potential? How about equipping you with skills that will help you earn a living on your own or increase your chances of employment?
Or perhaps you are considering Information Technology (IT) or software development as a career path and would like to have a better understanding of the field before deciding whether to enter.
Or you just had an amazing idea and would like to develop it without depending on others.
By the way, if you haven’t noticed this among your circle of friends, you will not find many unemployed software developers or engineers in Armenia. Take a look at many of the Armenian jobs websites and you will notice that IT professionals are in high demand!
Information Technology is growing rapidly in Armenia, at 27% per year between 1998 and 2011 according to EIF (Enterprise Incubator Foundation). It is a strategic sector (identified by the government as a top priority for development) and is attracting increasing attention from foreign companies. IT is naturally well-suited for Armenia for a number of reasons. But the key issue is that both Armenian firms and those who are self employed (e.g. graphic designers) can capture huge opportunities in larger international markets through “digital exports”.
The Internet has become an increasing repository of online classes. It is a very low cost distribution channel for learning and you can find courses on nearly any topic.
Of course, these courses require a good command of the English language. If you still haven’t learned it, what are you waiting for? The Internet is filled with free online English courses, as well… but that is a topic for another article.
To start, let’s focus on computer science and software/web development. Here are some GREAT and FREE courses that can help you develop those high demand skills:
Launched in October 2011, this website teaches beginners how to code. It was created by Zach Sims and Ryan Bubinski, classmates at Columbia University. Codecademy has been used by a growing number of people and has been featured in publications such as Tech Crunch, Business Insider, Lifehacker and Huffington Post.
From the creators of Code Academy. An initiative to get people coding. You can sign up for Code Year to start receiving interactive programming lessons by email every Monday. The website mentions that +400,000 people started to learn how to code this year. Why not you?
EdX.org is a non-profit co-founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). On the website you can find courses from Harvard, MIT and University of California - Berkeley on a number of topics including: Introduction to Computer Science, Software as a Service, etc.
Additional Web Resources
Introduction to Computer Science I
iPad and iPhone Application Development (HD) - by Paul Hegarty
Here is the complete list of courses offered by Stanford:
OpenCulture.com - A complete list
Free iTunes U Courses
Developing Apps for iOS (HD) - by Paul Hegarty
iPhone Application Development - by Alan Cannistraro and Josh Shaffer
Programming methodology - by Mehran Sahami
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Android Development (iTunes U) - https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/csse490-android-development/id409819366
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