Linked by Howard Fosdick on Wed 21st Dec 2011 00:39 UTC
Editorial M.I.T. has just announced it is expanding its list of free online courses anyone can take. Attendees earn completion certificates. M.I.T.'s OpenCourseWare project already offers 2,100 courses used by 100 million people. OpenCulture, Free Ed, E-learning Center, and Alison offer competing free online courses, including many on computing and IT certification.
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uopeople
by fran on Wed 21st Dec 2011 01:05 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06
RE: uopeople
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 01:01 UTC in reply to "uopeople"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

If they get their accreditation, they will have something on their hands. Otherwise, it is a gimmick.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: uopeople
by fran on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 10:19 UTC in reply to "RE: uopeople"
fran Member since:
2010-08-06

Hopefully the accreditation issue will be sorted out.
The cost of implementing supervised assessment is probably the biggest hurdle when you take into account it's global aspirations and it's very low fee model.
I just really hope it succeed. So many people out there that cant afford to study but really want to.
For those here interesting in CS science without needing a accreditation UOpeople program is a complete 3 year course and very convenient to study at.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: uopeople
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun 25th Dec 2011 14:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: uopeople"
modmans2ndcoming Member since:
2005-11-09

even with accreditation, you will have a huge hill to climb to gain credibility for the graduates in the work place.

It will probably be a good place for those developers who started working with out a degree and want to get one in order to get that promotion or are being told they need to go and get a degree.

Reply Score: 2

Cool
by WorknMan on Wed 21st Dec 2011 01:41 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

Good references. If you've got a computer and an internet connection, there's really no excuse anymore for not getting yourself educated.

Reply Score: 2

CCNA?
by daedliusswartz on Wed 21st Dec 2011 11:42 UTC
daedliusswartz
Member since:
2007-05-28

Been looking for a while for a free CCNA course. Anyone know of any others? I quite like the TestOut style of learning.

Edited 2011-12-21 11:43 UTC

Reply Score: 2

certificates
by transputer_guy on Wed 21st Dec 2011 15:02 UTC
transputer_guy
Member since:
2005-07-08

I've already tired of the computing scene, I would like to get some deeper education in nuclear physics just for the sake of learning.

Anyone know what the price of the credential is going to be?

Richard DeMillo says he'd take a certificate as a qualification for a job in industry, that's nice, I wonder how many other would.

Reply Score: 2

RE: certificates
by lucas_maximus on Wed 21st Dec 2011 18:05 UTC in reply to "certificates"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

You are really going to need a degree in Physics and a 1st at that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: certificates
by transputer_guy on Wed 21st Dec 2011 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE: certificates"
transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

It is just for the interest, not for any possible career so if I can't reach the sky, no big deal. Been interested in atoms and the universe since I was a kid but microchip tech got to me.

As it happens a quick dip into the test questions showed that the Thorium cycle is now covered, but I hadn't a clue about the binding energy equations, still interesting though.

If my kids can't get into a decent college later on for lack of scholarships, this might be a good away to get some credit for whatever they find an interest in. Perhaps these credits can be turned into a fast track regular degree.

I wish I could have done the same 30 years ago in hindsight (except the web and PCs didn't exist), the college experience is somewhat over rated.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: certificates
by lucas_maximus on Wed 21st Dec 2011 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: certificates"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I am from the UK and a lot of the stuff you mentioned was done in 6th form in my Physics A-level.

I originally did Mechanical Engineering then switched to Software Engineering.

The US education system is very different from the UK so I can't offer you any advice there.

Edited 2011-12-21 21:03 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: certificates
by transputer_guy on Wed 21st Dec 2011 23:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: certificates"
transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

Well well, I did Physics A-level too back in 75 or so, it was my favorite but then the integrated circuit was just starting to get interesting and the prospect of working on a British microprocessor chip (later the transputer) was unbeatable. That eventually got me over here.

Back then physics also included nuclear energy and some binding energy stuff as well, enough to do rough calculations on energy which I have mostly forgotten. I want to get that back in my head to follow what is now coming along like SMRs.

The last time I met a UK prof, they were very sad about the decline in University enrollments in physics, like 20* down over the 70s, nobody wants to study hard for it anymore.

Kids I know that went the soft side into web dev haven't fared well either, easy degree means competing with kids from India.

US kids go to college 1 year earlier but stay for 4yrs so graduate about the same time. I think that's right, it is still very foreign to me even with kids in elementary.

small world

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: certificates
by lucas_maximus on Thu 22nd Dec 2011 00:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: certificates"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Kids I know that went the soft side into web dev haven't fared well either, easy degree means competing with kids from India.


Bollox.

India Software dev is run like a sweatshop. If you want stuff cheap you get crap code. I know there are night shifts and day shifts over dev.

It isn't an easy degree. Front end code and design if done well it as difficult as the more "hardcore stuff".

Nice try trolling, I actually wanted to help you.

Edited 2011-12-22 00:56 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: certificates
by transputer_guy on Thu 22nd Dec 2011 05:49 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: certificates"
transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

Sorry for the offense, just people I know didn't get the careers they hoped for, pretty much working for peanuts working hand to mouth, obviously you did much better.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: certificates
by lucas_maximus on Thu 22nd Dec 2011 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: certificates"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Sorry It was my fault, I intrepreted it wrong.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: certificates
by zima on Wed 28th Dec 2011 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: certificates"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

You seem to think there that ~physicists are much different...

I ~knew (hardly knew, just "yeah, those were around" out of one random bunch, without looking hard) only one or two who seriously ended up close to CERN. Most don't really do that much with physics.

Anyway, this will be probably the century of ~biochemistry, ~biotechnology, and such - that's where we know little / there's much to be done / it's damn hard.
(~physics is a fairly "done" deal, in comparison)

PS. And "get ahead", that you mention in a post just below, is a zero-sum game - how too many people get taken by it, into thinking that should be the goal, is possibly even one of the main issues; perhaps precisely what leads to more or less sweatshops, for many.

Times are generally better than ever ...but it's quite possible you perceive them as worse also because of that "get ahead" ( http://web.mit.edu/krugman/www/ratrace.html )

Edited 2011-12-28 23:39 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: certificates
by transputer_guy on Thu 22nd Dec 2011 05:57 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: certificates"
transputer_guy Member since:
2005-07-08

I was well aware of Indian sweat shops abilities, so you get what you pay for is right, they have been doing since forever.

Trouble is UK isn't cheap place to live in so you need a good salary to get ahead. Its not like I would have done well by staying, too many companies don't want to pay diddly squat.

BTW does everyone have to pay their way through Uni now?

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: certificates
by lucas_maximus on Thu 22nd Dec 2011 15:47 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: certificates"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

No you just come out with more debt than you can ever pay back.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: certificates
by Alfman on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 03:27 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: certificates"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

transputer_guy,

"Back then physics also included nuclear energy and some binding energy stuff as well, enough to do rough calculations on energy which I have mostly forgotten. I want to get that back in my head to follow what is now coming along like SMRs."

I would have enjoyed more of an engineering background. I opted for CS early on because I was thrilled I could do just about everything on my own personal computer without prohibitively expensive equipment. However I hadn't considered that the low costs of computing would eventually enable third world countries to displace so many IT jobs. The barriers to entry are just too low to have comfortable job security.

"The last time I met a UK prof, they were very sad about the decline in University enrollments in physics, like 20* down over the 70s, nobody wants to study hard for it anymore."

To be fair, there may be other factors contributing to that. How many times over has the cost of education multiplied since those days? I went to school at a yearly expense which was 20X more expensive than my parent's, and I earn a fraction of what they did in medicine. I started courses during the IT bubble and graduated when it popped, pot luck I guess. I kind of regret that decision, but it seemed the perfect fit for me back then, so I doubt I could have known better.


"Kids I know that went the soft side into web dev haven't fared well either, easy degree means competing with kids from India."


I agree completely, competing in low barrier fields is extremely difficult when such different costs of living are factored in.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: certificates
by lucas_maximus on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 12:45 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: certificates"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

It depends how good at web dev. I get paid well even though I am only middle weight. If you are actually good and know your stuff you can make quite decent money.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: certificates
by Alfman on Fri 23rd Dec 2011 18:01 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: certificates"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

lucas_maximus,

Agreed, with the caveat that it depends on who you work for. Web dev is larger than any other CS market, which makes it easier to find work. But on the other hand, many web devs are not well paid because the vast majority of clientele are cheap. I find that for most clients, price is the number one criteria over quality, consistency, security, etc. I was even arguing with a manager at an insurance company about the need to fix security issues, but they declined.


I've had some clients come to me having had a terrible experience with offshored projects, but when it comes time to fix the mess, the companies still don't want to pay to do it right. As much as we like to bash Indian IT shops over quality issues, more and more I think the companies should be faulted for not rewarding good quality in the first place. They may be getting exactly what they pay for - not very much.

Ideally there would be enough work at good companies to hire all the good devs. CS isn't the easy street it used to be.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: certificates
by benali72 on Thu 22nd Dec 2011 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: certificates"
benali72 Member since:
2008-05-03

If it's just for the interest, you don't need a degree and the free online courses would be perfect for you. (am I missing something?)

Reply Score: 1