Take computer science courses for credit at a college or university. Many community colleges offer quality computer science courses at prices much lower than four-year schools. Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, available through services such as Coursera.org and Udacity.com, offer free or low-price computer science courses, and they sometimes provide official certifications upon completion.
In addition to MOOCs, many colleges and universities also provide course content for many computer science courses on the Internet free of charge. Prestigious schools such as Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University all have open course content resources. While MOOCs typically have an instructor and feature classwork, course content only has lecture notes, exercises and sometimes videos.
Computer science courses vary considerably in the types of material they present to students. Many basic introductory computer science courses lay out the fundamentals of how computers work, what their components are, and how they structure data. These courses typically feature little if any programming. Because of their simplicity, these courses typically only require proficiency with basic arithmetic and algebra skills.
More advanced computer science courses focus on specific areas of computer science. These courses may include specialized courses for specific programming languages, or they may teach several different languages in a single course. Other aspects of computer science, such as algorithm and system design, also have dedicated courses.