10 Best Computer Science Courses

Computer science-related industries are among those that feature the most robust growth trajectories with attractive salaries.

If you’re looking to make a switch in your career, choosing an online computer science degree will be a very lucrative choice.

In addition to earning a degree from a university, you may also want to consider taking one or more computer science courses.

Potential employers will happily consider your application if you can demonstrate that you can perform the requested task. And taking a computer science course will help you with that.

Are you looking for the best course for computer science? I’ve ranked the top 10 computer science courses available online, both free and paid.

1. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: Approximately 4 months to complete at 5 hours/week
  • Price: Get started for free
  • Provider: Coursera

Course’s Highlights

This specialization will begin by covering the basics of computing principles and any advances to mathematical foundations utilized in computer science.

It will introduce you to computational and numerical tools essential for problem-solving. Moreover, as a learner, you will apply your knowledge to solve mathematical puzzles and apply concepts to handle computer use problems.

You’ll learn:

  • Performing arithmetic on various number bases and transforming numbers between them.
  • Creating an interactive 2D graphics program on the website utilizing the Javascript language.
  • Developing and applying mental models to explore how various computer systems work.
  • Working with sequences and series, modular arithmetic, graphs, and converting between number bases.

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/introduction-computer-science-programming


  • Require no programming experience.
  • Suitable for newbies.
  • Provide basic knowledge in an accessible way.


  • Not suitable for advanced ones.

2. Master the Theory Behind Programming

Master the Theory Behind Programming


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: 103 lectures (11h 51m)
  • Price: 7 days trial
  • Provider: Udemy

Course’s Highlights

If you prefer to learn the theory that will make a great programmer, you can’t go wrong with this course. It is ideal for anyone interested in catching the fundamentals of Computer Science Theory.

The best part about this course is that it requires no programming experience.

Therefore, you can take this course with an empty head, and a skilled teacher will help you cover the essential things of programming in an accessible way.

Enroll Here: https://www.udemy.com/course/computer-science-101-master-the-theory-behind-programming/


  • No previous experience necessary!
  • Master the theory to become a great programmer
  • Ideal to get into some core programming concepts.


  • No ideal for getting in-depth in programming

3. Computer Science

Computer Science


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: 20 weeks
  • Price: $13.99 monthly (Pro Lite) and $19.99 monthly (Pro)
  • Provider: Codecademy

Course’s Highlights

Enroll Here: https://www.codecademy.com/learn/paths/computer-science

Regardless of what your coding goals are, the greatest place to start is by building a strong foundation. This path is similar to a college course, where you can learn how to code and think like a pro.

You will learn the fundamentals of Computer Science, develop a professional portfolio, and get ready for an entry-level role in the tech field.

You will learn:

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Databases
  • Computer Architecture
  • Discrete Math


  • Get in-depth knowledge.
  • Gain a helpful roadmap.
  • Get job ready.


  • Only suitable for entry-level.

4. Intro to Theoretical Computer Science

Intro to Theoretical Computer Science


  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Duration: 25 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Provider: Udacity

Course’s Highlights

If you have some familiarity with algorithms and programming and prefer to further your understanding of problem-solving in computer science, this insightful and rigorous course will be what you are looking for.

Delivered by Udacity, this course will help you discover what makes an issue ‘hard’ to solve, even for computers. After that, it will show how to simplify and reduce these ‘hard’ issues to make them easier to handle through computation.

You will learn:

  • Ls 1: Challenging Problems
  • Ls 2: Understanding Hardness
  • Ls 3: Showing Hardness
  • Ls 4: Intelligent Force
  • Ls 5: Sloppy Solutions
  • Ls 6: Poking Around
  • Ls 7: Ultimate Limits

Enroll Here: https://www.udacity.com/course/intro-to-theoretical-computer-science–cs313


  • Interactive Quizzes.
  • Self-Paced Learning.
  • Rich Learning Content.
  • Taught by Industry Pros.


  • The knowledge is not too in-depth.

5. Computer Science: Algorithms, Theory, and Machines

Computer Science: Algorithms, Theory, and Machines


  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Duration: 20 Hours
  • Price: Free
  • Provider: Princeton University

Course’s Highlights

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/cs-algorithms-theory-machines

This course will introduce the general discipline of computer science to those with basic familiarity with Java programming.

Its intent is to demystify computation and to raise awareness about the rich history and significant intellectual underpinnings of the computer science field.

As a free course, you cannot expect to receive a certificate after completion. However, the knowledge that it brings is worth your time investment.


  • Flexible time.
  • Taught by experienced teachers.
  • Good overview of data structures and algorithms.


  • No certificate.

6. Computer Science: Programming with a Purpose

Computer Science: Programming with a Purpose


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: 88 hours
  • Price: Free
  • Provider: Princeton University

Course’s Highlights

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/learn/cs-programming-java

If you want a free course to learn Java Programming from scratch, you won’t want to skip this course.

This course lasts 88 hours and is taught by Kevin Wayne AND Robert Sedgewick, who are well-known teachers and authors of the famous Algorithms book.


  • All features of the course are available for free.
  • Taught by Well-Known Teachers.
  • Received many positive reviews.


  • No certificate.

7. Algorithms Specialization

Algorithms Specialization


  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Duration: 16 weeks, 3 hours per week
  • Price: One of the highest-rated algorithms courses on Coursera.
  • Provider: Standford University

Course’s Highlights

This specialization contains four Coursera courses. It will give you all the best to ace your technical interviews and master algorithms to partner with computer scientists and other programmers.

It will begin with introducing the primary topics: conquering, sorting, dividing, searching, and randomized algorithms. Then, it will walk you through graph primitives, data structures, and their uses. Next, you’ll come to a module on greedy algorithms, dynamic programming, and minimum spanning trees.

The last course will be about shortest paths, NP-completeness, its role for algorithm designers, and strategies to deal with computationally intractable issues.

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/algorithms


  • Include in-depth knowledge.
  • Get a certificate upon completion.
  • Taught by an award-winning and renowned professor.


  • Lasts up to four months.

8. Computer Science – Number System Conversion

Computer Science – Number System Conversion and Mathematical Operation Behind Programming


  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Duration: 27 Lessons (1h 35m)
  • Price: N/A
  • Provider: Skillshare

Course’s Highlights

Enroll Here: Currently Unavailable

This course is ideal for people/students with more advanced skills, who need to deepen their knowledge. As a course for beginners, there are no prerequisites for you to take it.

All you need is a pleasure to learn and motivation, and leave the rest with a seasoned teacher.

You will be explained step by step, from the simple concept to the most complex operations. At the end of the course, you will be comfortable when:

  • Conversioning between many system numbers with fractional numbers.
  • Conversioning between many system numbers with integer numbers.
  • Making subtraction and addition with different bases( including binary, decimal, octal, and hexadecimal).


  • Taught by skilled teachers.
  • Ideal for getting in-depth in Computer Science.
  • No prerequisites


  • Fast-paced.

9. Discrete Math

Discrete Math


  • Difficulty: (Beginner)
  • Duration: 9 Hours
  • Price: N/A
  • Provider: Codecademy

Course’s Highlights

Enroll Here: https://www.codecademy.com/learn/discrete-math

This course will let you dive into discrete math, the math of computer science!

You will learn about proofs, sets, sequences, binary, induction, recurrence relations, and much more! You will also dive deeper into topics you have seen previously, such as recursion.


  • Have a certificate (with the pro plan)
  • Deeper into some topics
  • Good price


  • Not too in-depth.

10. Data Structures and Algorithms Specialization

Data Structures and Algorithms Specialization


  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Duration: About 8 months
  • Price: N/A
  • Provider: University of California San Diego

Course’s Highlights

Enroll Here: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/data-structures-algorithms

This significant data structures & algorithms course is ideal for people who prefer practice over theory, as it is the perfect balance of practice and theory.

You will implement about a hundred algorithmic coding problems with your chosen programming language in this program.

This specialization program has 6 courses, including:

  • Algorithmic Toolbox
  • Data Structures
  • Algorithms on Graphs
  • Algorithms on Strings
  • Advanced Algorithms & Complexity
  • Genome Assembly Programming Challenge


  • Get a certificate upon completion.
  • Graded programming assignments.
  • Graded quizzes with feedback.
  • Graded assignments with peer feedback.


  • Require basic knowledge of at least one programming language

Learning Guide

If you want to get certified, join the paid courses.

Free or Paid?

You shouldn’t judge the quality of a course based on how much you pay. Many free courses still do their job well for beginners in providing the basics.

However, all the free courses won’t earn you any certificates. So if you want to get certified to share it with potential employers, you are forced to take paid courses, such as Algorithms Specialization – Coursera.

The Knowledge and Skills You Want to Hone.

The field of computer science is vast, covering many different niches.

For example, it may include artificial intelligence, scientific computing applications, data structures and algorithms, computer architecture and organization, and computer networks.

You must know what knowledge you need to add and what skills you need to hone. Then, you can get a good idea of which course you should choose.

Reviews From Those Who Have Attended

Before taking any course, I strongly recommend that you read the reviews of people who have taken it. Topic courses have ratings (by the number of stars or points) and reviews. Through it, you can know in part whether the course you are considering meets your needs or not.

Take the Trial

Most of the 10 options I mentioned above allow you to try them for a certain length, from 7 to 14 days. Take advantage of it to have a clear and accurate view of what the course offers and what you can get.

From there, you can decide if it’s value for money before officially signing up.


What is Computer Science?

Computer Science refers to the study of computers and computational systems.

Unlike computer and electrical engineers, computer scientists primarily work with software and software systems, including their design, development, theory, and application.

The main areas of study within Computer Science are computer systems and networks, artificial intelligence, database systems, security, vision and graphics, numerical analysis, human-computer interaction, programming languages, software engineering, theory of computing, and bioinformatics.

Can I Land a Job in Computer Science Without a Degree?

Yes, you can get a job in computer science without a degree. Many employers are more focused on hiring talented and experienced candidates regardless.

So taking courses and getting certifications is one of the best ways to show that you can take on a position.

What Jobs Can I Get in the Computer Science Field?

Here are the jobs in the field of computer science that you can be accepted:

  • UX designer
  • Data analyst
  • Web designer
  • Game designer
  • Systems analyst
  • Games developer
  • Penetration tester
  • Software engineer
  • Application analyst
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Applications developer
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Forensic computer analyst

Final Thoughts

The field of computer science has grown very rapidly, and it has never been better to begin a career in this field.

You can start by taking one of the courses I recommend to take your first steps into the world of computer science.

Then, with continuous cultivation of the necessary knowledge and skills, you will soon become a successful professional.

One of my favorite beginner courses is the “Computer Science: Programming with a Purpose” course from Coursera.

It will provide you with the most valuable and core knowledge about computer science, specifically programming. More specifically, it’s free!

Thanks for your time!