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I am looking to start a career in CS (programming, software developing and eventually artificial intelligence) but don't have the economic means to attend university.

I am currently working on Harvard's CS50 online course (my first programming experience, too) and was wondering what other online courses are available to help me build a resume and help compensate for my lack of degree. -- Is this a good way to start learning programming? -- What are the pros and cons of self learning compared to learning in an established university program?

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You've got a lot of really broad questions here, so it's going to be a little difficult to unpack them all. Consider only posting one specific question per post. Also note that the answer really depends on you more than anything, so a lot of this is hard for us to answer. But I'll offer my two cents:

what other online courses are available to help me build a resume and help compensate for my lack of degree. -- Is this a good way to start learning programming?

This is three different questions:

  • What online courses are available?

There are a ton of online courses, and which one you'd take depends on exactly what you want to be doing. Programming is a huge topic: there's web development, server-side development, database management, robotics, machine learning, system programming, etc.

First figure out what you want to do. Then start searching for tutorials and online classes.

  • How can I build a resume to compensate for a lack of a degree?

List the projects you've worked on. Create an online portfolio showcasing the stuff you've actually done. Don't tell me what you know. Show me the projects you've completed that demonstrate what you know.

Keep in mind that this won't happen overnight. You won't get to this point just by reading one book or breezing through one online tutorial. You have to spend some time working on a project.

  • Are online courses a good way to learn programming?

Like I mentioned above, whether they're a good way for you to learn programming is more up to you than it is us. We can't tell you what's best for you.

I will say that the only way to learn how to program is by programming, working through the process of taking a big problem and breaking it down into smaller steps. Whether you get that practice from tutorials, or from an online course, or from a university, is up to you. The important part is putting in the work.

What are the pros and cons of self learning compared to learning in an established university program?

I think you probably already know these. A university program gives you access to teachers and peers, and provides a structured environment. Self-learning allows you to learn at your own pace, and it's much cheaper but harder to "prove" what you know.

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    $\begingroup$ This is an excellent answer for a broad question! $\endgroup$ – Ben I. Nov 13 '17 at 21:31

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