MOOCs could be your best alternative plan to getting the education needed for a hi-tech career.

MOOCs, short for Massive Open Online Courses, provide affordable and flexible ways to learn new skills. They deliver quality educational experiences and give you opportunities to use web-based learning to pursue lifelong interests.

Two technology centers have new online learning programs opening this month that might meet your needs. Check out what EIT Digital and the Linux Foundation/edX have to offer.

All About the Internet of Things (IoT)

EIT Digital has launched a new MOOC. The new “Web Connectivity and Security in Embedded Systems” course is the latest in EIT Digital’s growing suite of MOOCs on the Coursera education platform.

EIT Digital is a pan-European education and research-based open innovation organization. Its mission is to foster digital technology innovation and entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and quality of life. It does this by linking education, research and business to empower digital talent for the future.

The organization provides online blended Innovation and Entrepreneurship education to raise quality and increase diversity and availability of the top-level content provided by 20 reputable universities of technology around Europe. You can use EIT Digital’s online education portfolio as part of blended education settings for all degree levels.

Additionally, EIT Digital offers an online program in Internet of Things through Embedded Systems. Earning all certificates of the online courses and the specialization provides an opportunity to enroll in the on campus program and get a double degree.

Enrollment starts Nov. 21 for the Web Connectivity and Security in Cyber Physical Systems course. It is intended for bachelor’s and master’s students who like practical programming and making IoTs applications. You must commit to six weeks of study, averaging five to seven hours per week.

What’s Planned

This course explores several technologies that bring modern devices together to facilitate a network of connected things and make devices Internet enabled. The content will discuss rules, protocols and standards for these devices to communicate with each other in the network.

The course will also go through security and privacy issues and challenges in cyber physical systems (CPS). That will involve exploring measures and techniques for securing systems from different perspectives.

Instructors present possible attack models and solutions to tackle them. They will also introduce some basic concepts related to privacy in cyber physical systems.

The course comprises five modules and is split up into two main sections. The first section contains three modules on the problem of web connectivity in cyber physical systems. The second section consists of two modules focusing on security measures in such systems. Each module ends with a graded quiz. It concludes with a final peer-reviewed exam covering the two main sections of the course.

Partial or Full Training

The Web Connectivity and Security in Embedded Systems MOOC is the third instalment part of EIT Digital’s course on Hardware and Cyber Physical Systems. It complements existing MOOCS on Development of Real-Time Systems and Embedded Hardware and Operating Systems.

The complete Hardware and Cyber Physical Systems course is equivalent to five European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System points (ECTS). This is the standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other schools in collaborating European countries.

American-based students should check with their own college officials about the procedures for transferring credits for this online course. Another option is to take the course for independent programming skills.

“Our MOOCS are designed to support lifelong learning,” said Martijn Klabbers, Online Education Activity Lead at EIT Digital and Project Developer and Manager at Eindhoven University of Technology. “We see a lot of professionals in our MOOCS. For professionals these MOOCS are ideal as a refresher course and for getting an update on the latest developments. MOOCS can also be used to prepare professionals for the online courses in our Professional School which are more practice-oriented like MBAs.”

Learners can take the course for free or pay 50 euros to receive a certificate. EIT Digital uses Coursera as the technical delivery platform for its MOOC offering. EIT Digital now has nine MOOCs on this platform and is set to launch more in the following months. Content for EIT Digital MOOCs is provided by EIT Digital’s academic partners.

The Linux Foundation and edX

The DevOps field is growing rapidly as more companies and organizations adopt its practices. DevOps is a workplace movement emphasizing the collaboration and communication of both software developers and other information-technology (IT) professionals. The two factions automate the process of software delivery and infrastructure changes.

This field is experiencing a shortage of qualified talent available to fill DevOps roles. To help train job-takers, The Linux Foundation and edX have partnered to offer a new, completely free training course.

The free course, LFS161x – Introduction to DevOps: Transforming and Improving Operations, focuses on the basic principles and practices of DevOps. The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit organization advancing professional open source software management for mass collaboration. edX is a nonprofit online learning platform launched in 2012 by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

This is the fourth edX MOOC offered by The Linux Foundation. Its first course, Intro to Linux, reached more than 600,000 students globally and continues to grow in registrations. The others are Intro to Cloud Infrastructure Technologies and Introduction to OpenStack.

Registration is now open for LFS161x. Classes begin Nov. 16. The course instructor, John Willis, has over 35 years of experience with IT infrastructure and operations.

“DevOps is a rapidly growing career field, which provides strong job security, highly competitive compensation and opportunities for growth, but there is a lack of experience and talent in the market that needs to be remedied,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation. “From our past experience, we knew edX was the best partner to help address this lack of talent by providing a platform to make DevOps education easily accessible.”

LFS161x is organized around the three basic principles of DevOps, otherwise known as the “Three Ways,” which outline the values and philosophies that guide DevOps processes and practices. It includes six chapters, each with a short graded quiz at the end. A final exam is also required in order to complete the course.

Students may take the complete course at no cost, or add a verified certificate of completion for $99. For more information on The Linux Foundation’s training and certification programs, visit

Stack Up Your Options

OpenStack adoption is growing rapidly, with 65 percent of OpenStack deployments now in production. This is a 33 percent increase from the previous year.

The Linux Foundation/edX are offering this course in the OpenStack cloud platform to help increase the OpenStack talent pool and ensure there are enough individuals with these skills to meet demand.

LFS152x, Introduction to OpenStack, provides an in-depth primer on OpenStack. This course, designed for IT professionals, also serves as a first step for individuals who eventually want to take the Certified OpenStack Administrator exam. The course helps anyone who wants to set up a small scale OpenStack test environment to gain experience.

The course includes an introduction with guidelines followed by seven chapters, each with a short quiz at the end. A final exam is also required in order to complete the course.

Students may take the complete course at no cost, or add a verified certificate of completion for $99. Pre-registration is now available.