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How to Learn Computer Engineering for Free Online

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Computer engineering is an advanced technical discipline that combines the study of computer systems, software design and electrical engineering. Computer engineers design discrete devices and systems for computing and communications tasks. They also work on the interface of devices so that diverse components, such as phones, music players and laptops, can "talk" to one another. You can learn computer engineering online, for free, from some of the world's most prestigious universities.

Examine free online computer engineering course offerings from institutions such as MIT and Stanford to see which programs and courses best meet your interests. Online offerings range from introductory courses requiring a solid math background, to highly advanced courses for students with extensive engineering experience.

Review course criteria to make sure you have an appropriate background for courses of interest. For example, MIT's "Principles of Digital Communication II" is a graduate course that requires "Principles of Digital Communication I" as a prerequisite.

Evaluate the course relevant to your learning needs. Online courses may be text or PowerPoint based, or may be audio and video presentations of actual classroom sessions. Courses often follow a particular textbook, which may not be available online as part of the course offering.

Download necessary software. Free online courses sometimes require site-specific software to display all course materials, while others rely on commonly used formats, such as PDF, to present materials.