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We replicated a CS degree path which you can fill with free MOOCs: https://www.coursebuffet.com/degree

Admittedly we have left our course list dormant for a while but we will be pushing an update in a few weeks.




I like the idea. I want to start studying Software Design (economist here) and did some research and found the BEng Software Engineering from Edinburgh. I am currently trying to replicate it. If I had know about your page before, maybe I would have taken your suggested path.

I've just started, but I can say that some courses (from this particular degree) are not available in a MOOC version, like "Functional Programming with Haskell" (1st semester) and "Computational Logic" (1st semester). But for CSCI particularly, I'm sure there are more MOOC courses available.

In the "Math Segment" of your path, I would include "Linear Algebra". There is a good MOOC version in edX called "Linear Algebra Foundations to Frontiers" from U. of Austin TX.


Thanks for feedback. We looked at the CS and management degrees/minors offered by a lot of universities. We did our best to craft a path that reflects requirements most have.

That being said there are courses that might be required that we don't have in our requirements. Later we may add a public section were users can add in suggestions for courses to include in a learning path.

We also need a major update in courses listings. That is coming.


Nice work - just signed up. What criteria you use in selecting MOOCs for the degree path? How do you keep it up to date?


Even before we had a degree path we set up a classification system. This means we assign a subject and level to every course similar to what is done at many leading universities. Courses that cover the same or similar material will have the same CourseBuffet subject and number.

The goal of this system is for a user to be able to directly compare courses that cover similar material (liner algebra) , not just aggregate courses of same general subject (math). We only list courses that are roughly equivalent to a course that might be found on campus. We don't list say a 1 week on say Photoshop. While that material might be valuable it isn't a traditional university course.

When creating the degree path we looked at dozens of US universities' CS and management degrees and their requirements. We tried mirror what they required using our classification system. For example you have to take intro to computer science (we list as CS 101), Algorithms (we list as CS 295), etc.

All the courses we had previously classified as falling under say CS 101 then can be used in the degree path since we said CS 101 is a degree path requirement. The goal being a path that is provider neutral so one can pick and choose without having to be tied to only Coursera, edX, etc.

It is in no way a perfect system. While courses grouped under a classification should cover roughly the same material they are not perfect substitutes. We encourage users to use their best judgement.

As for keeping it up to date that is a huge challenge. If we were doing basic aggregation it would be a matter of just posting up new courses as they became available. But then users would have to take the time to sort through say all the math courses. With our classification systems they don't have to waste their time doing that.

The problem with having a much better organization of courses than anyone else is it is harder to maintain. At the moment we are behind in listing new material and thats why in my first post I gave the disclaimer.


I'm a big proponent of MOOCs, having participated in a few, and currently taking the Udacity Self-Driving Car Engineer Nanodegree (the others I took also revolved around ML).

That said, the thing that bugs me about them is how they may be perceived by a potential employer?

Granted, anyone can put on their resume/cv that they went to school x/y/z and gained a BA or MA; most employers probably don't even look at it. But a few probably do investigate further; and there is always the chance that a new employer might look into your stated background and find that, "No, you didn't graduate from XYZ, and oh, btw, you're fired."

Having that piece of documentation from an accredited school means something. Furthermore, if you have a certificate or something from another place that isn't recognized, it might be looked upon as a "diploma mill" certificate, not worth the paper it is printed on, so to speak.

This is why I support companies like Udacity and Coursera, because they might lend an air of legitimacy to their certificates (much like the various Microsoft and Cisco certs), to help prove to potential employers that you are the "real deal". That's not to say that Course Buffet can't do the same (and honestly, there's a lot still needed to be done to communicate to employers that these MOOC offering do have merit) - but right now, outside of having an extensive project portfolio and some other measures of demonstrating to the employer, there isn't many ways to convey to them that "Yes, I have a level of knowledge equivalent to a BA in CompSci."

Ultimately, as always and regardless of your degree (or not), it all comes down to how you sell yourself to the employer. Still - if it comes down to two people who have convinced the employer to consider them for hiring, it might just come down to who has the "actual" degree - the guy with a known institution on that piece of paper, or the guy with a random PDF certificate (or 20) from random online sites?

This is an unfortunate bias in our educational and employment system, and it is going to be a difficult one for MOOCs to overcome - but I do hope it happens, because frankly, college education, despite its certain advantages, is very expensive (and some would say overpriced). Not to mention its structure and student-body makeup, being naturally skewed toward a younger student population, tends to turn away an older population who may want to seek a degree in their later years, but don't want to feel out of place.

MOOCs can fill that role, but there are a lot of prejudices and assumptions that need to be overcome in the meantime to get employers to understand their value.


I don't disagree that "Having that piece of documentation from an accredited school means something"

If one can go to a top or mid-tier school then one should go. But that is not a reality for some people. There are also a lot of people who went to a university but after a few years wished they had studied something else.

We wanted to give people a dead simple way to replicate a degree/minor path if going to a "real university" was not available or to inconvenient.




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