Remember when you were a kid, and the idea of summer school ranked with eating all the spinach on your plate, or watching Masterpiece Theater with your parents? As an adult, summer is a time when many of us have some vacation days or relaxation planned, and breaking out of the routine provides the opportunity to learn something new.
Of course, for IT pros, downtime can be tough to come by, but the conveniences of modern technology make it easy to learn anywhere and any time. And the options for free online classes increase every day. Prestigious universities like Harvard, Michigan and Notre Dame offer deep dives with some of their most respected instructors and researchers.
Here we provide some recommendations if you're setting aside some time to expand your skill set or delve into a new subject area, with courses on cyber security, wireless architecture and Python. And if you're looking for something lighter, you'll find geeky options on robotics, astronomy, culinary science and superheroes.
Fire up that laptop and get ready for some summer schooling.
The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture
Professors Stan Lee, Michael Uslan, David Uslan, and Dr. Christopher Robichaud
Begins June 5; 5 weeks
Python Programming for Everybody
University of Michigan
Professor Charles Severance, a.k.a. Dr. Chuck
Begins June 1; 10 weeks
University of Reading
Professors Richard Mitchell, Tharindu Liyanagunawardena, and William Harwin
Begins June 15; 4 weeks
Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science
Professors Michael Brenner, David Weitz, Pia Sorensen, and Daniel Rosenberg
Begins June 17; 14 weeks
France Universite Numerique
Professors Irene Marquez-Corbella, Nicolas Sendrier, and Matthieu Finiasz
Begins May 25; 4 weeks