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11 top IoT online courses to boost your career (free and paid)

Are you ready to get started or move to the next level learning about IoT system design and technology? One of these certification or degree programs might be just right.

IoT is a premier technology of the 21st century. Not only is it full of fascinating products, tools and applications, it is also a career with a lot of opportunities. If you're ready to learn more about how to design and build IoT systems, there are many online courses, certifications and degree programs available.

IoT course offerings range from introductory to advanced levels, and some are even free. Take a look at 11 options for learning about IoT and related technologies.

Beginner online IoT courses

A good place for IT and other professionals to get started with IoT is to take a course such as one of the following:

1. Coursera's Industrial IoT on Google Cloud Platform

This course takes students through the architecture of an IoT network, covering sensors, devices and analysis. It includes instruction on concepts such as device communication, streaming data processing, and scalability. The instructors use simulated devices to show the cloud side of internet of things projects. Students learn about Google Cloud's BigQuery enterprise data warehouse and Trifacta's Dataprep intelligent data service and how they provide insight into IoT data. The free course is taught by the Google Cloud Training team.

2. Coursera's Introduction and Programming with IoT Boards

This course introduces IoT and teaches students how to program IoT boards. It is geared towards upper-level undergraduates, graduate students and engineers looking to get into IoT. Students learn to program various IoT development kits, including Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Samsung Artik.

IoT certificate or degree comparison chart
The requirements for a certificate vs. a degree in IoT technology are different. Find out which is right for you.

A professor at the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea teaches this free course, and a certificate is awarded upon completion.

3. EdX's Introduction to the Internet of Things

This course presents the fundamental concepts of IoT. It covers the different components that make up an IoT system and how they are connected. EdX's course gets into IoT's benefits and the many cybersecurity and privacy issues that surround it. Once done, students have a basic idea of how to implement IoT in their field.

Professors at Curtin University in Australia teach this free course. However, there is a $149 fee for a verified certificate of completion.

4. Simplilearn's Introduction to IoT Training Course

This introductory course covers everything from IoT origins and IoT fundamentals to IoT designs, frameworks, development considerations and using IoT in the enterprise. The course is geared towards mid-level to CXO-level management professionals who want to use IoT to grow their business.

The $399 course has no prerequisites. A certificate is awarded upon completing the course and getting at least 80% on the exam.

Intermediate online IoT courses

IT pros who are acquainted with IoT or who have worked with simple IoT devices might be ready for one of many more advanced offerings, such as the following courses:

IoT is booming and is expected to stay that way for years, making it a solid career option.

1. Coursera's Architecting Smart IoT Devices

IoT systems and the smart home and industrial devices they work with are made up of many integrated IoT software and hardware components. This course teaches students about these components, including networks, boards, OSes and processors. But most importantly, it provides best practices on how to integrate components. At the end of the course, students should be able to architect an embedded IoT device. EIT Digital offers this free course and awards a certificate.

2. Coursera's M2M and IoT Interface Design and Protocols for Embedded Systems

This course focuses on connecting devices to one another and to the cloud to create prototypes and real-world systems. It introduces machine-to-machine (M2M) and IoT concepts and covers using AWS to develop IoT systems and the communication protocols involved. It also includes IoT design strategies, such as message queuing, interdevice communication, security, APIs and microservices. The free course is taught by the University of Colorado Boulder.

3. EdX's AWS IoT: Developing and Deploying an Internet of Things

This course covers everything that's needed to build cloud-based IoT applications on AWS. It introduces AWS IoT and then delves into topics such as device management, device gateway, device registry and shadows. It also discusses IoT security risks and AWS security features. Students learn how to integrate IoT systems with analytical tools.

AWS technical trainers teach the course. A free version is available, as well as a $99 version where students receive a certificate upon completion. Students are expected to have at least a year of software development experience and a basic understanding of AWS and its console.

4. Udemy's IoT#4: IoT Automation with Raspberry Pi

This course focuses on teaching Raspberry Pi to students looking to build IoT applications. Students learn Python programming for Raspberry Pi, Pi Camera, socket programming for IoT, networking for IoT, home automation fundamentals and accessing general-purpose input/output pins. They are expected to have at least some knowledge of electronics and programming and access to a laptop. EDUCBA teaches the $119.99 course. Students receive a certificate upon completion.

Handling IoT security challenges
Security is a major issue for IoT systems. Advanced IoT courses cover mitigation strategies for many of the vulnerabilities they face.

Advanced online IoT courses

IoT experts can take their pick from a range of courses to expand on your knowledge, including the following:

1. Cognixia's Internet of Things Security Expert Training

Connecting things to the internet is no longer hard. It requires a few sensors and programmable boards. However, securing these systems is challenging. This course is for experts who want to focus on security. Students learn to build, test and deploy Python-based IoT applications. The course also covers cryptographic techniques to secure IoT applications and networks. Students gain expert-level knowledge of designing and building scalable IoT ecosystems.

Students should know programming and IoT fundamentals, as well as some statistics, to take this $1,200 course.

2. Coursera's Internet of Things Capstone V2: Build a Mobile Surveillance System

This course teaches students to design and build an IoT system that uses at least one communication protocol, one actuator and two sensors. Students learn to use mobile platforms to develop systems that connect actuators and sensors to the Arrow Electronics' DragonBoard 410c development board and gain enough programming experience to create a fully functional system.

The University of California, San Diego, offers the free certificate course. Prospective students should have intermediate level knowledge of IoT and board and software programming.

3. RWTH International Academy's Certificate Course 5G Communication and the Internet of Things

IoT devices require fast, dependable communication technology such as 5G networks. This course covers various 5G topics and technologies relevant to IoT, including system design, long-term evolution system optimizations, sensor signal processing, radio frequency systems, algorithmic AI, and IoT board developments. Pricing and other details about this course are available directly from RWTH.

Other IoT online degrees and specializations

IoT is booming and is expected to stay that way for years, making it a solid career option. In addition to the 11 courses listed above, here are some other training programs to consider:

Learn more about the best ways to approach IoT training programs to advance your career and make the most of  this new technology.

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