Python is one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It is the go-to high-level language for data science and machine learning and has quickly become a popular framework for introducing the basics of computer science.
There is an ocean of online Python courses out there and it’s hard to say any single one is the best Python course. Knowing how you intend to use Python can help narrow down the candidates but isn’t strictly necessary. This article presents some of the most popular introductory Python courses from a range of sources in no particular order.
Intro to Data Analysis
This free course available from Udacity offers an introduction to common Python toolchains including NumPy and Pandas. These are two of the most utilized libraries for processing data in Python and dependencies of nearly every high-performance data science package out there. Students will learn how to handle, process, and draw meaningful insights from data.
Complete Python Bootcamp
This course is one of the longest-running, most popular Python courses available online. It features a gentle introduction on how to get started with Python—from installation to basic command line usage. This course covers basic data structures, operators, method, and function compositions, and finishes up with a Pythonic introduction to Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and how Python handles modules and packages. This course maintains a 4.5/5 rating year after year and has been taken by nearly 1.5MM students.
Python for Everybody
The Python for Everybody course is a free online course offered by the University of Michigan as part of their premium Python for Everybody specialization (not free). This course introduces basic concepts of programming using the Python language. This course is suited for complete beginners and covers chapters 1-5 of the Python for Everybody textbook by Charles R. Severance.
Google’s Python Course
Google’s Python course is part of the tech behemoth’s free education initiative. This course is intended to be an introductory curriculum for those with some programming knowledge. This course walks through the initial setup of Python, introduces language concepts like lists, strings, sorting, and dictionaries, then concludes with more advanced features like regular expression syntax, dictionaries, file-handling, and Python utilities.
CS50’s Introduction to Programming with Python
This is a Python-focused version of Harvard’s wildly popular CS50 course available on EDX. This course covers topics such as functions, variables, data types, conditional statements, and file handling. This course is among the most well-produced and robust in terms of supplemental materials, resources, and depth of content. This course is suitable for those without any prior programming experience.
Online courses are great for getting a lay-of-the-land. Having a structured layout of how to navigate a new programming language can help avoid frustrating roadblocks that may result from a misunderstanding about a particular language’s syntax or design. Generally, Python is regarded as a very beginner-friendly language. The courses listed here have all been around for a while, have great reviews, and should offer much value in learning Python.