Learn Python: 7 Best Online Courses (For Beginners and Experts) 2021

Programming carries a heavy stigma of being confusing and tough to learn… until Python entered the game and took the industry by storm.

What started out as a hobby project named after Monty Python has since turned into one of the world’s most popular languages. Python is known for its easy learning curve and simplistic style of writing that’s revolutionized the way we interact with code.

Python is a general-purpose coding language, offering it more flexibility than other languages, like HTML, CSS, and Java. It’s popular in web and app development, data science, finance, and is heavily used in backend work and writing scripts.

Dubbed the easiest language to learn, Python isn’t only for professionals, but anyone looking for a solid language that can be used in all kinds of hobbies and projects.

It also boasts one of the strongest online communities around, so you’ll never be without help or peers.

If you’re ready to become a part of this amazing community, then keep reading to get started. We’ll cover beginner and advanced Python courses, look at course syllabi, structure, and price, and help you find your perfect class.

Choosing the Right Python Course

Start by thinking about your skill level and needs. Are you new to the language, or are you looking to level up what you already know? Do you need to build your foundation more, or are you looking to enhance a certain aspect of your coding?

Next, make sure it offers practical experience. When it comes to coding, learning by doing:

  • Ensures you understand the language
  • Helps you comprehend the material
  • Gives you practical experience to help with interviews and personal projects

Finally, think about the price.

With so many amazing fair-priced online courses available, there’s no reason to pay hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars like you would for a university degree. Choosing a wallet safe option is as crucial as choosing the content.

1. 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp From Zero to Hero in Python – Udemy

Pros

  • Learn Python 2 and 3
  • Beginner Friendly

Cons

  • Lecture-based
  • Only focuses on the basic principles

With over a million students helped, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a beginner’s course better than this.

The 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp From Zero to Hero in Python by Jose Portilla is a bestseller on Udemy. Portilla himself has spent years working and training in data science and programming, and is currently Head of Data Science at Pierian Data. His programming courses have been used to train teams at the likes of The New York Times, Cigna, Credit Suisse, and many more. 

Udemy's Python Bootcamp

The course is 155 lectures and 22 hours and 13 minutes in length. That number can seem overwhelming, but you are learning the newest version of Python, as well as relevant aspects from past versions.

You’ll start with command line basics, strings, data types, and functions, then move onto error handling, modules, and other advanced methods. You’ll also have the opportunity to build games like blackjack and tic-tac-toe, and learn the Jupyter Notebook system.

The entire class costs $59.99, and you get lifetime access and a completion certificate.

This course will give you a great foundation to build off of, but if you want to learn more advanced practices in Python and get more experience using it, there are other courses here to help once you’ve finished!

2. Qvault’s Python course range — best variety of online Python courses

Why it’s one of the best Python courses

  • Interactive learning — learn by coding programs like you’d face in real life
  • Wide course range — from a basic intro to Python, to Python algorithms and data structures courses

Cons

  • If you prefer watching lectures, you won’t like the interactivity

Qvault have a range of courses for both Python beginners and experienced enthusiasts built into their wider computer science curriculum — which also teaches languages like Go and JavaScript.

For beginners, there’s Qvault’s Intro To Python course, taking you through the basics and how you use Python’s toolset. For more advanced users, both Qvault’s Advanced Algorithms and Big O Data Structures courses are Python-based, where you code in Python and learn concepts like:

  • Graph theory
  • Linear programming
  • Dynamic programming
  • Advanced searches
  • Stack theory
  • Queues
  • Trees

For anyone interested in data structures or algorithms, this is ideal.

Qvault’s philosophy is rooted in learning by doing, so mixed in with the multiple-choice questions are dozens of coding challenges where you code in Python. For example, in the data structures course you add your own code, getting key experience that mimics a real-life setting where you apply your skills.

Overall, for a wide range of Python (and other language) skills, Qvault offers some of the best Python courses around.

3. Python for Everybody – Coursera

Pros

  • University accredited courses
  • No prior experience required

Cons

  • Takes 8 months to complete
  • Have to pay for interactive features

There’s no doubt of the symbolic importance university certifications carry in the professional world, and now you can have that with Python.

The Python for Everyone Specialization course is a five-part program offered by the University of Michigan. This specialization has helped over a million students, and aims to take complete beginners to confident programmers and data analysts.

Coursera's Python specialization program

The program includes:

  • Course 1: Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)
  • Course 2: Python Data Structures
  • Course 3: Using Python to Access Web Data
  • Course 4: Using Databases with Python
  • Course 5: Capstone: Retrieving, Processing, and Visualizing Data with Python

The program uses Python 3 and covers fundamentals, data structures, manipulating files, conditional execution, as well as SQL.

In course 5 you complete a capstone project. You’ll build a series of web applications that retrieve, process, and visualize data using Python. It involves all sections of the program, so it’s recommended you complete the whole program if you want to do the project.

This is the bulk of the practical experience provided, and is mandatory to complete if you want the certificate.

While this program is created for beginners, you can pick and choose what courses you want to take. If you’re already a Python programmer who wants to brush up on data structures or databases, you can easily do that with the respective courses 2 and 4.

You can audit the specialization for free, but if you want access to graded work, projects, and the certificate, you’ll have to pay.

4. Python for Finance– Udemy

Pros

  • Bestseller course on Udemy
  • One-time payment for lifetime access to the course

Cons

  • Lecture-based classes rather than interactive

Python is an incredibly useful language in the finance industry because of its ability to analyze large financial data sets. And now you can learn how with the Python for Finance: Investment Fundamentals & Data Analytics course.

Python for finance on Udemy

This Python for Finance class was developed by 365 Careers, a finance-specific course developer on Udemy that works to teach students about technology in finance. They’ve helped thousands of students with this course alone, and over a million on Udemy.

The class consists of 111 recorded lectures, divided up into 18 sections, and takes around 8 hours to complete. The first part covers Python basics, like functions, sequences, and syntax. In the second part, you’ll focus on Python in finance and learn specifics like measuring risk investment, portfolio optimization, financial analysis, and pricing models.

Beginners and professional programmers alike can benefit from this course if you’re working, or planning to work, in finance. For $84.99 you’ll receive life-time access and a completion certificate.

You’ll need to download outside software to practice the theory taught in this course. The software and practice are free, but it’s also free from professional feedback, which poses the risk of you practicing incorrectly.

5. Data Science 101: Python Data Visualization for Beginners – Skillshare

Pros

  • Short and straightforward course
  • Helps programmers specialize in data visualization

Cons

  • Not beginner-friendly

Don’t let the name of this data visualization class fool you, this is a course for experienced Python programmers looking to strengthen their interaction with data.

Data Science 101: Python Data Visualization for Beginners was created by Alvin Wan, an AI PhD candidate at UC Berkeley. Wan has developed multiple Python courses for Skillshare and creates quick and efficient lessons.

Python data visualization course on Skillshare

For this class, you do need previous knowledge of Python and SQL. SQL is a domain-specific language used to manage data in database management systems.

You’ll use these languages to compare two synthetic data sets from competitive web pages. The class will teach you how to create refined presentation-worthy data visualizations and craft pitches from data-driven observations.

There are 8 lectures in total, and it takes around 1 hour to complete.  After that, you should have confident data visualization skills.

This short but sweet class is for intermediate-level students and comes with a 7-day free trial. Then, it moves up to $32 a month if you want to take other Skillshare courses.

6. Learn Python 3 – Codecademy

Pros

  • Complete Python 3 course

Cons

  • More expensive than competitors.

Here we have you’re all-around basic Python 3 course.

Codecademy is a computer science-only online education site, and specializes in teaching a wide range of programming languages. So, you can feel confident about the material in the Learn Python 3 class.

Codecademy's Python 3 course

Python 3 is currently the most updated version of the language, which made it even more simplistic and efficient than before. Therefore, anyone looking to work in tech will want to have this version under their belt.

The syllabus includes 13 lessons, in which you’ll learn about syntax, loops, functions, control modules, and much more. Expect to take at least 30 hours to complete this course, but you can work through the lessons at your own pace.

Optional challenges positioned halfway through and at the end of the course test your knowledge of the language.

While this is a great beginner’s course, it costs substantially more than other beginner courses on our list, ringing in at $39.99 a month. However, if you’re interested in taking other courses on the website, or believe you can complete the course within the 7-day free trial, it’s a doable price.

7. Python Tutorial – Programming with Mosh — great free online Python course

Pros

  • Completely free

Cons

  • Practical experience is not structured
  • Not very thorough

We all love free things, and luckily, Programming with Mosh gets this!

Mosh is a YouTube programming guru, with over a million subscribers, that offers tons of free learning videos for programmers of all expertise. But we want to highlight the Python Tutorial – Python for Beginners course.

Python YouTube tutorial from Learn with Mosh

With this, you’ll learn Python 3 and have the option of installing the program on your computer, so you can practice along with the videos. The topics covered include variables, loops, dictionaries, functions, parameters, packages, and tons more, as well as three Python projects at the end.

The video lasts 6 hours and 14 minutes, and you can skip around by clicking on the timestamps in the caption. Even if you’re not a beginner, but want a refresher, this is a useful resource to bookmark.

While you do have the option to practice, there are no professionals checking your work to ensure you’re practicing correctly. But it’s a good option for those who prefer self-taught lecture-based classes.

There’s also Mosh.com, where you can access course bundles and a blog for more information.

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