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Top 10 courses to learn Python online

Jun 28, 2022 - 14 min read
Tate Dorman

Why should you learn Python?

Whether it’s your first language or your third, Python is a great language to learn. Python is commonly recommended for beginner programmers as a result of its relatively lax syntax rules and high degree of readability. That said, Python is far from just a starter language, and it occupies one of the top spots for most commonly used languages by software developers around the world. According to the 2022 StackOverflow developer survey, 58% of people learning to code report using Python.

It is important to note that when we say Python, we’re referring to Python 3, the current version of the language. If you’re just starting out, there is no reason to go back and learn Python or Python 2 as they are largely out-of-date. The only reason you may need to learn Python 2 is if you are working on older systems that were built using Python 2 and need to be updated to Python 3.

Python is a versatile general purpose language. Python has been expanded for several use cases, with plenty of libraries like:

In this article we will go over our picks for Educative’s best courses to learn Python online. These range from general, beginner courses to specialized intermediate courses that build on a prior foundation of Python basics. Every course on this list is text-based and has periodic interactive quizzes. Additionally, no third party coding environment is required: all code can be executed right in your browser.

We know that it is easy to get overwhelmed with the myriad of coding courses and learning tools available online. It can be difficult to know where to start or how to keep up with programming trends if you’re just sifting through the Internet. We aim to do learners a service by telling you exactly where to find trusted, battle-tested learning tools depending on your individual goals.

We’ll break down each course with a brief synopsis, a list of key concepts, prerequisites, who the course is for, and the main learning goal or outcome. Afterwards, we’ve included an overview of our comprehensive learning paths that compile content from multiple different courses.

We’ll go over:

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Top 10 online Python courses

1. Learn Python 3 from Scratch (Beginner)

To kick off the list we have the quintessential Python intro course. This course is perfect for those who are curious about Python or about coding in general. What sets this course apart from others on this list is that it is totally free and is an excellent way to gain some exposure and experience with coding in Python without any sort of commitment

It starts with what Python is, its basic building blocks, and then moves on to more complex concepts like iteration and data structures. In detail, this course covers the basics of:

  • Data types and variables
  • Conditional statements
  • Functions
  • Loops
  • Data Structures and Libraries

Prerequisites: None

Use Case: You want to start your coding journey by creating a base of Python knowledge to build off of.

Outcome: You will be able to create your own basic applications in Python 3.

2. Python 101: Interactively Learn how to Program with Python 3 (Beginner)

This is the perfect beginner course for Python 3. This course starts with the very basics of programming in Python and is intended as a comprehensive introduction to the language. It covers a great deal of material and requires no incoming knowledge.

The course is broken into 5 parts:

  • Part I – Python basics
  • Part II – a subset of Python’s Standard Library
  • Part III – intermediate material
  • Part IV – small tutorials
  • Part V – Python packaging and distribution

The core concepts covered in this course are too long to list but some of the highlights include:

  • String manipulation
  • Lists, tuples, and dictionaries
  • Conditional statements and loops
  • Importing modules
  • Functions and classes
  • Logging
  • Tkinter and Lambda
  • SQLAlchemy, virtual environments, and more!

Prerequisites: None

Use Case: You want to learn the most popular programming language in the world. It covers everything you will need to know to build a rock solid base of knowledge in Python 3.

Outcome: You should feel comfortable taking on more involved, intermediate courses or projects in Python 3.

3. Build Your Own Chatbot in Python (Beginner)

This is a very brief one hour course that covers the basics of artificial intelligence (AI) and its evolution over time. It also explains the concept of machine learning (ML) and how significant it is in advancements made to AI.

The course supplies several different interactive code examples:

  • a world clock
  • a calculator
  • a chatbot

Prerequisites: None

Use Case: You’re a Python beginner who wants a quick shot of knowledge. This is an ideal beginner course that builds on a fundamental knowledge of variables, loops, control statements, and lists.

Outcome: You will have built your own chatbot that is able to be trained once it passes security checks.

4. Matplotlib for Python: Visually Represent Data with Plots (Beginner)

Matplotlib is a Python library and one of the most popular tools for data science and data visualization. For data scientists that use Python, Matplotlib is a must-know. This course teaches Matplotlib and is designed for beginners. It is worth mentioning that some prior knowledge of basic Python libraries like the mathematical extension, NumPy and the data analysis tool, Pandas can improve understanding, but are by no means required.

This course will teach you how to create and customize plots using Matplotlib. It starts by introducing the basics, how to manipulate individual elements, and then examines the many different types of plots at your disposal with Matplotlib.

In greater detail, the course covers:

  • How to draw a figure
  • How to add text to a plot, and other elements
  • How to draw different types of plots

Prerequisites: None

Use Case: You want to learn the various methods for visually representing data in Python. This course is designed for beginners.

Outcome: You will have important data science skills to add to your resume like the ability to graphically represent data analysis.

5. Recursion for Coding Interviews in Python (Intermediate)

This course swings away from the beginner audience to those with more experience. It is generally an intermediate level course that focuses on teaching recursion, even if you have no prior knowledge of it, to those who already have a solid Python background.

The course begins by explaining what recursion is and when to use it. It then explains the differences between recursion and iteration. The course uses in-browser widgets to demonstrate increasingly complicated recursion problems involving:

  • numbers
  • strings
  • arrays
  • data structures

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of programming in Python.

Use Case: You’re a Python programmer that struggles with recursion. This course is designed to help you ace any recursion-related interview questions.

Outcome: You will be able to solve all kinds of real-world recursion problems.

6. Learn Object-Oriented Programming in Python (Intermediate)

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that controls the flow state of a program by using mutable objects and iteration with loops. It groups functions and their related variables into objects. It is the predominant style of programming today primarily for its accessibility.

This course starts from the very basics of OOP and slowly builds up to advanced concepts. The course is tailored for Python specifically by highlighting how each OOP concept applies to Python as well as how certain Python features conveniently facilitate OOP.

The course covers:

  • Classes and objects
  • Information hiding
  • Inheritance
  • Polymorphism
  • Object relationships

Prerequisites: Procedural programming experience and knowledge of functions and methods

This course teaches a paradigm that builds on some beginner skills. It is not completely required that you have a great deal of experience, but some degree of familiarity will streamline your comprehension.

Use Case: You’re a programmer who wants to learn OOP fundamentals for the first time, or wants to brush up on more advanced concepts like polymorphism.

Outcome: You will have familiarity with OOP and the fundamental pillars of the program.

7. Django: Python Web Development Unleashed (Intermediate)

Django is a free, open-source web application framework written in Python. It is primarily used for web development. Django streamlines the web development process by reducing repetitive tasks and aims to produce a clean, practical design.

This course explains hands-on how to begin web development with Django in Python. It relies on prior Python experience, so if you have an understanding of the language and want to get experience with web development with Django look no further. The course is centered around an interactive project that will have you developing a fictional music playlist website called “Zing It.”

The course will cover:

  • Django basics
  • Django applications
  • Templates in Django
  • Static files, models and forms in Django

Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of Python, grasp of basic internet concepts like HTTP, knowledge of HTML and CSS, familiarity with concepts of relational databases and SQL.

Use Case: You’re a prospective or current python developer and want to learn the Django framework for web development.

Outcome: You will have a fully fledged Django application to show off in your portfolio.

8. Flask: Develop Web applications in Python (Intermediate)

This is another course created to teach web application development in Python. This course in particular teaches the micro-framework, Flask. Like Django, Flask is open-source, but it is referred to as a micro-framework because it does not require particular tools or libraries. Flask is known for being relatively lightweight and easy to pick up.

This course has similar prerequisites to the previous one on Django. A basic understanding of Python and its syntax is important, but you don’t need any experience with web development or frameworks. The course even begins with a refresh of key Internet concepts like client-server architecture. This course is project-based and centers around designing a website for a fictional animal rescue organization called “Paws Rescue Center.”

The course goes on to cover:

  • Static templates and static files
  • Dynamic templates
  • Forms and requests
  • Database connection
  • Operations on models

Prerequisites: Basic Python concepts, knowledge of HTML and CSS, as well as HTTP protocol and client-server architecture

Use Case: You’re interested in learning quick and easy web development skills. This course helps prospective full-stack developers expand their skill-set, or current developers brush up and stay current.

Outcome: You will have a working Flask web application to add to your portfolio.

9. Data Structures and Algorithms in Python (Intermediate)

Data structures and algorithms are some of the most important concepts in modern computer science. A deep understanding of these concepts are essential for solving both real-world problems and those posed as coding questions in an interview.

This course requires a basic familiarity of Python and is designed for those who need to prepare for interviews or refresh their problem-solving skills.

Most notably, the course covers data structures like:

  • Stacks
  • Linked lists
  • Arrays
  • Binary Trees
  • Binary Search Trees

There are problems and solutions for the following algorithms and techniques:

Prerequisites: Familiarity with basic programming concepts in Python

Use Case: You are a programmer in Python and wish to learn the crucial intermediate concepts of data structures and algorithms.

Outcome: You should have a healthy grasp on data structures and algorithms pertinent to contemporary interview questions and the real-world application of problem solving techniques.

10. Build a REST API Using Python and Deploy it to Microsoft Azure (Intermediate)

In this course, you will learn how to build a REST API using the lightweight web framework for Python FastAPI. If you are currently a web developer or interested in becoming a web developer, this course will teach you the process of creating and deploying an API.

Specifically this course walks you through how to build two different APIs:

  • Optical Character Recognition (supporting concurrent processing)
  • Sentiment Analysis and Key Phrase Extraction using Azure Text Analytics Service

It is recommended by the author to spend one week per chapter on this course. There is a great deal of material that requires sufficient time to digest and understand.

Prerequisites: This course is not for beginners and requires a background in Python basics, as well as more advanced Python concepts like logging.

Use Case: You are confident with Python basics and want to learn how to build an API using FastAPI.

Outcome: You will have a solid understanding of what it takes to build an API as well as one of your own APIs deployed to Microsoft Azure.

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Hungry for more?

Are you looking for some longer-form online Python courses? The courses in this list so far stand alone, but Educative also offers paths that combine them based on relevance and outcome.

While there are plenty of other paths to choose from, the two most relevant to Python are:

Python for Programmers

The Python for Programmers path incorporates several of the top Python courses on this list, plus quite a few others, to create a book of text-based lessons designed to teach you Python from scratch. It is constructed with the total beginner in mind and eases you into complex concepts that will make you confident with Python. This path is created specifically for you to pick up and learn Python in your browser with:

  • 374 lessons
  • 519 interactive playgrounds
  • 19 quizzes
  • A whopping 715 illustrations to help visualize concepts

Ace the Python Coding Interview

This path is designed for current or prospective developers who want to prepare for an upcoming interview. If you want to nail a technical interview at a top tech company, there is little that can prepare you better than this path.

Ace the Python Coding Interview allows you to practice answering hundreds of real interview questions and gives you a refresher on important topics like data structures and algorithms. It teaches you learning strategies to recognize patterns that help answer any question you may be asked, and it provides you the tools to design large-scale systems using object-oriented design principles.

Learning Plans

While paths are useful and comprehensive, they may not provide the personalized direction you need to achieve your professional goals. We offer personalized learning plans that generate a step-by-step learning plan specifically crafted for you. With just a few questions in a couple of minutes, we can create an outline designed to help you reach your goals. You can think of a learning plan as a textbook built specifically for your goals and experience level.

So far, we offer learning plans that cover interview-prep, front-end development, and back-end development for: Java, Python, and React. Additionally, learning plans provide you with weekly goals and assessments to help benchmark your progress.

Wrap up and next steps

Python is one of the fastest growing languages in the world. Python 3 is often described as one of the “terminal” languages because it is a language that developers migrate to and then stay since they can’t find anything better. Python is an incredibly versatile general purpose language and can be used for anything from mathematically intense data science to web app development and software development.

Hopefully this list helped you find a Python course that is right for you. All of the courses we offer are completely text-based, allowing you to grok python just that much faster. Having course content resigned to videos can slow down your learning process and makes returning to certain sections clumsy. Additionally, every Educative course allows you to interactively code right in your browser, so you don’t have to take the time choosing or setting up an IDE or a CE. (But if you want to, we have you covered with this list of our favorite Python IDEs and code editors!)

Upon completion of every course we offer you will receive a certificate that you can display on your LinkedIn, resume, or portfolio!

To get started with Python, regardless of your experience level, check out our personalized learning plans!

Happy learning!


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