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C Programming Courses

Real college courses from Harvard, MIT, and more of the world's leading universities

learn c programming

learn c programming


What is C?

The C programming language was created by Dennis Ritchie in 1972. A low-level procedural language, C is designed to work across platforms and provide access to important features like memory management. C programming builds up the source code for many UNIX operating systems, compilers, video games, and even other computer programming languages like Python. Although it lacks more modern programming features like object-oriented programming, C remains one of the most widely used general-purpose programming languages in the world with broad applications in computer science and software engineering.

C Programming Online Courses and Tutorials

C is an excellent language to learn if you want to get into the nitty gritty of computers and software development. You can start with zero experience and learn C programming online from top institutions on edX to understand everything from basic printf statements to more complicated concepts like algorithms, memory allocation and compilers.

Harvard's popular CS50: Introduction to Computer Science uses the C programming language to give newcomers a comprehensive overview of programming concepts and computer science topics such as data structures, recursion, conditionals, ansi, data types, and algorithms. Dartmouth's C Programming language courses are also helpful for beginners to learn about specific details of the C language such as syntax, gcc compilation, standard library functions, bitwise operations, and specifiers.

Once you've completed the basic C programming courses, up your game by mastering more advanced material. Dartmouth's C Programming with Linux gets you familiar with the command line and contextualizes the C programs you write in the context of the Linux operating system. UTAustin also offers hands-on learn-by-doing courses that show you how to apply the C programming language and write C code to build real-world systems and gadgets.

You do not need prior programming experience to start learning C online. The programming language is popular and useful, and mastering it with free courses on edX means setting yourself up with the skills you need to advance your career. You will also have a strong foundation in computer science to learn about other popular programming languages like Python, Java, JavaScript, C++, and more.

Jobs in C programming

C programming is high in demand, with listing more than 1300 positions at the time of this writing. Companies hiring include Oracle, Electronic Arts, Activision, and the U.S. Department of Defense, and estimated salaries range from $55K to $120K+ depending on experience. Many positions exist primarily for entry to senior-level C programmers, but more than 20,000 jobs include C as a desired programming skill. Whether you're looking to get into traditional software development or want to work as a software engineer on more niche projects like video games, the general C programming skills and basic computer science concepts you'll learn from free online courses on edX will give you a solid boost to your resume when applying to programming jobs.

Explore a career as a C developer

Enroll in free online courses in C to see if a career in computer programming is right for you. Learn C step by step from beginner to expert with our programming tutorials and computer science courses taught online by the best institutions. Our C tutorials will help you learn valuable system programming skills to build your resume, advance in your existing job, or set you up to learn more advanced concepts in computer science. 

Courses are self-paced, so you can start learning to code today. There's no more need to ask how to learn C for your career when we've got you covered with free courses from top universities and institutions. Get started with the classic "hello, world" line of code and work your way up to writing stdio.h, malloc, typedef, and scanf in your C code in no time! 

History of C programming language

The C programming language dates back to 1972. A successor to the B programming language, C was developed by Dennis Ritchie to build tools for Unix. C code eventually came to underpin the entirety of the Unix operating system, and starting in the 1980s, the language grew to become one of the most popular programming languages in the world. 

In 1989, C became standardized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). C remains one of the most efficient general purpose programming languages and has been used to build many compilers, computer architectures,  operating systems, video game engines, and even other programming languages. According to the TIOBE index in January 2021, C is considered the most popular programming language today.