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Learn Python Programming

Learn Python programming from MIT, Harvard, Georgia Tech, and more on edX. edX's online Python courses cover everything from fundamental programming principles to advanced data structures and algorithms. Get started now!

What is Python?

Python is a popular general-purpose programming language known for its easy readability and broad library of tools for work in fields such as data science and web development. The programming language supports multiple paradigms such as functional, procedural, and object-oriented programming (oop) and is comparable to other high-level languages such as Java and JavaScript.

With its powerful features, ease of use, and enormous standard library, Python is easily one of the most useful languages in today's software development world.

Why learn Python programming online?

Whether you're a beginner looking to get into software development or a more experienced programmer looking to pivot to web development, data science, or software engineering, Python is a great language to learn to advance your career.

The official Python Package Index, PyPI, hosts more than 200,000 Python packages such as pandas, a library that allows for data analysis and working with SQL databases; Django, a framework that allows for rapid development of web applications using Python; and more. This massive library of packages makes Python useful across academia and industry. 

Python programming courses from top schools

MIT, Harvard, and other top institutions use Python in their intro computer science, data science, and research courses. MIT's Introduction to Computer Science Using Python is a popular self-paced online class designed to give newcomers a comprehensive overview of Python programming. It will take you from "hello world" to understanding topics such as Python syntax, data structures, data types, basic algorithms, and debugging Python code.

Alternatives to these beginner courses include Georgia Tech's Introduction to Python Programming, the University of Michigan's Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python), and IBM's Python Basics for Data Science. 

Once you become a more experienced programmer and feel comfortable with basic Python code, take your skills to the next level with intermediate or advanced-level Python classes. MIT's Introduction to Computational Thinking and Data Science gets you more familiar with the ins and outs of the Python programming language. The course offers in-depth Python tutorials in the context of data science and introduces concepts like data analysis, data visualization, and machine learning.

Other advanced Python programming courses will cover topics such as decorators, interfacing with web applications using Django and Flask, and conducting statistical analysis with machine learning tools like PyTorch. Advanced Python online courses on edX include MIT's Machine Learning with Python, University of Canterbury's Visualizing Text Analytics and Natural Language Processing with Python, and AWS's Building Modern Python Applications on AWS. 

Should I learn Python 2 or Python 3?

We recommend learning Python 3. Although some services still rely on Python 2, Python 3 is more modern, more in-demand, and offers more powerful features across a wide range of domains; Python 2 is outdated, uses older syntax, and does not provide nearly as much support as Python 3. Most free online Python courses on edX will teach you Python 3.

Python jobs

Python is useful in software development across many industries. A quick search of shows over 40,000 jobs that list Python programming skills or experience as a requirement.

Common job titles include Python Developer, Python Programmer, Python Software Engineer, Full Stack Developer, and Python Database Programmer. Of the Python-specific jobs listed, 43% offer salaries above $100K per year, and some senior level Python programming engineer positions offer over $200K per year. 

Python skills and experience can lead to not only a lucrative career, but also a useful and secure one. The right python certification can significantly increase your chances of getting noticed by a hiring manager looking to fill a specific role on his or her dev team.

Explore a career as a Python developer

Big data and web applications are on the rise. The need for Python-savvy business analysts, data scientists, web developers, and software engineers will continue to grow at a rapid pace. Enroll in a free online course for Python and become proficient in the language in only a few weeks. 

Most of our online Python courses are self-paced, so you can start learning to code today. From intro Python for beginners to more advanced courses in data science and machine learning, edX offers expert tutorials from top academic and industry professionals to get you comfortable with using Python. Dive into a free online course to learn Python today!