How to Learn Android

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Before we talk about how to learn Android, let's answer three simple questions: What is Android, what is an Android phone, and what is Android Auto? Android is an operating system that runs on mobile devices such as smartphones, and an Android phone is a phone that runs the Android operating system. There are over 2.5 billion active Android users as of May 2022. Android Auto is a mobile Google app that pairs with certain cars to help users access music, media, and messaging while in their car.

There are several ways to learn Android. You can take online courses, watch YouTube videos, attend a coding bootcamp, or take relevant college courses. This guide focuses on online courses and bootcamps.

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps are short, intensive learning experiences that teach everything you need to know to start a new career in tech. Most coding bootcamps last 3-6 months, but some are six months or longer. You can take a coding bootcamp in web development, software engineering, data science, game design, and other tech areas.

Learners can take coding bootcamps full or part time and online or in person. Most online bootcamps require students to attend classes on a set schedule, but that is not always the case. If you take a full-time bootcamp, you should expect to spend at least 40 hours per week on classes and homework. You may not be able to continue working while taking a full-time bootcamp.

According to data collected by BestColleges from more than 620 bootcamps, the average cost of a bootcamp was $13,579 in 2020. Coding bootcamps often cost less than a four-year bachelor's degree and allow students to start working in the field sooner.

Find the Right Coding Bootcamp For You

Online Courses

Online courses cost even less than coding bootcamps. They typically range from about $20-$200. Many courses are even free. They provide a less expensive alternative for students who cannot afford to attend a coding bootcamp.

Most online courses feature either video or text-based lessons or a combination of the two. The time commitment varies, but the course description typically states how many hours or weeks are required to complete the course. These courses are usually self-paced.

Here are five online courses you can take to learn Android app development:

  • Android Basics in Kotlin: This free Android development course teaches students the basics of developing Android apps with the Kotlin programming language. Students learn to layout their apps, add navigation, and connect to the internet.
  • Developing Android Apps: This free course offered by Google on Udacity teaches students to build a cloud-connected Android app. Students learn the principles of mobile app development, focusing on Android. The course takes about 60 hours to complete.
  • Android Java Masterclass — Become an App Developer: This Udemy course costs $99.99 and contains 60 hours of on-demand video. Students learn how to build seven different Android apps by following step-by-step instructions. They also learn expert-level Java programming.
  • Android App Development Specialization: This course teaches students to use the Java programming language to develop mobile apps that run on Android. It includes a capstone project. Coursera Plus offers a free 7-day trial. After that, the cost is $59 per month.
  • Learn Android Application Development: This free Udemy course teaches Android Studio and Java. Students learn how to create and debug Android applications and how to submit their completed app to the Google Play Store. They also learn how to handle Android permissions.

Online Courses vs. Bootcamps

Online Courses
Pros Cons
  • Online courses cost less than bootcamps. Many are free.
  • Most online courses are self-paced, so you can fit them around your schedule.
  • Many online courses are offered by respected schools such as the University of Michigan and MIT.
  • It may be hard to ask the course instructor questions or get answers quickly.
  • There are usually no opportunities to work with others on a project or assignment.
  • There is no one to hold you accountable when taking an online course. It's easy to procrastinate.
Coding Bootcamps
Pros Cons
  • You can learn everything you need to know to start a new tech career in just a few months.
  • Coding bootcamps usually cost much less than a college education.
  • You'll have an instructor to turn to if you need help.
  • You won't be able to work while attending a full-time bootcamp.
  • Most bootcamps require students to log in at specific times for classes.
  • Coding bootcamps are more expensive than online courses.

Coding Bootcamps to Learn Android

Code Fellows

  • Locations: Remote, Seattle
  • Program Cost: $99
  • Learning Formats: Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time, Self-Paced

Accepts GI Bill®
CIRR Member
Evening & Weekend Options

Code Fellows offers a software development curriculum that is broken up into five levels: 100 (beginner), 200 (foundations), 300 (intermediate), 400 (advanced), and 500 (continuing education). You can start at the beginning and work your way through the levels or test out of the prerequisites and jump right into one of the higher-level courses.

According to data reported to the Council on Integrity in Results Reporting, 80% of graduates from its January to June 2016 bootcamps were employed within 180 days of completing the bootcamp. These professionals reported a median salary of $70,110.

Deep Dive Coding

  • Locations: Remote, Albuquerque
  • Program Cost: $7,495
  • Learning Formats: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time, Self-Paced

Accepts GI Bill®
Evening & Weekend Options

Deep Dive Coding offers a Java + Android bootcamp that trains students for careers as mobile software developers. The bootcamp takes 12 weeks to complete. Students learn programming concepts and development tools, including the Javadoc tool and JUnit. In addition to learning Java, they explore Scala and Groovy. Students spend a lot of time on the team capstone project.

General Assembly

  • Locations: Remote, Boston, Chicago, Denver, District of Columbia, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, and other major U.S. cities.
  • Program Cost: $3,950
  • Learning Formats: In Person, Online
  • Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time, Self-Paced

CIRR Member
Evening & Weekend Options

General Assembly offers a software engineering immersive that prepares students for careers as web developers. The bootcamp provider has over 19,000 hiring partners worldwide, including Nickelodeon, NBC, Twitter, Amazon, and PayPal. Students learn full-stack web development, including front-end frameworks and APIs.

Android Jobs

Android Software Developer

Android software developers create software applications that run on mobile devices on the Android platform. The programs they write must meet the company's objectives and fulfill the needs of the company's customers. Android software developers decide which frameworks to use to create scalable software solutions for their employers.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $90,870

Android Software Engineer

Android software engineers work with designers to put the parts of a mobile software program together. They map out the functions required to run a program and plan how those functions will work as part of the finished mobile app.

Average Annual Salary (May 2022): $99,650

Mobile Application Developer

Mobile application developers plan and create mobile apps. They understand the various platforms used by devices such as smartphones, tablets, and those used on PCs. Mobile app developers design the look and feel of an app, the way it functions, and the results it returns to the user.

Average Annual Salary (April 2022): $75,600

What Are the Benefits of an Android Certification?

Google offers an associate Android developer certification that puts aspiring Android developers one step closer to their dream jobs. Candidates can earn the certification by taking an exam and completing an exit interview. You must be at least 13 years old to take the certification exam. Those between 13 and 17 need parental consent.

Having an Android certification to put on your resume may make your job application stand out when applying for an Android development job.

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Android

Is it hard to learn Android?

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Android is not one of the easiest platforms to work with. To develop mobile apps for Android, you'll need to learn to use object-oriented programming, methods, variables, and flow control. You'll also need to learn Java, which is not an easy programming language. You must understand XML, how Android SDK works, and project structure.

To learn Android, you should read about Android development and take notes. Once you feel like you understand how Android works, try to create a very simple app. Then work your way toward more difficult projects.

Is learning Android worth it?

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Yes, learning Android is worth it. You could earn $80,000-$90,000 as an Android developer if you become proficient at developing Android apps. In addition to the high salary, you may also be highly respected since not everyone can do what you do.

Even though it can take a big time commitment learning to develop mobile apps in Android, the effort often pays off in the long run. You can apply for high-paying jobs as an Android software engineer, and you may even work from home.

Is Android development in demand?

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According to Indeed, Android developers are in demand. There are many positions available for both entry-level and experienced Android developers. You can even find freelance positions.

Top software development companies such as Konstant Infosolutions, Intellectsoft, and WillowTree all hire Android developers. They create apps for big companies such as PepsiCo and Universal Pictures.

What skills are required to become an Android developer?

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Android developers need many technical skills, such as expert knowledge of the Java and Kotlin programming languages. They must know vital Android SDK concepts such as action bars, storing data, and changing apps to fit different sizes of screens. Android developers need to understand SQL, Git, and XML.

In addition to technical skills, Android developers should be passionate about their work, have good spoken and written communication skills, and understand agile methodology. They should also understand the industry they are writing apps for.

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