Where to Learn Python Online for Free

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Updated on June 12, 2023
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  • Guido van Rossum shared the first version of Python on USENET in February 1991.
  • Python is a programming language used in industries from data science to web development.
  • Python is easy to learn because of its simple syntax resembling the English language.
  • Students can learn Python online with free courses or an intensive coding bootcamp.

Guido van Rossum developed Python for a little over a year before posting the first version to USENET in February 1991. Funnily enough, he named the programming language after Monty Python's Flying Circus, a famous British sketch comedy series.

Today, professionals across industries learn Python to automate tasks, process data, build web applications, and enhance security. You can learn Python online even if you're a beginner with no programming language experience.

Python is a high-level, general-purpose programming language with an extensive standard library and various third-party extensions. The latest Python source distribution is available from python.org.

Numerous tutorials, such as online Python courses, coding bootcamps, and books, are available to learn the language. What's more, Python has a large and vibrant community dedicated to its development.

If you're wondering how to learn Python and where to start, consider why you want to learn it. Understanding how people use Python can help inform the steps you take.

What Is Python Used For?

Python is a versatile programming language. It allows professionals to conduct complex calculations, extract and manipulate data, and build machine learning algorithms. Analysts can use it to create data visualizations, such as graphs, pie charts, and histograms.

Developers use Python to communicate with databases and URL routing using frameworks such as Django. Python can send, retrieve, and process data in the back-end (server-side) of website or application development.

It's also a top cybersecurity programming language for accessing servers, analyzing malware, and scanning networks and ports.

Python vs. Other Programming Languages
Name of Language Key Features

Python is an interactive, object-oriented programming language suitable for beginner-level programmers.

It supports various applications, from web development to machine learning.


Java is a dynamic, portable, object-oriented, and secure programming language.

It supports multiple web application threads, multimedia, and dynamic compilation and provides automatic memory management.


C++ is a popular programming language providing a rich library function set that makes development faster.

It's used widely for databases, web applications, operating systems, game programming, and software engineering.


Structured Query Language (SQL) allows users to retrieve data from relational database management systems and helps them describe structured data.

SQL can modify database tables and views and create, delete, insert, and update database records.


JavaScript is an open, cross-platform, interpreted scripting language for creating network-centric applications.

It allows developers to add dynamic elements to static HTML pages, automatically update content, and control multimedia.

Related Programming Bootcamps for You

Python Career Outlook

Python Developer

A Python developer typically works on the server side of project development, using the programming language to code, design, deploy, and debug.

According to Payscale, Python developers earned an average annual salary of $79,400 (November 2022). Payscale data indicates the highest-paid professionals earned $107,000 per year during the same period.

Software Engineer

Software engineers typically have experience programming and coding in Python and languages such as C#, Java, JavaScript, and SQL. They work in all stages of the software development process.

Payscale's data shows an average annual salary of $89,180, with the top 10% of software engineers averaging $131,000 annually (November 2022).

Data Scientist

Data scientists design and develop processes for modeling data, create algorithms and predictive models, and perform custom analyses. Professionals with skills in Python, machine learning and statistics earn the highest salaries.

Payscale shows an average annual salary of $97,670 for data scientists, with the highest-paid earners averaging $136,000 (November 2022).

Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning engineers research, design, and build the artificial intelligence responsible for machine learning using programming languages like Python. They also maintain and improve existing artificial intelligence systems.

Payscale's data shows an average annual salary of $112,450 for machine learning engineers, with the top 10% of machine learning engineers averaging $154,000 annually (October 2022).

Top 10 Free Python Courses

Google's Python Class

Students with some programming language experience can learn Python with Google's intensive two-day course. While there are no official prerequisites, students need a basic understanding of programming language concepts, such as if statements.

Learners initially explore strings and lists using lecture videos and written materials. A coding exercise follows each section, and the exercises become increasingly complex.

This Python course gives students hands-on practice with complete programs, working with text files, processes, and HTTP connections.

Microsoft's Introduction to Python Course

Students can learn Python online and build a simple input/output program with Microsoft's introductory Python course. There are no prerequisites for this short, eight-unit, 16-minute class.

This online Python course is part of Microsoft's Python learning paths. It prepares students with the concepts and basic skills to pursue more advanced learning.

Students explore Python code, where to run Python apps, learn how to declare variables, and use the Python interpreter. They also learn how to access free resources.

Introduction to Python Programming by Udemy

Udemy's introductory Python course doesn't require any previous programming experience. Students only need access to a computer or laptop to get started.

This quick and straightforward course features three sections, 18 lectures, and over an hour and a half of on-demand video lectures. Students receive step-by-step lessons to guide them through Python coding and syntax, beginning with the basics.

Learners explore strings, variables, and data types, then move on to loops and conditions, file manipulation, and functions.

Learn Python - Full Course for Beginners by freeCodeCamp

This free YouTube tutorial developed by Mike Dane is nearly four and a half hours long. It covers the basics to get started programming in Python, including how to install Python.

freeCodeCamp's Python course covers writing code in a text editor versus an integrated development environment (IDE) like PyCharm. Learners explore variables and data types, working with strings and numbers, if statements, and comparisons.

Additionally, students learn how to build a basic calculator, translator, and multiple-choice quiz.

Learn Python 3 From Scratch by Educative

This beginner's-level course features a hands-on learning experience in live coding environments using a browser. It takes an estimated 10 hours to complete.

Students learn Python 3, beginning with the basic building blocks and moving to higher-level concepts such as functions and loops. Written lessons, quizzes, and assessments allow students to practice and test their skills.

Interactive coding challenges and playgrounds help reinforce the course concepts and build skills to create basic applications in Python 3.

Python for Everybody by Coursera

Programming for Everybody is the first of five Python for Everybody Specialization courses. There are no prerequisites other than basic computer skills.

The first course covers the first five chapters of the textbook "Python for Everybody" and takes approximately 19 hours to complete. Beginners learn how to install Python and the basics of Python 3.

Students learn to use variables to calculate, retrieve, and store information, and programming tools, including functions and loops, to write their first program.

Learn Python 2 by Codecademy

Codecademy's introductory course in Python 2 doesn't have any prerequisites and takes 25 hours to complete. Students learn fundamental programming concepts and coding using the Python programming language.

Lessons include Python syntax, strings, console output, conditionals and control flow, functions, lists, and dictionaries. Each section consists of lessons and quizzes so students can practice new skills.

Students will complete projects along the way, including a tip calculator, a command line calendar, and a real-world application.

Python for Data Science, AI & Development by Coursera

Python for data science is an online Python and introductory programming course that takes approximately 21 hours to complete. Learners can apply it to multiple specializations.

Using hands-on exercises, students learn Python fundamentals, including data structures, types, expressions, and variables. Additionally, learners will collect data via APIs and web scraping and process it using Numpy and Pandas libraries.

Students will learn to work with data, create basic programs, and solve real-world problems using Python.

Learn Python for Total Beginners by Udemy

This beginner online Python course covers the fundamentals of Python 3.6 and Anaconda 5.0.0 using Jupyter Notebook. It takes around seven hours to complete.

Students learn to install the Jupyter Notebook IDE, gaining hands-on experience with its core features and functions. They explore Python basics, data structures, control flow, loops, comprehension, functions, and handling errors.

The course contains ten sections, 39 video lectures, and seven exercises, including complete solutions in lecture and pdf formats.

Try Django 1.11 // Python Web Development by Udemy

This Udemy course features a little over eight hours of on-demand video focusing on Python web development using Django. Udemy recommends the 30 Days of Python Course as a prerequisite to ensure students understand the Python language.

Students learn the fundamentals of Django, a framework to build web applications with Python 3. They explore topics including database Integration, creating user profiles, and building an internal search engine.

Students build a web app with Django throughout six sections featuring 47 lectures.

Related Programming Bootcamps for You

Alternative Places to Learn Python

Intensive coding bootcamps are another alternative to learning Python online. Bootcamps are short, comprehensive courses that provide hands-on experiences to learn to code.

Bootcamps often cover computer science basics and languages, including CSS, HTML, JavaScript, SQL, and Python. The best coding bootcamps offer interview preparation and collaborate with industry partners to provide graduates with job placement opportunities.

Typically, students need some programming language experience to enroll in a coding bootcamp. Many require students to take an entrance exam or offer an intro course before enrolling in the more intensive courses.

BestColleges' Best Python Bootcamps guide explores coding bootcamp options in-depth, including time commitments and bootcamp costs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Learning Python Online

Is Python harder than Java?

Python is easier to understand and write than Java, especially for those with no programming language experience. Its syntax resembles the English language, and Python is an object-oriented programming language, making coding easier.

Java uses more complex syntax requiring more lines of code. Two lines of Python code can often express the same thing as multiple lines of Java code.

How many hours will it take to learn Python?

It can take up to 21 hours to learn Python basics by taking online Python courses. However, how long it takes to learn Python depends on how much experience you have with programming languages.

Python coding bootcamps offer more intensive learning and hands-on skill building. Bootcamps can take anywhere from two to 28 weeks to complete.

Which pays more, Java or Python?

According to data from Payscale, Python and Java offer comparable annual salaries. Python developers earned an annual wage of $79,400 (November 2022), while Java developers earned slightly more at $80,740 (November 2022).

Employers often look for professionals with skills in several programming languages and frameworks depending on the industry and job.

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