15 Best Online Courses to Learn Coding

Online coding courses are a great way to learn programming skills fast. Learn about courses, courses, and careers in this growing field.

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by Shauna Blackmon

Updated September 16, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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Tech jobs are booming across the United States. Because of this, there is no shortage of online coding bootcamps and coding courses springing up to teach workers valuable tech skill sets. In fact, there are so many online learning options to choose from that it can be hard to know which one to pick.

A quick search online will show you everything from a simple class you can finish in an hour or two to those that almost resemble a university class. Some online coding courses focus on teaching a particular programming language or skill, while others prepare students for a specific career path.

Online courses can be a great start for beginner coders. They can also help tech professionals learn a new skill. We compiled information on 15 different online courses to give you an idea of what you can expect if you enroll. When deciding on a course, it's important to assess numerous factors, including cost, time commitment, and course quality, so you can find a class that will launch or enhance your career.

Should I Enroll in an Online Course?

Just as there are hundreds of different kinds of coding classes online, there are hundreds of reasons people might choose this type of education. While there is a large variability between different programs, many of these online coding classes fill an educational gap created by the demand for IT workers.

The majority of online coding courses are designed for beginners with no previous experience. This makes them great for anyone who is looking to test-run a new skill set or decide if coding is for them. Students can find everything between an hour-long introductory course to year-long programs that offer a certificate.

Generally, these classes are also great for people who already work in tech and want to expand their skills and those who require more flexible schedules.

Online bootcamps are another option for those looking to learn coding. These intensive training programs usually require more hours per week than many standalone courses, and they usually teach a wider variety of tech skills and tools.

Bootcamps are career-focused and often include support for those who want to start a job search after the bootcamp. Bootcamp programs often last a few months and are quite a bit more expensive than an online course.

Coding Course vs Coding Bootcamp

Pros and Cons of an Online Course
Pros Cons
  • Often free or cheap
  • Often self-paced
  • Can find classes covering a variety of skills or languages
  • May not go in-depth into the material
  • Not a lot of personal attention from instructors
  • Not always updated
Pros and Cons of a Coding Bootcamp
Pros Cons
  • More in-depth with the material
  • More likely to prepare you for a new career
  • Smaller class size and more personal attention
  • Can require a significant time commitment
  • More expensive than many online courses
  • Often difficult to work a job during enrollment

The Best Online Coding Courses

Google IT Support by Coursera

In this class created by Google, you will learn everything you need to pursue your first entry job in IT over a series of five courses. This includes day-to-day IT support tasks like computer assembly, wireless networking, installing programs, and customer service. You will also learn how to use Linux, domain name systems, command-line interface, and binary code.

This course is particularly good for beginners pursuing an entry-level IT support role. The class includes over 100 hours of instruction and hundreds of practice-based assessments, ensuring you will walk away having learned the material.

  • Length: About 6 months, 10 hours per week
  • Cost: $39/month
  • Certificate: Yes

Python for Everybody by Coursera

Python is a popular programming language used to build websites and software, automate tasks, and conduct data analysis and visualizations. Python's popularity is due in part to its diverse set of use cases and extensive libraries.

Through a mix of lectures, activities, and a capstone project, students will learn how to code in Python, create and navigate data structures, access web data, and use databases. This course is particularly well suited for anyone interested in working with artificial intelligence, machine learning, or big data.

  • Length: About 8 months, 3 hours per week
  • Cost: $49/month
  • Certificate: Yes

Microsoft Excel by Udemy

Microsoft Excel is a useful and powerful tool, but it's also known for being difficult to navigate. In this course, you will learn quick functions to help you utilize the different tools available, maintain large data sets, and create reports with PivotTables.

This beginner-friendly course will teach you the skills needed to harness the power of Microsoft Excel through a variety of different videos and downloadable resources. After completing the course, you will have the skills needed to automate some of your most tedious daily tasks and get the most out of your time.

  • Length: 18 hours
  • Cost: $129.99
  • Certificate: Yes

C# Programming by Alison

C# (C sharp) is a programming language developed by Microsoft that runs on the .NET Framework. It is used to develop web, desktop, and mobile apps, games, and enterprise software. Alison courses are usually for beginners, but it might be helpful to have some coding background for this one.

As it is only a few hours long, the class will likely not be extensive enough to teach you everything you need to know about C#. However, the program does claim that after completion, students should have the skills needed to write correct syntax for operators, expressions and statements of duration, create an array of values, and declare a use for iterations.

  • Length: 1-3 hours
  • Cost: Free, or you can pay a $10 premium monthly fee
  • Certificate: Students are eligible for a Continuing Professional Development certificate

Hour of Code by Khan Academy

This program is a fun introduction if you are just getting started learning about coding and computer science. The primary target for Khan Academy is students still in school, but the content is equally fun and engaging for adults. It covers the basics of a number of skills, such as drawing with code, creating web pages, and utilizing databases.

The quick course provides a fun, hands-on learning experience to guide you through the process of creative online skills. It might not be the best course for those looking to make a career move, but it could be great if you want to expand your skills and try something fun.

  • Length: 1 hour
  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: No

Machine Learning by Coursera

If you want to learn about machine learning (ML), this might be the right course for you. ML is a rapidly growing field and will likely continue to be a vital part of the technology landscape going forward. Use cases for ML include self-driving cars, speech recognition, or anything that involves a computer learning on its own.

This is a higher-level course where you will learn about logistic regressions, artificial neural networks, and machine learning. For that reason, this is not a good class for people with no experience or background knowledge in tech, as it involves complex ideas and complex math.

  • Length: Approximately 61 hours
  • Cost: $79 to get the certificate, but free if you don't get the certificate
  • Certificate: Yes (paid option)

Computer Science for Web Programming by edX

This certificate program is broken up into two courses. The first course covers an introduction to computer science and programming, so it is suitable for both beginners and those with a bit of experience. If you want to only take the first course, you can do that for free without earning the certificate.

The second of the two courses is an in-depth program that teaches students about designing and implementing web apps with Python, JavaScript, and SQL. It also covers frameworks like Flask, Django, and Bootstrap. By the end of the two courses, students should have a strong understanding of web development and be ready for an entry-level job.

  • Length: 6 months, 6-14 hours per week
  • Cost: $313.20
  • Certificate: Yes

IBM Data Science by Coursera

This course teaches students the skills required for a career in data science and machine learning. This includes the popular programming languages Python and SQL, how to build machine learning models, and how to analyze and visualize data.

The nine-course program combines instructional videos with hands-on projects, so students have a portfolio of data science projects by the end. In addition to a certificate from Coursera, students can obtain a digital badge from IBM recognizing their proficiency in data science.

  • Length: 11 months, 4 hours per week
  • Cost: $49/month with discounts
  • Certificate: Yes

Ultimate AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate by Udemy

The AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate certification is one of the industry's most in-demand cloud computing certifications. The certification itself is from Amazon Web Services and not available through the Udemy course. However, this course will teach students everything they need to know in order to pass the certification exam.

In addition to learning materials, the class provides a full practice exam with explanations so students can identify their strengths and weaknesses. Students will have access to the material even after completing the course, which is useful for retaking the exam if needed.

  • Length: 27 hours
  • Cost: $84.99
  • Certificate: No

The Complete Digital Marketing Course by Udemy

If you are curious about breaking into the world of digital marketing, this eight-part course will teach you the basics. This includes making a website, copywriting, email marketing, and social media marketing.

The class also focuses on more challenging skill sets that are vital in marketing, such as using Google Analytics and writing with the most up-to-date SEO practices. While not a tech course, it is beneficial to those interested in working in a marketing capacity for a tech company.

  • Length: 23 hours
  • Cost: $149.99
  • Certificate: Yes

PHP for Beginners by Alison

This course will teach you the basic principles of creating websites using the programming language PHP. The class will instruct you on some of the basics of writing code and some of the common errors to avoid.

Alison specializes in easy-to-follow classes, making them great for students without a tech background. This course is a good introduction for those looking to learn more about how to build a website, but it isn't in-depth enough to prepare you for a career in web development.

  • Length: 1-3 hours
  • Cost: $149.99
  • Certificate: No

Learn Python: The Complete Python Programming Course by Udemy

Python is a popular programming language frequently used in web development, data science, and machine learning. This class is intended for beginners to learn the basics of how to code in Python and work with data sets.

While the class generally has positive reviews, it has been noted that the class has not been updated since 2015 and, therefore, does not use the most updated version of Python. It's possible to still follow along, but it will be more challenging. There are plenty of other courses specializing in Python available through Udemy and other platforms if you want to expand your knowledge even further.

  • Length: 15 hours
  • Cost: $99.49
  • Certificate: Yes

Data Analytics Basics for Everyone by edX

Data is everywhere and an increasingly important part of the tech ecosystem. In this course, you will learn about the different roles within a data team and their day-to-day activities. From there, you can identify the position that best matches your interests.

This class is accessible for beginners and takes students through the process of sourcing, cleaning, and analyzing data. It also includes a section on how to visualize and communicate your findings to different stakeholders. Unlike many other data analytics courses, this one also has a section covering career opportunities and how to best enter the field.

  • Length: 5 weeks, 2-3 hours per week
  • Cost: Free with no certificate, $99 with a certificate
  • Certificate: Yes

Fundamentals of Computers & Code in iOS by Alison

In this beginner course, you will learn about the basics of computer science, code, and binary in iOS. While the course doesn't go incredibly in-depth, it does provide a good foundation for iOS skills, including some coding basics.

After students complete the first section of this course, they build their own app that converts between decimal and binary. With these basic iOS development skills, students can experiment with creating their own apps. This course would be a good addition to either another program or for someone who is already learning about iOS on their own.

  • Length: 1-3 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: Yes, but costs $25

Intro to JS: Drawing & Animation by Khan Academy

If you want to combine your tech and artistic skills, learning how to draw through coding is a great first step. In this entry-level course, you will learn the first steps of drawing and animating images using JavaScript and the ProcessingJS library and basic functions like creating, sizing and coloring images, adding text, and animating drawings.

By the end of the course, you will have a small collection of designs and projects you have made, plus a basic understanding of how coding and JavaScript work. It is, however, only the first step in mastering these skills.

  • Length: 5-7 hours
  • Cost: Free
  • Certificate: No

Frequently Asked Questions About Coding Classes Online

Can I get a coding job through an online course?

It's possible to get a coding job after taking an online course, but taking a course doesn't guarantee that you'll get a job. If you are serious about a career change, you may want to find in-depth courses that cover multiple skills. Generally these types of classes require a hefty time commitment and financial investment.

Many tech positions, especially those that offer higher pay or more advancement opportunities, require a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. While some courses teach similar skills, they may not hold the same weight as a degree.

Is coding hard to learn?

Learning how to code is like learning another language. Once you get the hang of it, you will know how to express what you want to say, but at the beginning, you might spend a lot of time looking things up and making mistakes.

Many programmers who are still learning create cheat sheets to remind them of the different functions. As you practice, these will become second nature. While the first programming language you learn might be difficult since it involves learning a new way of thinking, most people report that learning subsequent programming languages is substantially more straightforward.

What is the highest-paid coding job?

There are so many factors that go into deciding a pay rate that it is difficult to determine who gets paid the most. However, some of the job titles that frequently rank at the top include computer and information research scientists, computer network architects, and information security analysts.

Highly-paid tech workers are often specialized, such as those in artificial intelligence or machine learning, or have gained a diverse skill set like full-stack web developers. According to May 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for all computer and information technology occupations is $97,430 — more than double the median annual wage for all occupations.

Feature Image: DaniloAndjus / E+ / Getty Images

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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