As one of the most popular programming languages of all time, Python is a relatively easy to learn system.
However, it can be hard to find the right Python tutorial for your skill level, time, and schedule – especially if you’re new to the language. There are plenty of online courses and certification pathways you can enroll in, but many of these are exorbitantly priced.
Both Microsoft and the Python Institute sit among the two most common Python learning organizations, but they aren’t your only options. You can get Python-certified without spending a dime – all by checking out these free resources.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is Python?
However, if you really want to stand out to potential employers, you should consider mastering additional programming languages. That’s where things get tricky. There are dozens of coding languages out there, so it’s tough to figure out which ones are worth learning. In a perfect world, you’d learn all of them.
But let’s be realistic – you have limited time and money. Unless you plan on locking yourself up in your basement in front of a computer screen for the next thirty years, you need to pick a programming language that will give you a good return on your investment.
Python is one of the best coding languages you can learn. Knowing how to use Python is a skill that is highly marketable to employers because it is general-purpose. You can use it for web development, but you can use it for other kinds of programming and software development, too.
This versatile language can be used for desktop app development as well as for creating system scripts. It can be used for mobile app development and to process big data. It can also process and perform mathematical computation.
That sounds like a lot – and many beginners are often so overwhelmed by this breadth of services that they shy away from every learning Python in the first place. But don’t let it scare you. Despite its versatility, Python is remarkably easy to learn, and doing so can dramatically increase your chances of getting hired for a programming-related career.
You don’t have to pay any kind of Python certification costs to get started either – you just need to consider a few of the resources we’ll tell you about in this article.
Why Would You Want Python Certifications?
Python is considered a rising star in the world of programming for several reasons. Not only can this language handle a wide range of tasks, but it is also very user-friendly, making it a good choice for beginners. The code syntax utilizes English keywords so just about anybody can get started.
If you’re a beginning coder, data scientist, software engineer, or mobile app or web developer, Python is the way to go.
Let’s be clear – you don’t have to be certified in Python (or any programming language, for that matter) to get a job. Unlike other professional fields, like teaching and nursing, certification is not a necessary credential to demonstrate to employers and job boards that you know your stuff.
However, getting a Python certification can prove that you are competent in a certain programming language, Python included. Your best bet to do this is to choose a certification course that not only will give you evidence of completion at the end but will also allow you to write some programs of your own.
That way, when you head to your first job interview, you’ll have some samples of code that you can discuss with your potential employer.
How to Get a Python Certification
There are many ways you can train yourself in PYython. Unfortunately, if you want a more formal, credit-bearing course, you will usually need to enroll at a university that offers courses in that area. Most of the time, that will mean paying for the course and any associated fees (like registration and enrollment fees).
However, you can also get a Python certification for free from a variety of websites. Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find hundreds of “the best” free Python certifications. Not all are made alike, though – and many of them will not provide you with the level of instruction you need to fully grasp the ins and outs of this complex programming language.
Therefore, you might want to consider some of these Python coding online course options instead. That way, you’ll know you aren’t wasting your time on a resource that ends up being boring at best (or a complete waste of time at worst).
Best Places to Get a Free Python Online Course Certification
University of Michigan Python Online Programming Course – Coursera
The University of Michigan, in partnership with free online course guru Coursera, offers one of the best online certificates in Python. In this program, you’ll learn how to both analyze and program data with Python.
Not only will you learn foundational programming concepts (including networked application program interfaces, data structures, and databases) using Python, but you’ll also get the unique opportunity to work on a final capstone project. Capstone projects are typically reversed for credit-bearing college programs, but this course affords you the opportunity to synthesize everything you have learned in one final project.
It’s a beginner-level course that’s perfect for people who have little to no programming experience. You’ll master the concepts covered in the lessons first by writing your own Python program and then by experimenting and playing around with various techniques.
One of the best features of this class is that it is designed in a fun and more interactive manner than you might be used to. If stuffy, monotonous college classes aren’t your thing, don’t worry – this Python certification really stands out from the rest. Although all the content you need is there to be successful, it’s divided into a set of three clear, helpful courses (five in total) with an increasing level of difficulty.
Once you master the first class, you can move on to the next. You don’t have to progress unless you’re sure you’ve mastered the content, too, so you’ll have maximum authority over your own learning.
University of Michigan – Applied Data Science with Python Certification – Coursera
The University of Michigan offers a second Python certification course with Coursera. It goes beyond the basic Python level and includes more intermediate-level course topics for students who have progressed beyond the basic level of instruction.
You’ll be able to complete a variety of projects, assignments, and assessments, with courses set in a particular order (although you can go out of order, if you’d prefer this for some reason).
It’s not a great class for beginners, as you’ll need to have mastered some basic programming and Python study materials and skills. You’ll also need to have a working knowledge of things like machine learning and text analysis, too. Nonetheless, it’s a great course for serious programmers who are interested in pursuing additional certifications in machine learning.
The course covers all the basics of the Python programming language, including the numpy library, lambda, and reading and manipulating CSV files. You’ll also learn how to chart with the matplotlib library and how to use Python as you’re getting started with machine learning.
You will even learn how to work on manipulation and text mining basis so you can get a clearer picture of how text structure is handled by Python. Another unique feature of this class is that it will let you perform detailed social network analysis so you can see how things might be handled in unique real-life situations.
Python Bootcamp – Udemy
Udemy, another popular website that offers all kinds of free classes, has a massively popular online Python certification. It is offered completely free of charge and has had more than 230,000 students to date.
This class is taught by expert trainer Jose Marcial Portilla. He is considered a master trainer when it comes to data science and programming and has two degrees from Santa Clara University. Portilla really knows his stuff- he has trained employees at major organizations like The New York Times and Cigna, just to name a couple.
With this class, you’ll receive nearly 13 hours of on-demand video along with seventeen articles that you can return to later on as a quick point of reference. You’ll master all elements of the Python language, including both Python 2 and Python 3, and you’ll even learn how to create favorite games (like blackjack) with Python, too.
This course will go beyond the basic level to teach you about some more advanced python features (like working with timestamps) and how to use object-oriented programming, too.
IBM Python Certification for Data Science – Coursera
As you may have already noticed while reading this list, Coursera is truly one of the best places to look if you are looking for free Python certifications.
This program consists of a set of nine Python (free!) online course modules that will help you build the skills you need to work on a wide array of industry projects. You’ll cover everything from data visualization to libraries and open-source tools.
It’s more of an introductory course, but it’s a great first step if you’re interested in learning more about Python For data science as well as general programming.
You don’t have to have any prerequisite skills or knowledge in Python to get started – according to reviewers, this course will take you from “zero to programming” in a matter of a few hours. If you’re looking for a quick jumping-off point to a successful programming career, this course is the way to go.
You’ll have access to all the favorite course elements, too, including detailed assessments with helpful feedback, fun projects, and clear instruction on the fundamental techniques of Python.
Interactive Python Learning – LearnPython.org
This free Python training was designed with the goal of helping regular people learn how to code for free. If you are a hands-on learner, you will absolutely love the format of this class.
It’s offered at an introductory level, making it a good fit for beginners. You’ll learn about basic concepts like functions, dictionaries, loops, and variables. Once you’ve mastered those basics, you’ll move on to more challenging concepts like partial functions and serialization. You’ll also get a basic taste of data science fundamentals.
You don’t have to have any knowledge programming to begin, nor do you need any specific computer configuration. You’ll be able to contact an instructor at any time while you are taking this class, too.
Python for Managers – Columbia Business School
Python has applications in just about every industry, but one of the most relevant areas is in business. If you’re a manager and want to quickly acquaint yourself with the basics of Python, you may want to consider this course, offered by the Columbia Business School.
It offers one of the best platforms to learn Python programming, as Columbia is home to some of the world’s finest instructors. You’ll learn Python in a way that is tailored specifically for managers and leaders in a business setting so that you can communicate better with your teams.
It’s an eight-week program, so it’s a bit longer than some of the other classes on this list. It does also have some fees associated with enrollment, but financial aid is available. Plus, you can test-drive the course for free to make sure it’s the right fit for you.
The benefit of this course is that it can be credit-bearing if you follow it the whole way through. You’ll learn a variety of skills that translate directly to a business setting, too, so you can analyze data and figure out how to best use it to advance the success of your business.
Introduction to Python – Datacamp
Datacamp is a programming education giant, offering dozens of valuable and interactive programming courses for aspiring programmers at all levels.
This interactive course will acquaint you with the basic concepts of Python and will also expose you to advanced concepts such as functions and Python lists. You will also learn how to store, access, and deploy data in lists – essential if you are going to be working with large amounts of data.
You’ll be able to get a certification of completion when you finish, too.
It’s a highly hands-on course, letting you use your own scripts and create your own first variables to help acquaint yourself with Python’s basic data types. You’ll also learn about the various PYthon packages that will help you master this language to the greatest extent possible.
University of Michigan – Python 3 Programming Certification – Coursera
You read that right – another free online Python certification offered as a partnership between the University of Michigan and Coursera!
As if the two other Python certification programs weren’t enough to encourage you to check out the University of Michigan, this one should really do the trick. It’s a specialization that will teach you about the fundamentals of programming in Python 3. You’ll cover all the basic concepts, starting from scratch (perfect for beginners!).
You’ll go through basic concepts like loops, conditionals, and variables before you move on to more challenging topics like lambda expressions, keyword parameters, and class inheritance.
You’ll cover both the theoretical and practical applications of Python in this online Python training – and you’ll be able to practice as you go along with the lectures. Since it’s a beginner-level course, you don’t have to have any prior experience. You’ll learn how to debug programs and how to use classes to represent data in a natural way.
Courses are offered in a flexible schedule so you can jump around or rearrange your studies to make them fit in your busy lifestyle.
The coolest feature of this program? By tenant of it, you’ll be able to write programs that query and extract information from internet APIs.
Learn Python 3 – Codecademy
This isn’t a lengthy or comprehensive course by any means, but it still offers you everything you need to know to get started with Python without any prerequisite experience.
It’s updated with the most recent version of the programming language and is offered in an effective, simple format so that most beginners can do well with the material. You’ll learn the basic features, data types, and syntax of the language and be able to engage in tons of programming exercises to sharpen your skills.
Not only that, but you’ll get interactive code examples so the lessons are fun and easy to understand. Codecademy has other free Python courses you can try, too, if this one whets your appetite!
Free Python Courses dnC certifications – edX
edX offers a variety of free and low-cost college courses. One of the most popular certification options for students is to explore one of the many Python courses that this giant offers. You’ll be able to take classes in Python from top universities like MIT and Harvard.
Not only will you be able to cover all the basics of how to write programs in Python, but you’ll also learn how to create algorithms, debug Python code, and learn the foundational principles necessary to write advanced data analysis, too. There are all kinds of quizzes, practice exercises, and hands-on projects you can complete to help enhance your learning, too.
Almost all of these courses are free without any hidden charges, and when you’re done, you’ll get a certification of completion from edX that you can then use on your resume. You will be able to move through the courses, which are entirely self-paced, at your own speed, too.
Python Tutorial – Python Software Foundation
The Python Software Foundation is a leading authority when it comes to this programming language, so it makes sense that this is one of the first places you’d want to look when you are trying to find a free online certification in Python.
This tutorial is quick. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the programming language, regardless of your level of experience. The Python Software Foundation also provides learners with a list of introductory books, code samples, and text editors you can use to boost your understanding of the language, too.
Tips for Mastering the Python Language in an Online Class
If you’re thinking about giving Python a try, there are a few tips you should follow to help make it stick.
First, practice makes perfect! If you’re going to master Python (or any other programming language, for that matter) you need to hone your craft whenever you get the chance. Consistency is key! Even if you can only commit to 20 minutes a day, it will make a world of difference when it comes to your mastery of the content.
When you’re taking any of these online classes, don’t slack off just because they’re free. Instead, take detailed notes that you can reference later on. Some beginning programmers even write their code out by hand to start to boost their understanding and “muscle memory” when it comes to mastering Python.
Finally, whenever possible, look for a course that offers interactive learning experiences. You’ll learn best by doing – so make sure you choose a Python certification that gives you plenty of opportunities to practice.
There are plenty of reasons to master Python. According to Indeed, there were more than 50,000 Python-related job openings around the country at the time of writing this article. Even jobs that aren’t directly situated in the programming realm often use Python in some way, shape, or form. Master Python, and you’ll be well on your way to earning a high starting salary.
It doesn’t take long to learn, either. The average Python course duration is just six to eight weeks. You will be job-ready in just a couple of months! Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Unlike most things in life where that is the case, that’s not the case when it comes to mastering Python. You’ll be able to master this programming language in no time by accessing some of these free online programs – even if you have zero experience to start.