|Written by Sue Gee|
|Tuesday, 25 May 2021|
If you want to learn Python you have plenty of options. Joining a MOOC, an online course where you work at you own pace, is a great choice but the cost could quickly mount up. This is where Coursera Plus, Coursera's subscription that provides access to around 90% of its courses, seems like a really good idea.
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So you're keen to learn Python. If so you are in good company. As we've reported before, see for example What Languages Do Devs Want to Learn? Python stands out as the searched-for language. Also in an earlier report we found that between a third and a half of developers with other primary languages wanted to learn it.
There are many reasons for this finding. Python is by no means a new language, but now it seems to have entered its prime. While other languages are either stuck in a rut or are in declining, Python grabs the headlines not only for increasing popularity among users but also for increasing recognition from industry leaders. Back in February we reported on Google becoming the Python Software Foundation's first Visionary Sponsor by increasing its financial contribution to the project. More recently Microsoft also announced its extended support both in financial terms and in its range of financial tools and only last week we reported Microsoft's commitment to achieving a Faster CPython, a project which involves Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python and since last year a Distinguished Engineer in Microsoft's Developer Division.
A lot of the reason for the increased interest in Python is that it fits very well with data science and machine learning, today's key areas of interest. So if you are looking towards either of these Python needs to be part of your skillset. Luckily there's no shortage of opportunities to learn Python and then to discover how to put it to use in different domains.
In fact the problem anyone interested in learning Python as a beginner, or learning how to make good use of Python once beyond the beginner stage is the sheer number of options. This is where Coursera Plus enters the picture. Rather than paying on a course-by-course basis, subscribe to Coursera Plus for access to as many courses as you fancy either with a monthly subscription ($59) or an annual one ($399). The annual subscription is less than seven times the monthly one so if you are keen on this route to acquiring new skills and don't want to be under time pressure it's an attractive option - also many employers are happy to reimburse the cost of a Coursera Plus subscription. There's a 7-day free trial for both Coursera Plus Annual and Coursera Plus Monthly for allow time to to check it out and you can cancel a Monthly subscription at any time.
So which courses are encompassed by Coursera Plus? The answer is the vast majority, including most Specializations, and Professional Certificates. However, Degrees and MasterTrack™ Certificates are excluded and so are the Professional Certificates offered by IBM. Courses from deeplearning.ai are also excluded from Coursera Plus.
To find out if something is included in Coursera Plus look for Included with Coursera Plus under the enrollment button. Also once you’re subscribed to Coursera Plus, you'll see a Coursera Plus badge on all content that is included with your subscription.
Returning to Python, for beginners the most popular option, both in terms of its rating of 4.8 and its number of enrollments is still the University of Michigan's Python for Everybody Specialization, with the first of its 5 courses having had almost 190,000 student ratings. A more recent set of courses, leading to a Professional Certificate, Google IT Automation with Python is also aimed at beginners with no previous programming experience and has quickly gained a rating of 4.7 based on over 20,000 ratings.
Once you've gone beyond the basics, the University of Michigan offers Python 3 Programming Specialization which is still at beginner level. But this is just the start. As I reported last week in the context of the new Postgre SQL For Everybody Specialization once you are familiar with Python you can start to gain other skills. Machine learning is just one of these and the University of Washington offers a 4-course Machine Learning Specialization. On the other hand, If want to become a Data Scientist, consider the Applied Data Science with Python Specialization consisting of 5 courses.
Of course, one advantage of Coursera Plus is that it gives you the freedom to try out options you're not quite sure of and if you need to boost your knowledge to meet the pre-requisites for you chosen courses then you are very likely to find a suitable course included and will be able to add yet other certificate to your growing collection.
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|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 May 2021 )|