Best Python Certification Courses to Boost Your Resume in 2021

Best Python Certification Courses to Boost Your Resume in 2021

Computer science is one of the fastest expanding fields, but getting started with programming can be a challenge. Even after you’ve narrowed your search down to Python courses, how do you get started when the language is so versatile? When you’re looking at loops, functions, and exception handling, it can rapidly get overwhelming.

Picking the right Python certification course is one of the best ways to begin your coding journey or polish up your current skills. You’ll be able to walk through all of Python’s functionalities and even work on your own projects to boost your resume. Once you’ve succeeded in a Python class, acing the certification exam is the natural next step!

First, we’ll start with the basics that you can expect from a Python certification course. Next up on our programming are some of the best online options that are available to you, before we loop to any extra information you might need to get started.

Orientation

Python has applications that span into every field, from data analytics to game development. As a general-purpose coding language, you’ll find ways to apply it to any computational problem you might have. In addition, with support libraries and third-party modules, there might be specific packages to help you accomplish your task at hand.

However, with Python’s broad reach comes an issue. It can difficult when you’re just getting started, especially if you’re not familiar with programming jargon yet. Even once you start programming, you might not know which paths are available for you to try. How do you know which machine learning packages are the most useful, or which SQL packages get the job done?

Below, we’ll go over some of the most important factors to keep in mind so that you can find the best Python certification course for your needs.

Scope

Python is one of the best programming languages to learn as a beginner – and easily the most versatile. It’s what’s called a high-level language, so you can code in something resembling abstractions of natural language without worrying about aspects of lower-level programming (which you can read about here).

It can be used for scripting, manipulating datasets, scraping the web, and even artificial intelligence. With thousands of packages to import, you can tailor Python to most computing tasks you have in mind!

The hardest part is getting started since there are so many applications and directions Python can take you. Once you figure out what you want to accomplish with Python, whether it’s numerical computation or machine learning, you’ll have an idea of where to start.

In addition, in all of our reviews, we’ll discuss more advanced topics that are covered in the course. These topics go beyond defining functions, creating loops, and the fundamentals of Python. This way, you’ll know how much you’ll be covering in the course and see whether it aligns with the certification exams.

Certification

Just like with many other programming languages, there are several levels of certifications you can get in Python programming. They start from entry-level certifications like the PCEP, which stands for Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer.

You also have certification levels in between, such as the Certified Associate in Python Programming certification (PCAP). There are also two levels for Certified Professional in Python Programming (PCPP). Prices for certification exams can range, with the PCEP costing $59 while the PCPP costs $195.

These exams can be taken by anyone that has the time to sit through a 1.5-hour test. They typically have around 40 questions, with multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, and drag-and-drop questions. There are very few to no open responses that require you to code.

Finally, to get the Certified Expert in Python Programming (CEPP) certification, you’ll need to have completed the OpenEDG Python Institute General Programming certification program. This just means you’ll have to take the PCEP, PCAP, and both PCPP exams and pass. If you’re curious about the topics on the exam, we recommend looking at more information here.

Approachability

Python comes with thousands of uses, and all courses cover different aspects. Some courses go over the basics, including defining functions, creating loops, and more. Others might focus on the object-oriented programming aspect of Python and explore recursion. You might even get courses that focus specifically on importing and using certain Python packages to accomplish harder tasks.

We recommend that beginners start with the very basics of coding and learn how Python functions in general. Intermediate students, who’ve coded before but not extensively (or using Python) can start looking into some of the more difficult ways to use Python such as object-oriented programming, data structure specifics, and more. Advanced programmers may want to explore Python libraries and modules to important and begin getting used to MySQL commands.

Time and Cost

Python certification courses come with a wide range of costs and times required. Some of the more affordable courses are under $50 with around 10 hours of lecture material. However, more comprehensive courses can run over $500 and last several months of learning and practice. It mostly comes down to your intentions – how much do you want to learn about Python? Enough to get the certification, or even more to use it in the field?

Cheat Sheet

We’ve tried to cover a wide variety of classes to fit everyone’s needs, so you can jump to any course that stands out to you. This list should be able to help you narrow your search.

  1. If you want a comprehensive overview that touches on almost every aspect of Python, the 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp course is programmed to do just that.
  2. If you want a course that’s sure to cover everything on the certification exams and nothing more, the The Complete Python Developer Certification Course functions well as the right class for you.
  3. If you want an introductory programming class that’s structured like a real, semester-long course, David Joyner’s Professional Certificate in Introduction to Python Programming keeps you in the loop.
  4. If you want a course suited for beginners who have never programmed before, we recommend Programming for Everybody for their teaching methods.
  5. If you’ve messed around with Python before and want something to help you refine your skills, Using Databases with Python is a great way for you to iterate through Python’s SQL functionalities.
  6. If you already have extensive Python knowledge and want to code your skills to the next level, we recommend handling the Python for Data Science and Machine Learning course.
  7. If you know how you want to use Python in the field, and getting a certification is just one step closer to your dream data scientist job, take a look at the Professional Certificate in Python Data Science course.

Top 7 Best Python Certification Courses 2021


1. Most Comprehensive Python Course: 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp

  • 22 hours $159.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Interesting Topics: Game development, GUIs
  • Taught by: Jose Portilla
  • Skill level: All levels

Why we like it

The 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp gives a comprehensive overview of all Python has to offer, preparing you for the certification exam and showing you how to directly apply your code to any tasks at hand.

Our Review

The 2021 Python Bootcamp course teaches the beginnings of Python from the ground up, building from fundamentals to basic game development. It gives a broad overview of most of Python’s functionalities with a taste of everything Python has to offer. If you’re looking for a course that touches on everything, this is the right one for you.

In addition to learning how lists, strings, dictionaries, and other Python data structures work, you’ll also get a strong understanding of how to use Python to complete tasks. It gives an introduction to command line basics and even shows you how to get Python set up. In addition, you’ll also learn how to scrape websites, read excel files, work with PDFs, and more.

Best Suited For

This course is suited for all skill levels. Beginners will be walked through the very start, from setting up Python to running code from the command line. Intermediate learners can jump in with object-oriented programming lessons and an introduction to methods. Even more advanced learners will enjoy learning about web scraping, reading from external files, and setting up basic GUIs.

While beginners will get the most out of this course, we recommend it for anyone who might want to brush up on the basics before exploring harder content. In addition, with milestone projects built in to the class, you’ll be able to practice some of your new knowledge first-hand. However, since this course does attempt to cover a wide variety of topics, some of the information won’t be as in-depth.

Advanced Topics Covered

You’ll be getting a first-hand look at how to import and use various modules, which sets you up for more advanced and nuanced applications of Python. In addition, you’ll learn about object-oriented programming, inheritance, and even polymorphism. With file reading and web scraping also included, you’ll be getting a full overview of all that the basic Python package can accomplish.

Pros

  • Gives an overview of all areas of Python
  • Helps beginners set up Python on their laptop
  • Introduces useful modules
  • Explores game and app development alongside GUIs
  • Offers hands-on projects to help with practice

Cons

  • Doesn’t go as in-depth for some topics


2. Best Course for Python Certification Exams: The Complete Python Developer Certification Course

  • 12 hours $129.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Interesting Topics: PCAP preparation, exception handling
  • Taught by: Imtiaz Ahmad
  • Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate

Why we like it

This course directly covers the essentials on the Python certification exam without any superfluous content. A perfect crash course for Python certification, it even comes with assignments and a practice exam to help you ace the CEPP tests.

Our Review

The complete Python developer certification course was designed to cover all content needed to pass both PCEP exams. You’ll be able to breeze through the easier PCAP exam after finishing this course, and its interactive lessons help the information stick in your mind. In addition, this course also includes a free practice exam at the very end so that you can make sure you’re ready.

If you’re just looking to get the certification, this exam takes a very straightforward approach. It covers the essentials on the exam – but nothing more. This can be good or bad, depending on your goals. If you want a more comprehensive view of Python, we definitely recommend you check out the 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp.

Best Suited For

This course is suited for beginners and intermediate learners. Since it doesn’t go over any material not covered by examinations, it doesn’t cover many imported modules or some of Python’s more difficult concepts.

If you’re looking for more advanced material, we’d definitely recommend checking out the Python for Data Science and Machine Learning course.

However, many of the hands-on activities are well-suited for beginners. You won’t learn how to set up Python 3 on your computer, but you will be able to practice on over 25 assignments throughout the lessons. As a result, you’ll have a chance to implement all techniques that you learn, contributing to a smoother learning experience. Intermediate students will be able to brush up on techniques as well.

Advanced Topics Covered

While this course doesn’t touch too much on advanced topics, it sets up the basis for object-oriented programming and package installation. In addition, you’ll get a few lectures on file reading and exception handling as well towards the end of the course. However, there is no “extra” information taught other than what’s on the exam.

Pros

  • Directly covers all concepts on certification exams
  • Includes a free practice exam at the end
  • Sets up the start for more advanced topics
  • Comes with over 25 assignments and solutions
  • Allows you to implement every technique learned in practice

Cons

  • Doesn’t cover many advanced topics


3. Most Detailed Python Course: Professional Certificate in Introduction to Python Programming

  • 5 months, 10 hours per week $536.40 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Interesting Topics: Algorithms, recursion
  • Taught by: David Joyner
  • Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate

Why we like it

David Joyner’s course on Python programming takes over 5 months to complete and is organized the same way as a traditional semester-long college course. With hundreds of exercises, you’ll be confident in your Python abilities when you finish!

Our Review

This course is the most like your traditional classes, spanning five months and requiring 10 hours per week until the end. It comes with four different sections, each with its own unit exam at the end. While the price is much higher than many of the other courses on the list, it’s also the most structured and in-depth for the material it does cover. The videos themselves are also short, making them much easier to digest.

It walks students through the basics of programming through the edX platform, with integrated Python practice sandboxes throughout the course. Because the platform is integrated with Python compatibility, you won’t have to worry about setting up your own Python environment on your computer. This takes out the hassle of downloading Python 3.

Best Suited For

This course is best for beginner and intermediate learners. There are hundreds of exercises and activities, all following short videos that explain a certain concept. This makes it perfect for any starting programmer who might want to test out any code. You’ll also be able to practice as soon as you learn about the concept.

If you are interested in more advanced topics, we’d definitely recommend the Python for Data Science and Machine Learning instead. This course doesn’t teach about importing modules and packages and how to use them.

In addition, some of the exercises and lessons covered make it a solid choice for intermediate programmers as well. Even if you’re familiar with the basics of Python, those are only covered in the first 1.5 modules. You’ll still have 2.5 modules of information and practice with more difficult concepts, such as object-oriented programming.

Advanced Topics Covered

While this is mostly a course for beginners and intermediate learners, it does set the stage for many advanced concepts as well. This includes an introduction to algorithms and “Big-O” notation. You’ll be hand-coding several variations of search and sort algorithms and exploring topics of recursion as well.

Pros

  • Most structured course on the list
  • Comes with hundreds of small exercises and practices
  • Videos are short and easy to digest
  • One of the most comprehensive courses on Python fundamentals
  • Python platform is integrated with edx

Cons

  • Costs more than other courses
  • Takes 5 months to finish


4. Best Python Course for Beginners: Programming for Everybody

  • 19 hours $49 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Interesting Topics: Big picture of programming
  • Taught by: Charles Russell Severance
  • Skill level: Beginner

Why we like it

Programming for everybody is tailored to beginners who have never coded before, walking them through the basics of Python with everything they need to get started. This course helps build fundamentals without overwhelming the learner with too much information!

Our Review

If you’re completely new to coding, Charles Severance can help you get started quickly. He takes a more in-depth approach to the start of programming when compared with several other courses, dedicating two weeks to exploring why coding is important and another week to properly setting up Python.

This course only goes over the essentials, covering variables, conditionals, functions, and loops. It doesn’t delve into any of the harder topics, instead focusing on the fundamentals to help you get started. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by the many options and functionalities that Python has to offer.

Best Suited For

This is best suited for beginners who are just starting to code. It covers materials on the easiest Python certification course, the PCEP exam. Unfortunately, the material covered is not enough to help you pass the higher-level exams. If you are interested in a course to help with all CEPP exams, we recommend checking out the The Complete Python Developer Certification Course.

In addition, if you’re looking for a little more information than just the essentials, the intermediate course, Using Databases with Python, is a good option as well that’s taught by the same instructor. Taking this course and the intermediate course together will help you prepare for some of the harder exams!

Advanced Topics Covered

While this doesn’t cover any advanced topics, it takes a different approach to teaching programming. It starts out the course by introducing the main reasons why people need to code so that you can understand the bigger picture better. By outlining the main reasons, you’ll understand how all the smaller pieces of Python code fit together to accomplish the tasks that you need to do.

Pros

  • Helps with setting up Python 3
  • Introduces the bigger picture of coding
  • Focuses only on the fundamentals
  • Helps with the lowest-level Python certification exam

Cons

  • Doesn’t cover any advanced topics
  • Too basic for learners who aren’t beginners


5. Best Intermediate Python Course: Using Databases With Python

  • 15 hours $49 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Interesting Topics: Databases and SQL
  • Taught by: Charles Russell Severance
  • Skill level: Intermediate

Why we like it

If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of databases for the certification exams, this course covers all you’ll need to know about SQL compatibility with Python and database design!

Our Review

Building from the fundamentals of Python programming, this course goes one step beyond and looks directly into dealing with databases and data visualization. It’s a good starting point for people who already understand the basics of Python and want to start looking into database design – more tailored for the field than for exam preparation.

In addition, this course also does a quick introduction to object-oriented programming in Python 3, something else covered in the CEPP exams. It takes a deeper dive into the D3.js library, teaching students about web crawlers, and creates several assignments for students to deepen understanding.

Best Suited For

This course is tailored for intermediate students, and it assumes you already know the basics of Python programming. It jumps directly into object-oriented programming and SQL compatibility without covering loops or iterations.

If you do find yourself needing to brush up on the basics, you should check out the other course by the same instructor called Programming for Everybody.

In addition, this course is very narrow in its focus. It’s not as comprehensive as the 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp course, but it does take a deeper look into databases and SQL in particular. If you’re looking for one course to help you pass all the CEPP exams, this may not be the course for you.

Advanced Topics

This course directly covers how to incorporate SQL with Python, and as a result, you’ll be getting an in-depth look at databases through Python that other courses can’t offer. However, if you’re more interested in data manipulation for information found in these databases, we would recommend you check out the Professional Certificate in Python Data Science course.

Pros

  • An in-depth look into databases
  • Gives an introduction to data visualization
  • Covers object-oriented programming and web crawlers
  • Has assignments and activities for students to follow along with

Cons

  • Very narrow focus in topics
  • Need to take other courses to pass the CEPP exams


6. Best Advanced Python Course: Python for Data Science and Machine Learning

  • 25 hours $94.99 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Interesting Topics: Machine learning, NumPy, SciKit-Learn
  • Taught by: Jose Portilla
  • Skill level: Advanced

Why we like it

This course covers some of the most advanced Python concepts there are, ranging from logistic regression to machine learning models. It prepares students for more than the CEPP exams and teaches skills useful in any field!

Our Review

If you’re looking for a Python certification course that takes you above and beyond what you need to learn, we recommend this one. The comprehensive course can cover most of the harder topics that might be asked on the PCPP exams, though you may want to read up on databases on the side.

If you’re looking for a course tailored specifically to the certification exams, we would recommend the The Complete Python Developer Certification Course. Unfortunately, with this course, you’ll need to read more material on introductory Python material as well to be prepared for the certification exams.

It’s taught by the same instructor as the 2021 Complete Python Bootcamp course, so you’ll be getting clear and detailed explanations for the harder concepts. In addition, all lectures also come with detailed code notebooks for you to practice and play with.

Best Suited For

This course is best suited for advanced students who want to see how far Python can take them with data analysis and machine learning. It does start with a brief crash course on Python, but it isn’t in-depth enough to help you learn it from scratch. Rather, the crash course is meant to be used as a refresher for those who already have programming experience.

Advanced Topics

This course covers the gauntlet of new Python applications, from NumPy and Pandas for data analysis to Matplotlib for data visualization. In addition to these data-focused packages, it also walks students through the basics of logistic regression and many machine learning models, such as support vector machines and decision trees. It goes much more in-depth than many other courses and is good for rounding off your Python knowledge.

Pros

  • Explores various machine learning models
  • Teaches data analysis and data visualization
  • Contains code notebooks for all lectures
  • Much more advanced material compared to other courses

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners
  • Doesn’t cover all material on certification exams


7. Best Python Data Science Course: Professional Certificate in Python Data Science

  • 7 months, 5 hours per week $490.50 Our rating  
  • Course Highlights
  • Interesting Topics: Scipy, SciKit-Learn, Machine Learning
  • Taught by: IBM
  • Skill level: Intermediate, Advanced

Why we like it

This course teaches you the essentials that any data scientist needs to know. With a structured lesson format over 7 months and a capstone project at the end, you’ll be more than confident in your data analysis abilities!

Our Review

If you’re already thinking one step ahead and want to go into data science after getting your certification, this course helps you get a solid understanding of the skills you’ll need. While it takes 7 months to complete, which is much longer than any other course on our list, it also offers an in-depth view of what it takes to become a data scientist.

The course itself is split into four sections that each focus on one element a data scientist will need to master. In addition, there’s a capstone project at the end that encourages you to test out any new techniques you’ve learned. If you complete this project well, you can easily add it to your resume. In addition, it does cover most topics you’ll need for any CEPP exams.

Best Suited For

This is suited for intermediate and advanced programmers who have time to really learn how to use Python for machine learning and data analysis. Because the course takes so long, we don’t recommend it for anyone in a rush to get their certification. In addition, it also has significantly higher costs than many other classes, but you’ll be getting a more structured environment in return.

Advanced Topics

You’ll be hand-building machine learning models from various packages, and you’ll learn how to create data visualizations using matplotlib, seaborn, and folium. In addition, you’ll get first-hand experience in how to clean data with NumPy and Pandas.

Finally, you’ll also get to experiment with Jupyter notebooks on the IBM cloud to prepare you for sharing code in the future. However, if you want a shorter course that covers most of the same material but isn’t spaced out as much, we’d recommend you check out Python for Data Science and Machine Learning.

Pros

  • Structured course outline
  • Delves into machine learning and data analysis
  • Contains a capstone project in the end

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Takes 7 months to complete


Learning Python FAQ

While getting a Python certificate isn’t essential, it does help your resume stand out. Certificates are proof that you understand what you’re talking about, and recruiters place more weight on potential hires with certificates for relevant positions.

Knowing Python opens the doors to many fields and jobs, including data science, computer science, software engineering, and more. Considering that the average salary for a computer scientist is $81,000, that’s not a bad deal.

Time varies from student to student, but a typical course will take you around two months to complete. Certain courses run for much longer, like the Professional Certificate in Python Data Science course, which takes 7 months.

Once you look over potential topics and take the classes that you need, you’re all set for the exam! If you want classes that specifically cover topics on the CEPP tests, you should consider the The Complete Python Developer Certification Course.



Extra Credit

person programming

As you can see, there are more than enough courses to help you get started on your path to earning a Python certificate. Like with many other skills, programming requires time, hard work, and lots of practice. Below, we’ll cover some of the best ways to succeed in a programming course so you can ace your certification exam!

What You Need

For any Python certification course, all you’ll need is a relatively private room and a computer that can run Python code. The private room is ideal for exam settings when you’re taking the virtual certification test, and most computers (yes, even older ones) can run Python 3. If you’re having trouble installing Python 3, you can also look for more detailed guides to getting it set up here.

High-Level vs Low-Level Languages

As you’re learning more about Python, you’ll want to keep in mind that it’s a higher-level language. This means it’s easier for programmers to interpret the code, and in the case of Python, there’s no need to compile the code. However, higher-level languages also take up more memory to run and are not as “machine-friendly”.

For beginners, we recommend starting with higher-level languages to learn about the structure before switching to lower-level languages. As a result, Python is one of the best and easiest codebases for programming newbies to get started with.

Having the Correct Python Version

You’ll notice we’ve only talked about Python 3 this entire article! That’s because there are significant syntax differences between Python 2 and Python 3, and all certification exams now use Python 3.

Once you have Python 3, the specific version that you choose to use won’t matter as much. You’ll be able to pass the exam whether you’re using Python 3.9.3 or Python 3.7.1.

Exploring New Libraries

While many classes cover the basics of Python, one of Python’s main benefits is the extensive library of packages and modules that you’ll have access to. Learning about certain data science packages and machine learning packages can be another valuable skill to put on your resume, and it can give you even more practice for the certification exams.

If you want more guidance on how to use certain packages and libraries, we definitely recommend checking out the Python for Data Science and Machine Learning course or the Professional Certificate in Python Data Science course, which explores NumPy, Pandas, and SciKit-Learn.

Difficulty in Online Learning

Online learning is often self-guided and won’t be as structured as a traditional course. Deadlines and projects are flexible, so it’s up to you to push through the course to learn everything that you need. In addition, some courses don’t include practice questions and assignments, so you’ll want to account for that before picking out the right class.

If you do want a more structured environment, we recommend either taking the Professional Certificate in Introduction to Python Programming course or the Python for Data Science and Machine Learning course.

These courses also come with assignments or projects for you to practice with, so it takes some of the pressure off your shoulders to practice with the code on your own. After all, the best way to get better at programming is through practice.

Learning to Read Documentation

One of the biggest things when it comes to learning online is that you won’t have the face-to-face element with the teacher. A lot of the course will be self-driven, so you’ll have to take initiative to learn everything that you need.

With coding, learning to read documentation is one of the most important parts. Documentation is simply a collection of written descriptions (and sometimes images) that are meant to help you understand how the codebase works. You can read documentation to learn about the differences between Python versions, or you can use documentation to learn how various packages and modules work.

Coding Your Way to Success

job listing for python developer

We’ve finished the basics behind Python certification courses, so now it’s time for you to start coding on your own. Pick the right course that aligns with your goals, and get ready to ace the certification exams. Dedicate time and energy to learning a new programming language and polishing your newfound skills. Once you’ve finished any assignments and projects in your courses, you’ll be running loops around any questions on the CEPP tests!