Best Codecademy courses to learn programming, design, data science
Remember the guys with the tape around the middle of their coke-bottle glasses? Computer geeks grew up to become industry leaders, as predicted. They also ushered in the information age, in which computer technology reigns. Codecademy’s goal is to make your shift from consumer to the creator of tomorrow’s cutting-edge technology possible.
Here is a tour of the best Codecademy courses and classes as well as career and skill paths. We hope to inspire you to get your geek on too! Learn to code.
Codecademy Courses – Overview
Codecademy started in 2011 intending to “give anyone in the world the ability to learn the skills they’d need to succeed in the 21st century.” Fast forward ten years, and they are still on their mission. The world had already been gradually making transitions to the web in almost every area of life. And, the current global pandemic has only accelerated that.
The fact is that upskilling and reskilling in other fields are becoming necessary to compete in the world economy. That said, building skills in this area gives you an exceptional advantage over your peers who didn’t – the power to produce technology.
Codecademy’s mission is to “create a world where anyone can build something meaningful with technology…” If you’re not sure where to start, you can take a quiz to figure out areas of interest. It asks nothing about technology but helps to get a sense of your work style and personality. Codecademy then suggests suitable learning tools.
Once you’ve got that figured out, you can enroll in individual Codecademy courses, career or skill paths. We will give you more detail on each of these options in a bit.
Let’s talk pricing. Codecademy keeps it simple. Their Premium Pro level costs $15.99 a month (which they bill annually) and comes with all the bells and whistles. Also, you’re welcome to take Codecademy classes for free as a basic member, but you don’t get real-world projects, step-by-step guidance, or certificates.
Alternative providers: There is a great selection of providers out there offering similar and more specialized programs such as Udacity nanadegrees, Springboard bootcamps, Datacamp courses, or Coursera courses.
Best Codecademy Courses 2021 – Top Picks
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Codecademy Courses – Individual Classes
These Codecademy courses cover a wide range of topics and can be accessed for free. Most of them are open to beginners.
1. Learn How To Code
The description calls the course “language agnostic” which, similarly to religious agnosticism, simply means it is non-commital. This course gives you programming basics. The goal is to teach the concepts that are common to all programming languages.
This is a beginner course that can be the first step toward becoming a developer. It's also one of the best Codecademy courses if you “can’t decide which language to learn first, or just want to increase your digital literacy.”
2. Learn Python 3
In this 30 hour course, you learn the fundamental programming concepts as well as how to Python programming language. The syllabus progresses through Control Flow, Lists, Loops, Functions, Strings, Modules, Dictionaries, Files, Classes, and Function Arguments.
Optional code challenges give you additional opportunities to practice what you’re learning. Your real-world project challenges you to create a retail point of sale system. Alternatively, browse our list of best Python courses.
3. Learn HTML
If you want to build web pages, then an HTML course will give you the skills you need. This course teaches common HTML tags. You will learn how to organize text, place images and videos in your web pages and create HTML tables.
This is a 9-hour Codecademy course that covers tables, forms and semantic HTML. Each of the three lessons has a project practical, and the end project is to create a fashion blog. Looking for other options? See our review of the best HTML & CSS courses.
4. Learn CSS
Learn how to add color and customize the layout of your web pages in this course. This 10 hour CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) course takes you through five modules.
You begin with visual rules and move through the box model, display and positioning, colors and typography. Mini projects challenge to practice each topic. They recommend you learn HTML before you get into CSS on this Codecademy course.
5. Learn Java
Codecademy built a 25-hour course to teach this versatile, compatible programming language. Java drives software, mobile apps and the Android operating system. Learn fundamental programming concepts such as object-oriented programming (OOP).
You’ll build 7 Java projects, including a basic calculator, a desert island playlist, and something called “Planting a Tree”. Codecademy recently updated this course with more in-depth training modules. This is a good early course for aspiring developers. You can see a list of alternative Java Courses here.
7. Learn Bootstrap
Gamers can relate to bootstrap as a sort of cheat code for creating beautiful, engaging websites. This 3-hour course shows you how to shortcut writing a great deal of CSS from scratch. You will need a basic understanding of HTML as a prerequisite to this class.
Having some CSS Selectors and Visual Rules under your belt can be helpful before enrolling. This course teaches the Bootstrap 4 grid system and gives you practice styling and populating your site using the utility classes and components you learned.
Codecademy Courses – Career Paths
Codecademy offers Career Paths for learners “who want to develop in-depth foundational knowledge for a career in web development, computer science, or data science.” Those paths consist of multiple Codecademy courses online.
Career paths offer the resources and projects to learn real-world skills and also practice them. They are 6-12 months long and are only available on Codecademy Pro. Here are 4 of the best Codecademy career paths suitable for beginners.
8. Data Scientist
For aspiring Data Scientists and Data Analysts, the learning outcomes in this Career Path should prepare you for any role in which you use data to make decisions. The track focuses on big data, Python and machine learning intending to allow you to create.
Your creations become part of a portfolio that you can use to help land your next job or promotion. Modules on the Career Path are Data Acquisition, Data Wrangling and Tidying and Hypothesis Testing. The practical Python portfolio project challenges you to sort and analyze data on US medical insurance costs. Key skills you will learn include SQL, Python 3, NumPy, Pandas, Matplotlib, and Scikit-learn.
9. Data Analyst
Codecademy invites you to consider its course as the pathway to an entry-level role as a high-in-demand Data Analyst. Gaining these skills will certainly give you what you need to get in the door in a tech company with a good starting salary.
This Career Path has much in common with the Data Scientist path, with a few differences to focus the learning on analysis. Practicals include analyzing Warby Parker’s marketing funnel to calculate conversion rates and using Seaborn to visualize World Cup Data.
This path also gives you Python 3, SQL, Pandas, NumPy and Matplotlib, but here, you don’t get the Scikit-learn machine learning modules. Instead, you get the seaborn data library for statistical data visualization and SciPy open-source software ecosystem.
10. Computer Science
This Codecademy career path will prepare learners for various roles in technology and computer science. It is designed to lay a solid foundation to the degree that a college course would. Learn how to think and code like a professional on this career path.
It promises to make you a “Python master.” That said, the syllabus lists five modules, but three of them are noted as “coming soon.” The two that are active – Introduction to Programming and Data Structures and Algorithms.
These two may be enough to give you the promised skills listed, including Python, Command Line, Git, and Data Structures. Nevertheless, this course is clearly not ready to deliver everything it intends to, so perhaps hold off until they release the other modules.
11. Front End Engineer
The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea project challenges you to add animations to an existing static web page. You will practice your newly acquired React skills by building an application that allows users to create a custom Spotify playlist.
Codecademy Courses – Skill Tracks
Described as a “short roadmap,” these are collections of curated content and Codecademy courses compiled and offered to you as a way to help you zero in on a specific skill. Skill paths are 2-3 months long. All but one of these are good for beginners.
12. Code Foundations
The idea of this 2 week Skill Path is to give you a taste of the range of possibilities. At the end, you can make an informed decision about pursuing a career in Computer Science, Web Development or Data Science. After an agnostic introduction to coding, the next three modules take you deeper into each of the three above-mentioned career fields.
13. Build A Website With HTML, CSS and GitHub Pages
This is a hands-on, practical, 10-week journey that will help you get your feet wet as a coder, learn the web development basics, and actually create a website. Need to build or improve a website? This skill path can get you there also! You will learn how to read and write code get the skills to and design with your own layouts, colors, and animation.
In one project, you will build a responsive website for a fictitious school from scratch. Skills you will pick up include HTML, CSS, Responsive Design, Flexbox and Github Pages. Not the right thing? Find a selection of the best web design courses here.
14. Analyze Financial Data With Python
If you want to upskill beyond Excel, this 10-week skill path will help you graduate into data analysis using Python. Presenting your data by visualizing it with graphs and charts and interpreting large data sets are a couple of the new practices you will acquire on this path.
You will also learn how to design and run A/B tests on your data. You will practice this latter skill by running a test for a food start-up to help them make data-driven decisions. Skills you will gain include Python, data manipulation with Pandas, NumPy, Data Visualization with MatPlotLib, and Jupyter. Still looking? Here are the best business analytics courses.
15. Build Deep Learning Models with TensorFlow
Deep Learning is a subfield of machine learning and inspired by the design and construction of the human brain. This 6-week career path will show you how to use TensorFlow, coupled with the Keras API and Python. With these tools, you can “train, test, and tune deep learning models without knowing advanced math.”
To start this Codecademy course path, you should already have some practical knowledge of Python, NumPy, and machine learning under your belt. Along the way, you will learn to analyze vast amounts of data and understand Neural Networks.
In one deep learning classification project, you create a model that involves predicting if an X-ray shows the presence of pneumonia or COVID-19.
16. Build Basic Android Apps with Java
Have you ever wanted to create your own app? This skill path wants to take you from zero to the Android app in 10 weeks or less. They invite you to get ready to “see your work on the tiny screen.” This Codecademy course path teaches programming basics and aims to get you acquainted with an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
Projects include recreating the classic arcade game Space Invaders using Phaser.js and creating a treasure hunter game to practice looping through arrays. Get familiar with Andriod Studio and build skills in Java, XML, Layout Editor and Material Design.
17. Build iOS Apps with SwiftUI
On this skill path, you have the option to create an app for iPhone if you prefer it over Android. Indeed, you could equip yourself with both and begin your journey as a more dynamic coder. You will work with Apple’s most recent “UI framework and elegant language to build projects both on- and off-platform.”
Lessons include wireframing and creating a project in Xcode, several Building Code History lessons and publishing to the App store. An early project allows you to use Swift dictionaries to decode Morse code secret messages. The sequence of lessons on this path is nicely linear, with sensible stages to get you to the finish line.
Codecademy Courses – Pros and Cons
Even the best Codecademy courses have their strengths and weaknesses.
Codecademy Courses Pros
- There’s enough free content for you to get some value on this platform without spending any money.
- Relative to other computer science learning platforms in the marketplace, this one is very reasonably priced.
- There are options for hobbyists and aspiring tech professionals alike.
- Most of the content is open to beginners.
- The user interface is attractive.
- Ever learning experience provides interesting and engaging projects to give you practice with your new skills.
Codecademy Courses Cons
- If you already have a strong foundation, most of the content may be too basic for your needs.
- It is not clear whether the skill paths contain Codecademy’s proprietary content – they describe these as “curated.” This may mean YouTube videos by various content creators and other resources that can be accessed for free. I’ve seen one other platform do this, but their curated content offerings were totally free with no certification offered.
- The one Career Path that displayed 5 Codecademy courses, with three of them marked “Coming Soon,” gives me pause.
Best Codecademy Courses Online – Review Verdict
Wrapping up our tour of the best Codecademy courses online. Caveat emptor. Codecademy offers learners a rather inexpensive entry to the world of coding, computer science and data science. Nevertheless, any dollar spent should be spent prudently.
Online learning platforms in general allow you to research the details of their course offerings without having to even log in. Codecademy does not, and there are some critical unanswered questions because of it.
Where did they curate the skill path content from? Why is there a career path that is not completely developed on offer? If you have to ask these kinds of “what exactly am I paying for” questions, that’s not good.
Take free Codecademy courses first. Take more than one so you can really test the quality and consistency before paying for anything. That said, there are other excellent options out there that are presented with a level of professionalism that I find is missing here.
I can still say that Codecademy courses are indeed providing a means for the masses to access the learning opportunity to “build something meaningful using technology.” Nevertheless, they have some housekeeping to do to truly stand out as professionals.
Best Codecademy Courses Online – 2021Codecademy Courses – Individual Classes
- Learn How To Code
- Learn Python 3
- Learn HTML
- Learn CSS
- Learn Java
- Learn Bootstrap
- Data Scientist
- Data Analyst
- Computer Science
- Front End Engineer
- Code Foundations
- Build A Website With HTML, CSS and GitHub Pages
- Analyze Financial Data With Python
- Build Deep Learning Models with TensorFlow
- Build Basic Android Apps with Java
- Build iOS Apps with SwiftUI
What are the best Codecademy courses online? Which other Codecademy courses would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below. Note, this round-up of online Codecademy courses is not meant to be a comprehensive list of coverage. There are further learning options and solutions on the platform's website.
Credits: Screenshots Codecademy courses website.