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Mastering Python is a really powerful, really flexible skill that everybody can use daily to advance their education or career, and these titles by Coursera can be a very effective way to get there. The courses are all top quality, and you can combine them in many ways, whatever your Python interests are.

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The first three courses were designed to be taken in sequence, but that is not mandatory. You may want to pair any of the general, introductory courses in this selection with one of those targeting specific fields, like Data Science, Investment Management or IT Automation. The choice is yours.

Python for Everybody

This course by the University of Michigan is made for everybody who wants to learn to program with Python from scratch as well as how to use it to analyze any kind of digitized data. The first part of the course describes all the basics of Python — from its installation, to the variables available to store and process information, to the fundamental programming tools such as functions and loops. The rest of the course teaches how to write Python code that retrieves, cleans, processes and visualizes data according to your needs.

Python 3 Programming

This course teaches the fundamentals of programming in Python 3. You will learn how to debug programs, use Application Programming Interfaces, find and download on the Internet, and process text and images for photographic applications optical character recognition or Face Detection to create contact sheets.

This course is both a good next step after the Python for Everybody course to learn more about Python fundamentals and a good preparation for courses like Applied Data Science with Python.

Applied Data Science with Python

Data Science is built on programming, but it needs more than actual programming skills to produce good results. This is the problem that this Applied Data Science course is designed to solve with Python.

Participation requires only a basic Python or programming background, but teaches how to use popular Python toolkits such as Pandas and Matplotlib to analyze and visualize data in the most effective ways, by applying inferential statistics, machine learning and other powerful techniques. The skills acquired with this course can be directly applied to many fields, from social network analysis to text processing and economics or scientific statistics.

Data Science Fundamentals with Python and SQL

This course is a good introduction to programming databases and data science applications in general with Python. In addition to basic Python programming concepts and tools, from data structures to libraries such as Pandas and Numpy, this course delivers hands-on knowledge of Data Science and Relational Database fundamentals.

In the first category, the course covers tools such as Jupyter Notebooks, R Studio, GitHub and Watson Studio that you will learn to use for Data Visualization, Descriptive Statistics, Probability Distribution and other Statistical Analysis scenarios. On the database side, you will learn how to manage and query databases with the full power of the SQL query language.

Introduction to Programming with Python and Java

This Introduction to Programming with Python and Java course is for students and professionals who have minimal or no coding experience. Lessons start with basic concepts in Python and progress to more complex subjects such as object-oriented programming and data structures in Java.

At the end of this series of four courses, you will know the basics of data analysis, data visualization, object-oriented programming and unit testing, and you will be able to write fully-functional programs in both Python and Java.

Investment Management with Python and Machine Learning

Would you like to acquire the skills for making sound investment decisions? This course allows you to do so not just at the theoretical level, but also gives you the ability to design and write yourself software that puts those decisions to practice.

On the theoretical side, you will gain an understanding of advanced data analytics methodologies and quantitative modeling applied to alternative data in investment decisions. Coding-wise, this course will teach you how to write custom Python code to build or analyze efficient portfolio strategies, estimate risk and return parameters, and process financial data sets with machine learning techniques.

Google IT Automation with Python

Programming is always a great skill, but what really matters in the professional world is the ability to solve real-world IT problems — and even more important, to automate their solutions. This beginner-level, six-course certificate developed by Google is designed to teach you just that, using one of the most in-demand programming languages: Once you enroll, you will learn how to automate with Python all sorts of tasks at any scale, both for physical machines and virtual ones in the cloud, using configuration management together with version control systems like Git and GitHub.