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The 10 Best Coursera Coding Courses for Aspiring Programmers

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Coursera is a great place to learn to code—if you’ve been reading Learn to Code With Me for a while, you’ve probably seen me recommend various Coursera coding courses before.

The platform partners with top universities and industry leaders from around the world to offer high-quality courses on a flexible schedule. They teach topics from business to social science, but of course, where I think they shine are their tech and programming courses. (I might be biased, though…)

One of the coolest things about Coursera is that in addition to individual courses, they also feature structured learning paths called specializations, and even accredited online master’s degrees from leading universities. In short, Coursera has learning options for every goal, big or small.

When it comes to programming for beginners, there’s just as much variety, whether you’re eyeing software engineering or data science as a future career. In today’s sponsored post, I want to share some of the best Coursera courses and specializations for aspiring programmers.

The 10 Coursera specializations and courses below cover different coding languages, from HTML/CSS and JavaScript to Scala and C. Plus, these courses cover everything about learning to code—from the very basics of programming and computer science to the more specialized foundations of a tech career.

You can purchase these courses individually, or you can buy all the courses in a specialization as a bundle if you’re confident about the path in tech you want to take. When you complete a course, you’ll receive a shareable electronic Course Certificate or Specialization Certificate that you can add to your LinkedIn and resume.

Disclosure: I’m a proud affiliate for Coursera. If you buy a course through my links on this page, I may get a small commission for referring you. Thanks!

Now let’s start looking at the ten best Coursera coding courses!

 

1. Introduction to Computer Science and Programming (Specialization)

This 3-course specialization will give you an excellent start in the fundamental concepts of computer science. You’ll get a handle on the math side of things, learn how to create 2D and interactive graphics, use coding to solve puzzles and problems, and more.

Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

If you’d like to pursue a degree in computer science, these University of London courses will count toward an online Bachelor of Science degree if you’re admitted to their full program.

      • Introduction to Computer Programming (12 hours)
      • How Computers Work (13 hours)
      • Mathematics for Computer Science (32 hours)
    • What you’ll learn: Computing mathematics, how to create graphical programs, JavaScript, p5.js library, binary and other number bases
    • University taught at: University of London
    • Level: Beginner
    • How long it takes to complete: 2 months (Suggested: 12 hours/week)
    • Price:  $39/month X 2 months = around $78

 

2. SQL for Data Science

With SQL, you’ll learn the foundational skills to start analyzing data like a data scientist. By the end of this course, you’ll be able to use different types of data like strings and numbers, write simple and complex data selection queries, and grasp the fundamentals of SQL. The course is taught by Sadie St. Lawrence, a data scientist and founder/CEO of Women in Data.

SQL for Data Science
    • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/learn/sql-for-data-science
    • What you’ll learn: Filtering, sorting, calculating, modifying, and analyzing data with SQL and SQLite
    • University taught at: University of California, Davis
    • Level: Beginner
    • How long it takes to complete: 20 hours (Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week)
    • Price: Certificate = $49 USD or Audit only = Free
    • What past students say: “A nice course to get introduced to writing SQL queries in data science. Provides hands on exercises that boost confidence. Genuinely appreciate the ease with which SQL topics are covered.”

 

3. Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals (Specialization)

Explore a career as a software engineer throughout this 5-course specialization that mainly teaches you the fundamentals of Java programming. It’s ideal for beginner-level students who want to learn the basics of software development and build a project of their own at the end.

Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals
    • Specialization URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/java-programming
    • Courses:
      • Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS
      • Java Programming: Solving Problems with Software
      • Java Programming: Arrays, Lists, and Structured Data
      • Java Programming: Principles of Software Design
      • Java Programming: Build a Recommendation System
    • What you’ll learn: HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Java
    • University taught at: Duke University
    • Level: Beginner
    • How long it takes to complete: 4 months (Suggested 8 hours/week)
    • Price: $49/month X 4 months = around $196

 

4. HTML, CSS, and Javascript for Web Developers

Build web pages from the ground up using HTML and CSS, which are two of the simplest and best programming languages for beginners. During the course, you’ll code a mobile-friendly restaurant web page and a fully functional web app.

 HTML CSS and Javascript for Web Developers
    • What you’ll learn: HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Ajax
    • University taught at: Johns Hopkins University
    • Level: Beginner
    • How long it takes to complete: 33 hours (Suggested: 5 weeks of study, 4-6 hours/week)
    • Price: $49/month X 2 months = around $98
    • What past students say: “Very good all-round intro and specialisation to HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. The constant loop back to real world problems is very helpful in applying the learned skills.”

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5. Python for Everybody (Specialization)

This 5-course specialization introduces fundamental programming concepts, including data structures, networked application program interfaces, and databases—all programmed with Python. In the capstone project, you’ll pursue your own project to visualize data, as well as designing and creating your own applications for data retrieval and processing using Python.

Python for Everybody
    • Specialization URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/python
    • Courses:
      • Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)
      • Python Data Structures
      • Using Python to Access Web Data
      • Using Databases with Python
      • Capstone: Retrieving, Processing, and Visualizing Data with Python
    • What you’ll learn: Python 3, XML, JSON, SQL, data analysis, SQLite3, D3.js
    • University taught at: University of Michigan
    • Level: Beginner
    • How long it takes to complete: 3 months (Suggested: 11 hours/week)
    • Price: $49/month X 3 months = around $147

 

6. R Programming

In this course, you’ll learn how to program in R use the language for effective data analysis. Understand the basic data types in R, use control structures, learn how to configure statistical programming software, loop functions, and debugging tools in R, and more. You’ll also get to work on programming assignments to sharpen your skills.

R Programming
    • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/learn/r-programming
    • What you’ll learn: R, RStudio
    • University taught at: Johns Hopkins University
    • Level: Intermediate (You should have beginner level experience in Python and familiarity with regression).
    • How long it takes to complete: 20 hours
    • Price: $49/month X 20 hours = $49 USD
    • What past students say: “Optimal R-learning course. Teaching key R concepts that are carefully selected and extracted from a huge R knowledge base. One of the best introductions: containing both simple and complex R programming topics.”

 

7. Ruby on Rails: An Introduction

This comprehensive Ruby on Rails intro course goes beyond the basics to cover more advanced topics such as arrays, hashes, Ruby gems, unit testing, and more. By the end, you’ll be able to build and deploy a web application to the cloud.

Ruby on Rails - An Introduction
    • Course URL: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ruby-on-rails-intro
    • What you’ll learn: Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Heroku, Ruby on Rails editor: Sublime Text
    • University taught at: Johns Hopkins University
    • Level: Beginner
    • How long it takes to complete: 17 hours (Suggested: 3 weeks of study, 2-3 hours/week)
    • Price: $49/month X 17 hours = $49 USD
    • What past students say: “I have played around with Ruby on Rails before but this course really helped me understand the nuts and bolts. It is worth replicating all the examples shown in the videos to get a good understanding.”

 

8. SAS Programming (Specialization)

In this 3-course specialization, you’ll learn how to write SAS programs to access, explore, prepare, and analyze data. SAS programming can be used for applications spanning data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence! By the end of the three courses, you’ll be ready to take the SAS® Base Programmer certification exam to boost your marketability.

SAS Programming
    • Specialization URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/sas-programming
    • Courses:
      • Getting Started with SAS Programming
      • Doing More with SAS Programming
      • Practical SAS Programming and Certification Review
    • What you’ll learn: Base SAS, SAS functions, SAS programming, SAS data sets
    • Taught by: SAS
    • Level: Beginner
  • How long it takes to complete: 2 months (Suggested 13 hours/week)
  • Price: $79/month X 2 months = $158 USD

 

9. Functional Programming in Scala (Specialization)

Did you know that Scala is at the core of huge sites like Twitter and Tumblr (plus Coursera itself)? This 5-course specialization will prepare you to work on similar projects. The courses inside teach you how to write elegant functional code, analyze and manipulate data, design libraries and APIs, create reactive applications, and more. During your capstone project, you’ll use real-world data to build a large data-processing application of your own.

Functional Programming in Scala
    • Specialization URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/scala
    • Courses:
      • Functional Programming Principles in Scala
      • Functional Program Design in Scala
      • Parallel programming
      • Big Data Analysis with Scala and Spark
      • Functional Programming in Scala Capstone
    • What you’ll learn: Scala, Apache Spark, functional programming
    • University taught at: The École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)
    • Level: Intermediate (At least one year of programming experience, in any language.)
    • How long it takes to complete: 5 months (Suggested: 5 hours/week)
    • Price: $49/month X 5 months = approx. $245 USD

 

10. Introduction to Programming in C (Specialization)

In this 4-course specialization, you’ll be using C code to develop algorithms and solve complex problems. At the end of this specialization, you’ll incorporate what you’ve learned into a Monte Carlo simulation for calculating poker hand probabilities.

Introduction to Programming in C

As a bonus, if you’d like to apply for a master’s degree at Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering, Coursera highlights that “Successful completion of this Specialization will be considered by admissions as a demonstration of your skill and enhance your master’s application.”

    • Specialization URL: https://www.coursera.org/specializations/c-programming
    • Courses:
      • Programming Fundamentals
      • Writing, Running, and Fixing Code in C
      • Pointers, Arrays, and Recursion
      • Interacting with the System and Managing Memory
    • What you’ll learn: C, compiler, debugging
    • University taught at: Duke University
    • Level: Beginner
    • How long it takes to complete: 3 months (Suggested: 8 hours/week
    • Price: $49/month X 3 months = approx. $147 USD

Coursera specializations and single courses are a great, affordable way to level up your skills, switch careers, or learn something new just for fun and personal projects, without having to go back to school or spend a ton of money on coding bootcamps.

Since you can learn from your own home with 100% flexibility, these courses are great if you have a full-time job, you’re a parent, or you’re busy with other responsibilities.

No matter what your goals are, these Coursera coding courses can start you off in tech on the right foot!


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