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5 Reasons to Learn Python in 2021

Python has been climbing higher on the popularity ladder each year. Do you know Python? If not, you might want to learn it in 2021!

If you looked at a chart showing the number of questions asked on Stack Overflow about programming languages, you’d see that Python has been topping the charts year after year. There are good reasons why this is the case – and why you should consider learning Python in 2021.

Why Is Python So Desirable?

With the rise of machine learning (ML) and data science, Python has been climbing the popularity ladder alongside these topics. One of the main reasons behind this is Python’s data processing, linear algebra, and ML libraries. Python is becoming a go-to language for these kinds of tasks; this is boosting its popularity and helping it overtake data science-oriented languages like R. (There are, of course, other factors that have contributed to Python’s popularity, which we’ll get to in a moment.)

There are certainly other languages that can accomplish the same tasks. For example, Java has some interesting ML and data analysis libraries. If you would like to read more about the Java vs. Python debate, have a look at this article.

If you already know Python and want to learn more about Data Science, check out our Python for Data Science course, where you can learn more Python and improve your data science knowledge. Or maybe you’re looking to brush up on your general Python programming skills and don’t know where to start. In that case, this resource on how to practice Python will help.

If that is a bit too much for your current knowledge, there is always our beginning programming with Python track, where you learn programming from scratch using Python. Either way, there is always a path to follow to improve your skills!

You might be asking yourself “Hey, all these courses are interesting, but why would I learn Python? How would it help me?”. There are many reasons why you should learn Python in 2020. Let’s look at just five of them:

1. It’s Very Beginner Friendly

Unlike some other languages (I’m looking at you, C/C++), Python is a very beginner-friendly language. All of the nitty-gritty details which can be very intimidating for newcomers are hidden under its elegant hood. You don’t need to deal with pointers, memory allocation, and types.

This simplicity makes Python a great start for any up-and-coming programmer. Circumventing the difficult details and being able to simply write code and test it makes the whole learning procedure a lot smoother. In some other languages, even basic code might take longer and look a lot more complicated. This in turn can demotivate newcomers, who  can easily feel like they can’t possibly learn programming – which is not correct at all!

5 Reasons to Learn Python in 2021

As a personal example, I use Python just to test the code I want to write and see if it will work as intended. Sometimes I need to write a very complicated algorithm in C/C++, which I first try to implement in Python to verify its correctness. Afterward, when I am sure it works, I wade into the more complicated languages, knowing the algorithm is correct and any unwanted results are most likely because of some bugs that I inadvertently introduced later on.

2. There’s a Fantastic Community

Since Python is very popular with developers, the chances of finding a tutorial or course to teach you whatever you want to know are pretty good. Any problem you might be having is probably already solved on Stack Overflow. This will save you a lot of headaches when you are struggling through a particularly nasty debugging session, which might take a couple of hours to completely finish.

This also applies to courses you might find online. There is a huge demand for quality Python courses, since a lot of people are trying to learn the language to kick start a new career or increase their productivity. It might be difficult to find good courses when thousands of them exist, but we’ve got you covered. So where do you find good Python courses? My colleague Jakub has collected and described some worthwhile online Python courses in his article.

3. There’s a Rich Ecosystem

Think of any random task. Chances are Python has a module for it in its particularly wide and rich ecosystem. Here’s a very quick list of some of the many Python modules available:

  • NumPy (numerical computing and linear algebra)
  • Pandas (data pre-processing and modification)
  • Django (web development)
  • PyTorch (Deep Learning modules)

And there are many, many more. This makes learning Python really valuable, as you open up doors for many different tasks. Some languages are specialized to deal with specific tasks (like R for statistical computing), but learning a specialized language may limit your job options to those tasks only. While we can’t say that Python does everything better than other languages, it has many uses and many things it can easily accomplish.

Ready for another personal example? In my previous job, I was using Python and Django to build a backend for my company, using another Python module named Scrapy to collect website data, and using Pandas to clean and structure the data I collected. All these tasks were completed with only a single programming language! That is why learning Python can be a great investment.

4. Python Supports Many Career Paths

Because of Python’s latest surge in popularity, the number of jobs you can get as a Python developer has significantly increased as well. From web development to data science, a Python developer has enough tools to tackle many kinds of challenges. Just searching for Python developer jobs on LinkedIn will give you a rough idea of how many different positions are available.

5 Reasons to Learn Python in 2021

Of course, simply searching through LinkedIn is not enough to find your dream job. Take a look at this article on how to search for Python jobs for more ideas. Although just knowing Python is not enough for most jobs, it is a great starting place. For example, if you wanted to pursue web development, you’d need to learn more about APIs and the Django library. This applies to data science and machine learning as well. They require quite a lot of mathematical knowledge, but all these jobs have one thing in common; they rely heavily on Python and its libraries.

If you apply for a Python developer job, you will certainly be put through a couple of technical interviews at least one of which will definitely be about Python. It’s good to be well prepared for it. You don't know what to expect? We have collected common interview questions for junior Python developer jobs. Check it out and see what you need to work on.

5. It’s a Great Secondary Language

You might already know a programming language pretty well. This might make you think “I already know the X language and have a job. Why would I go out of my way to learn Python too?”.

There are many uses for Python, one of which is to write scripts to automate tasks. Automating tests or certain data cleaning procedures with Python is a common use case. When I am doing research, most of the time I use Python to write tests for my code. Python also has an OS library that allows you to use specific operating system commands, like running other programs. This helps you to run your code with different arguments many times and time them while recording the results.

Is Learning Python for You?

As you can see, knowing Python can be a huge asset – especially in 2021, where there are tons of opportunities for people who know Python. The world economy is in crisis, and one of your best defenses is constant development and acquiring in-demand new skills. That is why it is worth entering the IT world. And, in my opinion, the best way to do that is to learn Python!

Plus, there is always the possibility of using Python to do some freelancing work, which would let you earn some money on the side.

Think about all the reasons for learning Python in 2021. The question shouldn't be if learning Python is worth it. It should be “Why aren't I learning Python yet?”! See you in class.