Python is a computer programming language used by major companies like NASA, Reddit, and even Google. The creator of Python, Guido van Rossum, named the language after his favorite movie: Monty Python’s Flying Circus!
Python is more concise than other languages and it is text-based, which makes it easy to read, write, and understand. Because of this, many professionals consider it the perfect first programming language for beginners. It is also an incredibly versatile skill to have when entering the job market. Skills in Python can set you up for careers in areas like data science, graphic design, and artificial intelligence development.
While it might seem like high school students are too young to learn Python, there is no better time! Below, you will find plenty of resources for young people who want to learn Python. There is no shortage of benefits to starting this journey before going to college. Learning Python early in life can be a great foundation for future learning, employment, or just a creative and unique hobby to keep your brain active.
Books and Online Resources
There are a tremendous amount of resources available to help young adults (down to elementary schoolers!) learn Python. Because Python is typically thought of as an easier language to learn, it is a great introduction to programming languages in general.
While there are plenty of online games and activities for students to learn Python, research suggests that reading still plays an important role in knowledge acquisition. Books allow children the freedom to skip chapters and flip around a book to get the information they need. Students can also read much faster than a person can talk, making reading an efficient way to receive information. Here is a list of a few books to get your collection started:
- Adventures in Minecraft: This book is geared toward children aged 11-15, so it’s best suited for high school freshmen at most. However, if you enjoy Minecraft, this book will teach you how to recreate your gaming experience by being able to program your interactive world.
- Python for Teenagers: Learn to Program like a Superhero: This book gives students fun and easy-to-follow examples that guide them through the fundamentals of Python.
- The Python Guru and Think Python 2e: These are eBooks available for free download, but students are encouraged to print them out to take notes and easily access certain sections of the book when needed.
Outside of physical books and eBooks, there are several other resources available for high school students who want to learn Python. Universities like MIT and Harvard have free lectures available on YouTube for students who are more auditory learners and want to teach themselves concepts from scratch. Finally, Python Central offers many free resources for beginners, including eBooks, video lectures, and tutorials.
Learn Python in NextGen’s Summer Classes
If learning Python in a classroom setting appeals to you, NextGen Bootcamp offers several different Python classes for high school students. Classes can be taken in-person at its Manhattan campus. There are also convenient remote Python classes available that can be attended virtually from anywhere in the world. NextGen courses boast small class sizes, expert instructors, and offer free retakes within one year of the original course date. They are suitable for beginners, though all attendees should have a basic understanding of computers.
The in-person Python classes at NextGen Bootcamp include a two-week Data Science Summer Program designed for beginners who want to learn more about analyzing large datasets. There is also a Web Design Summer Camp that teaches students to design and implement their own completely functional website in just two weeks. Showcasing a website you made can be a great addition to applications for scholarships, internships, and college admissions.
If virtual learning is more suitable for you, there are plenty of options in this category as well. NextGen Bootcamp offers a Python Data Science course that specifically prepares students to use Python in data science applications like artificial intelligence and machine learning. This course takes place on weekdays during the summer for three hours per day for a total of 45 hours. There is also a Computer Science Summer Certificate program, which includes the fundamentals of both Python and Java. This course is 95 hours long and lasts for six weeks.
Python Career Paths
Proficiency in Python can open the door to a wide range of career opportunities depending on your other interests and skills. The US Department of Labor estimates that over half a million new jobs will be created in this area in the next decade. As the world becomes more digitized, programming with Python is no longer limited to computers. Python can be used to develop various household devices, down to lightbulbs and refrigerators! As technology continues to diversify, so too will the job opportunities that require skills in Python.
If you consider yourself a more curious and analytical person, data science may be a path you want to explore. These professionals help businesses in nearly every industry analyze data to answer questions and provide solutions to the biggest challenges they are facing. Data science is one of the most common careers that utilizes Python, and it’s also one of the most lucrative: Data Scientists make an average annual salary of nearly $100,000.
If you enjoy being more creative, you can apply your Python knowledge to a career in web development to build websites and apps. This is another career involving Python that is growing quicker than average and, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, offers an average annual salary of around $77,200 per year.
A final career option that requires extensive Python programming knowledge is in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This field is becoming more necessary as work demands increase in complexity and are no longer able to efficiently be done by humans. For example, AI is being used in the Department of Defense to identify potential threats for both civilians and in cyberspace. A human could not analyze such a large amount of data at once, but AI does not have the same limitations. Artificial Intelligence Engineers are offered a wide range of salaries, but they are typically over $100,000 annually.
Learn more in these courses
Python Data Science & Machine Learning Live Online
- Weekdays only
- 45 hours
- Open to beginners
Learn the most powerful and versatile programming language this summer. In this live online course, high school students will learn Python for data science and machine learning.
Python Data Science & Machine Learning Program NYC
- Weekdays only
- 45 hours
- Open to beginners
Learn programming fundamentals & data science in Python in a 2-week computer summer camp. Gain an in-depth understanding of Python, data science, including inputting, graphing, and analyzing data.
FinTech Summer Program Live Online
- Not currently scheduled
- 72 hours
- Open to beginners
Learn Microsoft Excel, finance, stock market investing, and Python for data science in this interactive, live online summer course for high school students.