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Learning to code is the kind of future-proof skill that anyone can benefit from; opening professional doors and helping to ensure long-term prospects. Coding is the way of the future, and it has even been said that there will be shortages of experienced coders over the next ten years and more; and where there are shortages, there will always be outstanding opportunities for highly skilled workers. Essentially, coding is a skill that will always be beneficial, either as a full-time profession or an eye-catching and recruiter-attracting addition on your CV.
However, before reaping the benefits of being able to code in a world where coders are in short supply, you first need to learn the tenets of this oh-so-useful skill. To do this, you’ll need to undertake a course, and that means that you will – in turn – have to find the right coding course provider.
As coding has become steadily more and more prolific, and the shortage of coders has become well-known, the number of providers offering coding courses and qualifications has exploded in number. To assist you in the process of finding the ideal provider for your needs, we’ve assembled a list of the best online courses that are currently available in the UK, as well as a little extra information anyone seeking to learn to code should find beneficial.
When considering online coding course providers, we analyse a number of different factors in order to decide which can offer the best experience to learners. To begin, we first look at the experience of the provider and their history, as well as the expertise of the teachers who will be leading each course.
From there, we evaluate the cost of the courses the provider offers, and also balance this in terms of the quality – with the ideal result being a provider who offers courses that are reasonable in terms of cost, but nevertheless offer a high quality experience to students.
Next, we check what is arguably the most important element of all: the opinions of students who are, or have previously been, enrolled with the providerThis final check ensures that we can assess a provider from the perspective of an “insider”; those who have personal experience of the provider and the courses they provide.
We then combine the results of all of the above considerations to ascertain the overall performance of the provider and reach our final verdict.
We’ve researched, analysed, and assessed every possible coding course provider – across a range of different options, from C++ to Python to Ruby and beyond – to determine which can be considered to be the most suitable for eager new students. Following our extensive research, we now believe that the following are the top five options for those seeking to learn to code:
Online learning has come a long way over the past two decades, rising from little more than a niche concept to a full-blown, respected industry. However, despite this impressive growth, some do wonder if it’s possible to actually learn in an online setting; a setting which is, after all, very different from the conventional schooling most of us were brought up with.
Thankfully, we can confirm that coding is definitely possible to learn online. Due to the very nature of the subject, anyone undertaking a course will spend a significant amount of time online, so following an online course actually blends effortlessly with the necessary practical learning. Nevertheless, it’s still important that any would-be learner considers the pros and cons of studying online:
As the above demonstrates, the advantages definitely outweigh the positives when it comes to learning to code online. There are potential cons to contend with, but it’s worth noting that both of the points can apply generally to studying online; they are not coding-specific. Given that hundreds of thousands of people study and build their skillsets with online courses every year, it’s reasonable to expect that while these “cons” do exist, the multiple “pros” of online learning more than mitigate such concerns.
Absolutely! Learning to code involves spending a huge amount of time online and at a computer, so it naturally suits online learning methods.
The cost of learning to code online can vary significantly depending on a number of factors; see the next section for more information on average costs.
We believe that Udemy are the best choice for those looking to learning code online, but there are other highly-rated providers you might want to consider also.
Naturally, anyone hoping to undertake an online coding course will need to know exactly how much the endeavour will cost in total. To help answer this question, we have looked at the range of courses offered by the most common providers and the relevant price points, with the goal of ascertaining the average price for the most popular course options. We have tried to focus primarily on the cost price of each course without discounts; many providers do offer occasional promotions, but we wanted to ascertain the baseline figures without such promos – so that any discount that is available when you go to sign up can be a surprise bonus. Here’s what you can expect to pay for online coding courses, on average, in 2019:
Many prospective students ask themselves if learning to code online is expensive, especially in comparison to attending a brick-and-mortar school. There are a few different areas to investigate when seeking to find an answer to this question:
The first cost consideration is transport; learning to code online means that you can study from the comfort of your own home – so there’s no bus or petrol costs to be concerned with. Secondly, studying online almost always means that all the study materials required for the course will be provided digitally; there’s therefore less chance you’ll need to buy expensive textbooks. Finally, if you are a parent, studying offline might mean that you need to arrange (often expensive) childcare in order to attend your classes; a cost that can be avoided by choosing to study online.
There are, of course, costs involved if you choose to study an online coding course: the cost of the course itself being the prime example, and you’ll also need to have an internet connection (though most students will presumably have access to this anyway). However, the cost differential between online and offline study is significant, and we can reasonably conclude that online study should work out to be the most cost-effective choice.
It’s difficult to say exactly how many modules each individual coding course will have, as there is such a significant difference between each course. For example, some coding courses will focus on a single programming language; these courses tend to be shorter, with relatively few modules.
In contrast, other courses are far more in-depth. They seek to provide enough information to take a student from a complete novice when it comes to coding to someone who is reaching professional standards. To reflect this, the course is far more expansive; there are far more modules and – in some cases – a number of different programming languages will be taught, at least to some degree. In addition, the course may focus on helping the student to build a portfolio in addition to teaching the basics of coding – a step that other, shorter courses may omit entirely.
Due to the above differences, we can’t say exactly what you should expect from a coding course when it comes to modules. The best thing to do is to research each individual course in depth and see if the modules align with your preferences and what you’re hoping to learn, and then make the decision based on that specific information.
How long an online coding course takes depends, as one might expect, on the course itself. Some courses are short; designed more to introduce a few concepts and provide a starter guide but little more. Other courses are far more advanced and are designed to prime the student to code professionally, which means they require far more commitment and many, many hours of study. As a result, the length of course you will enroll on will always be governed by what you hope to learn, your reasons for learning to code, and your overall goals.
Another time-related aspect of online coding courses relates to the time you’ll spend actually working on the course. Many prospective students become concerned that they will have to work to a schedule as set by the provider, as would usually be the case with brick-and-mortar institutions. Fortunately, set schedules are highly unlikely; in fact, one of the greatest benefits about learning to code online is the vast majority of courses allow students to study at their own pace and as and when suits them.
Lastly, there is the question of overall duration of the course. Some online courses are open-ended; with these courses, you can take your time and complete as suits your own preferences. Others will set a date by which the course must be finished; you should be able to find which applies to the course you are considering in the general terms of the course, or you can ask the provider directly.
Absolutely. Not only is coding an incredibly beneficial skill, but online courses are a great way to learn.
For a singular course, you can expect to pay between £100-150. Monthly course models vary between £20 and £40, though can be higher depending on depth of study.
Usually yes; though it’s always worth double-checking with the course provider if you are unsure.
Potentially; many employers recognise the benefits of a workforce who are upskilled in coding, so it’s always worth asking to see if your current employer is willing to fund your study.