There are so many reasons to learn to code. Maybe you’re looking to start a new career you’ve always dreamed of, want to learn new skills to help you excel at your current job, or simply believe that coding is the future. But where do you start?
Here at Codecademy, we’re passionate about helping you achieve your goals. That’s why we’ve put together a series of Paths, available with your Codecademy Pro membership, designed to give you the skills you need to succeed.
If you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help. In this article, we’ll help you decide what the best Path is for you based on your specific goals and dreams. Plus, we’ll share some resources you can turn to if you still have questions.
I want to change careers
Excited about working in a brand new field? If you’re interested in changing careers, that’s where our Career Paths come in. In November of 2020, we updated our Career Paths to prepare you with everything you’ll need to start a new career in data science or software engineering. They’re designed to guide you through all the elements necessary to build a solid foundation for a new career.
You can learn more about each of our Career Paths below.
Data Science Career Path
The Data Science Career Path gives you all the tools you need to become a Data Analyst, Data Scientist, or a Machine Learning Engineer.
You’ll learn SQL and Python — two languages that are loved by data scientists. Plus, learn techniques for gathering, cleaning, analyzing, and visualizing data, using real datasets provided to Codecademy by Warby Parker, Twitch, Hacker News, Yelp, and more.
You’ll also explore the principles of machine learning and, by the end of the course, you’ll be ready to develop your own machine learning algorithms.
When you’re ready to start your job search, we’ll prepare you with portfolio-worthy projects and techniques for acing technical interviews.
This Path is a great option for anyone interested in getting a grasp of big data, or anyone that’s interested in learning more about data visualizations, data analysis, and working with machine learnings.
Front-End Engineer Career Path
The Front-End Engineer Career Path will set you up with the tools you need to become a Front-End Engineer.
This Career Path will teach you not only the necessary technologies, but how to think like a front-end engineer, too. You’ll learn user experience and design fundamentals, like web accessibility and color theory, to help you build interactive and visually-compelling web pages.
Along the way, you’ll build up your portfolio with projects that stand out to prospective employers. You’ll also get the technical interview skills you need to start your new career.
By the end of the course, you’ll be ready to build web applications that meet the needs of your user or customer.
This Path is a great option for anyone that’s interested in shaping the look and feel of a website, or in building the elements that visitors interact with.
Even if your ultimate goal is to become a back-end or full-stack developer, understanding how the front end is built can help you identify ways to make applications run more smoothly behind the scenes.
Back-End Engineer Career Path
The Back-End Engineer Career Path will guide you through what you’ll need to know to become a Back-End Engineer.
You’ll explore techniques for building APIs and databases. And you’ll learn best practices for securing web applications and back ends with authentication and authorization. You'll encounter all of the major technologies and concepts that a back-end developer should know.
You’ll apply what you’ve learned in a series of portfolio-worthy projects. We’ll also prepare you for the infamous technical interviews you’ll encounter once you begin your job hunt.
By the end of the course, you’ll be well-versed in how programs function to make sure processes are running smoothly behind the scenes.
This path is a great option for anyone interested in learning about the software architecture and logic that powers the front end of web applications.
Full-Stack Software Engineer Career Path
The Full-Stack Engineer Career Path is designed to give you the tools you need to become a Full-Stack Engineer.
In this Career Path, you’ll learn the entire stack from front end to back end, focusing on how the front end and back end are connected and work together.
Along the way, you’ll work on projects that will help you build a job-ready portfolio. We’ll prepare you with the coding skills you need to land a job and nail the technical interview.
By the end of the course, you’ll be able to apply your skills to create a web application with the technology stack of your choice. You’ll be able to recognize what makes a website intuitive and easy to use, as well as how to build it most effectively.
This Path is a great option for anyone interested in the versatility that allows them to contribute to any stage of the software development cycle. You’ll have the well-rounded skills needed to get a project done from start to finish.
Computer Science Career Path
The Computer Science Career Path is designed to help you learn to think like a programmer and gain confidence for technical interviews and screenings.
You’ll learn the fundamentals of Computer Science, starting with an introduction to Python, the world’s most popular programming language. Understanding Python is key to the fields of Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI.
Once you’re familiar with Python, you’ll learn about Data Structures — the fundamental building blocks of Computer Science. Understand heaps, graphs, linked lists, trees, queues, and more.
This Path is a great option for anyone that didn’t study Computer Science in school, or CS majors who want to prepare for their Data Structures and Algorithms classes. All of the fundamentals taught in the Computer Science Career Path can be applied to other languages as you continue to develop your programming skills.
I want to learn skills to advance in my current role
Coding isn’t only for dedicated programmers and developers. Learning to code can help you to master new skills that you can apply in your current job. Workers in marketing, consulting, administration, finance, customer service, IT, and beyond all have the opportunity to add value in their positions by learning to code.
Our Skill Paths are outcome based. Once you’re done, you’ll be armed with a new job-ready skill. Check out the list below and click through to learn more.
- Analyze Data with Python: Learn to manipulate and visualize data with Python.
- Analyze Data with SQL: Learn to manipulate data in databases to make more informed business decisions.
- Analyze Financial Data with Python: Learn to use Python to process, analyze, and visualize financial data.
- Build Chatbots with Python: Go from being a beginner to building a chatbot that will teach itself.
- Get Started with Machine Learning: If you already have some Python experience, this Path will help you understand and learn to build machine learning models.
- Learn How to Build Websites: Learn HTML and CSS and start building websites, or tweaking your existing blog or website design. For a deeper dive, check out the Web Development Career Path.
- Visualize Data with Python: Create powerful data visualizations, including custom charts and graphs, using Python.
- SQL for Marketers and Product Managers: Perfect for Marketers, Product Managers, Consultants, and Data Analysts who already have some SQL experience. Learn techniques for analyzing funnels, churn, and attribution.
I want to learn to code for personal growth or fun
Do you believe in a future where everybody knows how to code? So do we! But we also know that if you don’t have a specific skill or destination in mind, it can be even harder to decide where to start.
If this is you, we recommend the Code Foundations Career Path. Code Foundations is designed to give you a basic introduction to the world of code. You’ll get an overview of the Computer Science, Web Development, and Data Science industries, including insight from professionals.
When you’re done, you’ll be set up to make the right decision about what Path to start next!
Still not sure where to start?
Outside of our Career Paths and Skill Paths, we also offer a collection of Pro Courses that dive into some pretty interesting topics.
Learn Python 3, one of our most popular Pro Courses, will get you up to speed on the latest and greatest version of Python. Check out Learn Web Scraping with Beautiful Soup to learn how to pull data off the web. Or, explore some of our other interesting Pro Courses (many of which you won’t find in our Career or Skill Paths):
You can head to our Catalog for a full list or Pro Courses.
If you still have questions, we’re here to answer them! The public Codecademy Community Facebook group is a great resource. You’ll be able to ask questions and get advice from other learners that have been in your shoes. The Codecademy Forums are also a great place to find advice on getting started.
Once you decide on the Path or Course that’s right for you, let us know what you choose! Drop a comment below.