Python Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Python programming?
  • Python is one of the most versatile and popular programming languages being used by top industry organizations. It is an open-source programming language and is used in software engineering, web applications programming, data science and machine learning. 
  • Is Python easy to learn?
  • Yes. Although Python is frequently used among professionals, Python is regarded as a concise and easy-to-read language making it popular among beginners in programming.
  • Who is the Python for Data Science, Web and Core Programming Professional Concentration designed for?
  • This program is designed for beginning and intermediate programmers. It is appropriate for career changers interested in data science or computer programming roles with no prior existing knowledge or experience in programming or Python. The program also offers more advanced courses using Python for data analysis, so it is also relevant to those with existing Python skills who are looking to learn more about the application into data science.
  • Are there any prerequisites for the Python program?
  • No, there are no prerequisites to start this program. The program is designed to be completed in a specific order. There is also the option to take individual classes if you have previous Python experience.
  • How long will it take to complete the online Professional Concentration in Python for Data Science, Web and Core Programming?
  • The program consists of five online courses, spanning four academic quarters. Each course is offered at least twice each year. You can complete the program in as few as 9 months, but have up to 5 years to earn your professional concentration.

    The fastest way to earn your Professional Concentration in Python for Data Science, Web and Core Programming is to enroll in our Python Fast Track Program. This option ensures that you stay the course and complete the professional concentration in 9 months. The fast track is available all four quarters. Learn more about our Fast Track option.
  • What is the Python Programming Certificate digital badge?
  • Upon successful completion of the professional concentration, you will earn a digital "Certificate" badge, a graphic verification of the skills you have mastered. You will also earn a digital badge for each successfully completed class in the program.

    Our partner, Credly, will provide you with this digital version of your credentials. Digital badges are a great way to share your educational achievements and new competencies with employers, colleagues, friends and family via social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Digital badging is rapidly becoming the new standard by which adult learners visually communicate their professional development. Learn more about badges.
  • How much time can I expect to spend on coursework?
  • The amount of time each student spends on coursework can vary, but generally speaking you can expect to spend about 3 hours of classroom time and up to 6 hours of homework per week with each course. If you are new to Python and programming, we advise that you budget additional time in your schedule to spend on course material. 
  • What jobs will the Python Programming Professional Concentration prepare me for?
  • This program will prepare you for careers in data science, data analytics and software development. You will have the skills to find employment as a web developer, software developer, software engineer, data scientist, data engineer, server engineers, data analysts, data visualization and modeling engineers and machine learning engineers to name a few. And because most major programming languages share many similarities, you will not be limited to jobs that solely utilize Python. 
  • Do I need to take the required courses in a specific order?
  • It is suggested, but not required, that you take courses in the following order: Introduction to Python Programming; Intermediate Python; Python for Data Analysis; Data Preparation, Modeling, and Visualization with Python; and Data Structures, Data Mining and Big Data with Python. The order of courses taken can vary depending on your experience level. If you have questions about the course sequence, contact Enrollment Coach Miriam Chavez at miachavez@ucdavis.edu.
  • Can I enroll in Python classes without completing the Professional Concentration?
  • Yes, you can enroll in individual Python classes without completing the professional concentration. However, if you later decide to complete the professional concentration, courses you’ve taken will be applied to the program. 
  • How many academic credits will I earn with the Python program? 
  • Upon successful completion of the Professional Concentration, you will earn a total of 9.5 academic units.
  • Can I apply the academic credits I earn in this program to a degree program? 
  • Acceptance of our courses toward a degree is determined by the institution where you want to earn the degree. We recommend that students who wish to apply a UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education course toward a degree at another institution should verify acceptance of the course with that institution before enrolling. Visit our Student Services FAQs page for more information. 
  • Are any materials required for the Python courses?
  • Anaconda for Python 3.X and 4.X software program are required.
  • What is the difference between a certificate program and a professional concentration?
  • A Certificate Program is a series of courses providing in-depth study, so you can get the most up-to-date skills and information you need to excel in your chosen field or transition to a new career. These professional education programs provide a minimum of 12 units (120 hours) academic credit. A UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education certificate represents a much deeper understanding of your industry beyond what a course or workshop provides. Some certificates prepare you to take accreditation exams or meet state-mandated requirements for continuing education.