What is Python? | What can you do with Python?
The world of computing and data science is constantly changing. In recent years, a major change in the field is the rapid growth of the Python programming language.
Python is a general purpose coding language that is used in many web development and information technology jobs to perform a variety of programming tasks.
“In addition to supporting a wide range of uses, it is considered a friendly language for beginners,” said Adam goldstein, Assistant Instructor for STEM Programs at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU). “Notably, it was designed for readability in formatting and its attempt to reflect English as much as possible.”
If you want to pursue a career in computer programming, data science, or cybersecurity, understanding what Python is and what you can do with it will be key to your success.
What is Python for?
Since Python is a general purpose programming language, it can be used for web development, back end development, software development, data science, etc.
It is often used with other programming tools as a scripting language for web applications, allowing developers to automate series of tasks and increase efficiency.
According to Goldstein, Python can be used for everything from designing desktop and mobile applications to developing web server applications and analyzing data.
The programming language is even a major component of some of the best desktop and web apps used by millions of people today, including Dropbox and Venmo, according to an article by Skillcrush.
What jobs use Python?
With such extensive applications, it’s no wonder that Python is becoming an increasingly demanded skill among computer programmers and developers. But what can you do with Python to develop your career? According to Goldstein, the opportunities are plentiful.
“With the growing popularity of Python, almost any IT job can use Python,” he said. “System administration, network engineering, cybersecurity, and digital forensics all use Python script elements to automate common tasks. “
Some of the fastest growing careers that use Python as a staple of their toolkit include:
- Network and IT systems administrator: As an administrator of networks and computer systems, you could be responsible for the day-to-day operations of an organization’s computer networks. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for network and computer systems administrators was $ 84,810 in 2020. Jobs in this field are expected to increase 4% from 2019 to 2029.
- Information security analyst: With a job in information security, you could plan and implement security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks, systems, and data. According to the BLS, information security analysts earned a median annual salary of $ 103,590 in 2020. The demand for information security analysts continues to increase with the rate of cyber attacks, and jobs in this area are expected to increase by 31% by 2029.
- Database administrator: As a database administrator, you can use specialized software and programming knowledge to store, organize, and protect an organization’s data, such as financial records or information about assets. clients. According to the BLS, database administrators earned a median annual salary of $ 98,860 in 2020. Jobs for database administrators are expected to increase by 10% from 2019 to 2029.
According to Goldstein, learning Python is an important part of preparing for these and other roles in the IT world.
“There are dedicated jobs for Python programmers, but in many cases Python is used to support other roles,” he said. “Learning Python as part of a professional degree program is a great opportunity to incorporate the programming skills needed in the workplace.”
How to learn Python
If you’re interested in a career in computer science or information technology, learning Python can help you prepare for the job you want.
While there are many online training programs, books, and tutorials that could help you learn Python on your own, coding language is most valuable when learned as part of a computer science degree, Goldstein said.
“It’s really helpful to integrate Python into a particular discipline, so that students have some context on how Python can be used to solve specific problems,” he said.
Some programs will even give you course credits for obtaining relevant certificates. For example, SNHU now offers students up to six credits for their undergraduate studies in data analysis and technology with a valid Google IT Automation with Python Professional certificate. Obtaining this certificate demonstrates their ability to automate tasks by writing Python scripts and developing troubleshooting, debugging, and programming skills, to name a few.
While aspiring programmers may wonder whether they should learn a specific coding language over another, like Java or Python, there are many computer science degree programs that allow you to explore a variety of programming languages, including Python.
A good understanding of Python and what you can do with it in your chosen field can go a long way in helping you embark on a career in technology.
“In my experience with cybersecurity and digital forensics, employers specifically look for Python as the programming language of choice for new hires,” Goldstein said.
With so many scalable opportunities available in the computing and information technology fields, adding a sought after skill like Python could be the first step towards a new or advanced career.
Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer specializing in higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn.