Career in Python: Prerequisites, Skills, Opportunities

Python is a highly versatile, powerful, and easy-to-use language that has developed in a genuinely multi-purpose sense over the last couple of decades. As of today, it can be used in a variety of applications. From web apps to desktop software, server management to AI tools – you name it, and Python will help you with it! 

To add to that, Python is also extremely easy to learn since it’s primarily written in simple English format. Furthermore, unlike Java, which uses lines and lines of code, Python does the trick in just two lines and is also easier to learn. Due to these reasons, there’s been an increase in the popularity of Python among beginners and freshers looking to master a programming language. Also, because of the language’s usability, there is no shortage of job opportunities for those skilled in Python. 

In this article, let’s help you understand the different prerequisites for learning Python, what skills it requires, and what opportunities you can look for for a career in Python! 

Prerequisites for Python

If you are just starting with your Python programming journey, you might be confused about whether there are some prerequisites to know. One essential prerequisite is the curiosity to learn and understand new things and the willingness to keep trying till you understand. 

So, let’s help you with some more prerequisites needed before you start exploring the world of Python programming: 

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Understanding the difference between front- and back-end

You’ve probably heard the terms “front-end” and “back-end” many times. But, do you know the difference between these two? Before diving headfirst into learning Python, it’s vital to understand these nuances. So, let’s help you understand the difference so you can make the most of it! 

When you visit any website or web application, what you see upfront is the front-end. This includes all the forms, buttons, text on the page, animations, and everything. More often than not, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript make up the front-end. In contrast, the back-end is more about what goes on behind the scenes. You don’t see the working of the back-end. It tells the website what to do, what page to show, which action to perform, etc. Further, it also sends data from the database to display on the website. The back-end is where languages like Python, PHP, Ruby, etc., come in handy. 

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Knowing the abilities of Python

Python is a multi-purpose language – it can be used across different use cases. So, it will be a good idea to figure out your precise area of interest before you start learning Python. Python is capable of building the back-end of websites, performing data analysis, accessing API data, building ML models, and performing automation. As a prerequisite, it would be good to figure out your area of interest so that you can branch out in that direction while you learn Python. 

Python 2 or Python 3?

Python 2 is legacy and is still used by many organizations because their websites are built using Python 2, mostly. Python 3, on the other hand, is a newer version, and most modern websites are built using Python 3. It will be a good idea to start by learning Python 3, but you should look up other use cases of Python 2 to make the correct choice. 

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Skills for a Career in Python

For a career in Python, you require the following essential skills: 

  • Expertise in core Python: You should have mastered the basic concepts of Python before you move on to Python frameworks and libraries. This includes terms and ideas like: 
      • Data Structures
      • Data types and variables
      • Exceptions and exception handling
      • Object-oriented programming
      • File handling, and more. 
  • Python frameworks: Knowing core Python is necessary but not sufficient to help you in your Python career. Depending on your interest area, you should have the skills of working with Python tools, like Flask, Django, Bottle, Web2Py, etc. 
  • Python libraries: You should also be skilled at working with the various libraries available with Python. Whatever you are working on, you will need expertise in handling Python libraries. 

Version control: Whenever you work on a software project, you and your team make many changes and updates. Version controlling becomes extremely important in that case. You should be skilled at GitHub, at the very least.

Career Opportunities in Python

Here are some career opportunities you can look at in the world of Python programming: 

Python Developer

This is one of the most direct jobs you can get after enhancing your Python skills. Some roles and responsibilities in this position include: 

  • Writing efficient Python code
  • Collaborating with different teams
  • Optimizing algorithms
  • Solving logical problems
  • Testing, debugging and fixing bugs. 

As a Python developer, you will primarily create desktop applications. 

Full-Stack or Back-End Developer

Both these job roles require Python programmers. However, while back-end Python developers work entirely on the back-end, using other languages like SQL and such, the full-stack developers work on the entire web app end-to-end – this includes knowing HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for the front-end. 

Data Analyst

Data Analysts around the globe use Python to manage and create data structures quickly. Python offers different libraries, including Pandas, that provide tools for working with complex datasets and deriving insights from them. The role of a Data Analyst requires proficiency in working with Python for analyzing data. Some roles and responsibilities include: 

  • Interpreting results
  • Reporting insights
  • Identifying trends and patterns
  • Collaborating with different teams
  • Improving and refining data collection and analysis processes

Data Scientist

Data Scientists are currently very high in demand and are likely to stay so for the foreseeable future. The reason is that companies of today have heaps of data with them. This data contains all the insights required to improve the business and reach business goals. Deriving insights from this data is what a data scientist does. A data scientist works closely with stakeholders to understand the different plans and figure out a roadmap for attaining the goals. Data Scientists use Python and its various libraries and frameworks to collect and analyze this data and even report the findings in an easy-to-understand manner. 

Machine Learning Engineer

The job postings for Machine Learning engineers have seen a steep climb in the last couple of years. If you are skilled in Python, you stand a better chance of getting selected for these roles. As a machine learning engineer, you will train machines and build them to use data and make informed predictions. The ability of Python to work seamlessly with automation and ML algorithms makes it the perfect tool for working on Machine Learning. 

This list of opportunities is by no means exhaustive. The use cases of Python only expand as time goes on, and so do the opportunities! 

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In Conclusion

Python is truly a language for all uses. Apart from that, it is also open-sourced backed by an active community of smart Python developers. Python will remain an essential tool for a long time for businesses to build, assess, train, and modify systems, programs, and algorithms. 

One of Python’s more critical use cases in today’s day and age is data analytics. The capabilities provided by the language are unparalleled, and being easy to learn, it allows a platform for everyone to begin. There are plenty of jobs, too! All you need is to start your Python journey, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying one of the opportunities mentioned above. At upGrad, we’ve guided students from the basics and helped them find their Python dream job with our 360-degree assistance. Check out our Professional Certificate Program in Data Science and Business Analytics from the University of Maryland and know more about the course!

1. Are there career options in Python for beginners?

Sure! If you are a beginner with an expert-level understanding of core Python, you can easily get a fantastic job as a Python developer. Even if you have a working knowledge, you can still get decent jobs, and you will only improve with time!

2. Do I need to know any other programming language before learning Python?

No, Python can be your first programming language!

3. What is the future for a career in Python?

Since Python is a highly versatile language that solves an array of problems today, and it is safe to say that the array will only get longer with time, a career in Python is future-proof!

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