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10 Best Algorithms Courses in 2021 [Learn Algorithms ASAP: Beginner and Intermediate]

What are algorithms?

Algorithms are recipes or step-by-step mathematical instructions for solving a problem. They’re used to automate solutions.

A good example of an algorithm in action is when YouTube suggests videos it “thinks” you may like based on what you’ve previously watched. In fact, 81% of YouTube users have watched videos recommended by YouTube’s algorithm.

And if you’re going to be a computer programmer, you won’t get very far without algorithms. You need to know them if you want to get hired as a professional programmer.

Today we’re showing you the best algorithms courses.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Algorithms Courses

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
AlgoExpert

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
A Visual Introduction to Algorithms: Educative.io

💸 Best Value 💸
Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to Mastery

Best Algorithms Courses: At A Glance

Interactive or video learningCommunityDurationLevelCertificateCost
A Visual Introduction to Algorithms: Educative.ioInteractiveSee below14 hoursBeginner$59 per month / $199 per year
Introduction to Algorithms: TreehouseVideo2.25 hoursBeginner$25 per month
Learn Sorting Algorithms with Python: Codecademy ProBoth8 hoursBeginner$39.99 per month / $239.88 per year
How to Implement Search Algorithms with Python: Codecademy ProBoth4 hoursBeginner$39.99 per month / $239.88 per year
Algorithms and Data Structures: PluralsightVideo2.5 hoursBeginner$29 per month
AlgoExpertBoth100+ hoursIntermediate$99 per year
Data Structures and Algorithms in Python: Educative.ioInteractiveSee below19 hoursIntermediate$59 per month / $199 per year
Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to MasteryVideo19.5 hoursIntermediate$39 per month / $279 per year
Algorithms: Sorting and Searching: TreehouseVideo2 hoursIntermediate$25 per month
Algorithms, Part I: CourseraBoth54 hoursIntermediateFree

Best Algorithms Courses: Beginner

1. A Visual Introduction to Algorithms: Educative.io

Binary search in the course A Visual Introduction to Algorithms on Educative.io

A Visual Introduction to Algorithms is one of the best algorithms courses for students on a budget.

In this free course, you’ll learn introductory computer science algorithms such as:

  • searching
  • sorting
  • recursion
  • graph theory

You’ll be able to work on challenges and solve them in Java, Python, C++ or JavaScript.

Course Layout

Educative.io has an interactive layout where you’ll do all work inside the browser.

💡 An interactive learning environment saves you the trouble of setting up your own coding environment on your local machine.

In A Visual Introduction to Algorithms, you’ll find 12 modules where you’ll work on algorithms like:

  • binary search
  • selection sort
  • quick sort
  • graphs

And beyond.

One of many coding challenges in the course A Visual Introduction to Algorithms on Educative.io

Read our review to find out: Is Educative Worth It?

Support

You can get help from instructors and other students at the end of each lesson.

💰 Cost: Free course / $59 per month or $199 per year (16.66/mo) for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 14 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


2. Introduction to Algorithms: Treehouse

Introduction to Algorithms is quite a bit different that A Visual Introduction to Algorithms. Instead of interactive learning, you’ll learn almost entirely by video-based lessons.

💡 Video-based lessons mean you’ll watch videos and work on problems in your own coding environment.

The course is only 2.5 hours, a far cry from the 14 in A Visual Introduction to Algorithms.

So if you have a shorter attention span, this may be one of the best algorithms courses for you.

Lecture in the course Introduction to Algorithms on Treehouse

Course Layout

There are 4 key takeaways in this course:

✅ algorithmic thinking

✅ time and space complexity

big O notation

✅ linear and binary search

Find out what we think of Treehouse with our Treehouse Review [Is Treehouse Worth It?].

Support

Treehouse has a forum where you can get help from other students.

💰 Cost: $25 per month for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 2.25 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: No


3. Learn Sorting Algorithms with Python: Codecademy Pro

Learn Sorting Algorithms with Python is a bit of a mix of the first two courses offered in our list of best algorithms courses. Here you’ll find interactive learning and videos.

Course Layout

In this exercise-heavy course, you’ll learn about four types of algorithms:

✅ merge sort

✅ bubble sort

✅ quicksort

radix sort

Bubble sort algorithm in the course Learn Sorting Algorithms with Python on Codecademy Pro

Projects

Unlike other the other courses featured on this list, you’ll work on a project. In A Sorted Tale, you’ll help a fictitious bookshop owner sort books using various methods such as title and author name.

A Sorted Tale project in the course Learn Sorting Algorithms with Python on Codecademy Pro

You’ll also work on plenty of mini-projects throughout the course.

Want to know what we think of Codecademy Pro? Read our Codecademy Pro Review.

Support

Codecademy Pro has a robust community where you can get help from other students, share projects and more.

💰 Cost: $39.99 per month or $239.88 per year ($19.99/mo) for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 8 HOURS
📉 Level: Beginner with Python 3 experience
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


4. How to Implement Search Algorithms with Python: Codecademy Pro

How to Implement Search Algorithms with Python is one of the best algorithms courses on Codecademy Pro.

Often times you’ll find courses combine search and sort algorithms. But for some reason, Codecademy Pro chose to make 2 separate courses instead. 🤷

However, the price for Codecademy Pro is all-inclusive, so it won’t cost you extra when you sign up for a second course (or 20th, even).

Course Layout

Codecademy Pro has an interactive learning environment where you’ll do all work within the browser. You’ll also find occasional videos.

In How to Implement Search Algorithms with Python, there are two modules. First you’ll learn about linear and binary search.

Linear search exercise in the course How to Implement Search Algorithms with Python on Codecademy Pro

In the second module, you’ll work on a project.

Projects

You’ll work on the project Searchcademy where you’ll create an algorithm that searches through a sparsely sorted list.

Support

Codecademy Pro has an active community where you can get help, share projects and chat with other students.

💰 Cost: $39.99 per month or $239.88 per year ($19.99/mo) for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 4 hours
📉 Level: Beginner with Python 3 experience
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


5. Algorithms and Data Structures: Pluralsight

Pluralsight is different from our other best algorithms courses for beginners because it is strictly video-based.

You won’t find any on-platform exercises, readings or quizzes.

It’s also a shorter course, clocking in at just under 2.5 hours. So this is another course that’s ideal for students with a shorter attention span.

Course Layout

Algorithms and Data Structures has 5 modules:

  • Storing and Accessing Data
  • Linked Lists
  • Stacks and Queues
  • Binary Search Trees
  • Hash Tables
Overview of the course Algorithms and Data Structures on Pluralsight

Learn what we think of Pluralsight in our article What is Pluralsight? Is Pluralsight Good for Beginners?

Support

Pluralsight does not have an official community. Instead, it encourages students to form guilds. ⚔️

💰 Cost: $29 per month for video courses and Learning Paths / $45 per month for interactive and advanced courses
⏲️ Duration: 2.5 hours
📉 Level: Beginner
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


Best Algorithms Courses: Intermediate

6. AlgoExpert

AlgoExpert is arguably one of the best algorithms courses on this list.

💡 Creator and instructor Clément Mihailescu left his job at Facebook to create AlgoExpert.

But there’s a catch: it’s not actually a course. It’s got a bunch of different features:

  • 155+ hand-picked algorithms problems
  • data structures crash course
  • mock coding interviews
  • curated assessments

But our main focus is the algorithms problems.

Course Layout

AlgoExpert has a killer 4-pane integrated workspace where you’ll do all work in the same browser. It’s got unique features where you can choose light/dark mode, syntax, font size and more.

The layout for each problem includes:

  • prompt
  • scratchpad
  • AlgoExpert solutions
  • video explanation
4-pane integrated workstation environment in AlgoExpert
4-pane integrated workspace on AlgoExpert

The problems on AlgoExpert span 15 categories and range from Easy to Very Hard. Some categories include:

arraysgraphsgreedy algorithms
linked listsstringsdynamic programming
triesrecursionbinary search trees

You can solve problems in 9 programming languages:

JavaScriptSwiftC++
TypeScriptKotlinC#
PythonJavaGo

You’ll also find solutions available in all of the above languages.

Want to know what we really think of AlgoExpert? Check out our AlgoExpert.io Review.

Support

AlgoExpert doesn’t have an official community. So AlgoExpert is one of the best algorithms courses for students who learn best independently.

💰 Cost: $99 per year / $139 for AlgoExpert & SystemsExpert
⏲️ Duration: 100+ hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning and video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

If the name of your game is algorithms, sign up for AlgoExpert.

But beware: it’s not all fun and games. You’re going to put a lot of hard work into AlgoExpert. We know, we’ve done it.

But we think the potential payoff is worth the effort.

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7. Data Structures and Algorithms in Python: Educative.io

As we mentioned earlier, Educative.io is one of the best platforms with the best algorithms courses.

Now Data Structures and Algorithms in Python is a bit different than AlgoExpert. Rather than work on practically every algorithm under the sun, you’ll focus on data structures and algorithms that are most commonly found in a typical workday.

Circular linked lists lesson in the course Data Structures and Algorithms in Python on Educative.io

Course Layout

Similar to AlgoExpert, Educative.io has an interactive learning environment where you’ll do all work in the same browser. But you won’t find any videos here.

With 11 modules, you’ll learn about all kinds of data structures and algorithms:

  • singly and circular linked lists
  • arrays
  • binary trees
  • recursion

And beyond.

Diagram of determining circular linked lists in Data Structures and Algorithms in Python on Educative.io

Support

Educative.io doesn’t have a formal community. Instead, there are forums at the end of each lesson where you can interact with instructors and other students.

💰 Cost: $59 per year for the course // $59 per month or $199 per year (16.66/mo) for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 19 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Interactive learning
🎖️ Certificate: Yes


8. Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to Mastery

Zero to Mastery is a unique platform because, like Pluralsight, it is video-based. But in this course, you will find a few redirects to Leetcode exercises. You’ll also find 55 downloadable resources.

The course Master the Coding Interview contains some algorithms problems you’ll find on LeetCode

Master the Coding Interview is one of the best algorithms courses for students who want to ace the interview.

Course Layout

As we mentioned, Zero to Mastery is a video-based learning platform. So you’ll do all work on your local machine. But instructor Andrei Neagoie does an excellent job walking you through the steps to get set up.

ZTM master the coding interview syllabus and video lesson
What to expect at coding interviews in the course Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms on Zero to Mastery

Master the Coding Interview starts with advice on getting more interviews. Then there’s extensive coverage of big O notation.

After that you’ll get into the meat of the course: how to solve problems, data structures and algorithms.

💡As a bonus, there’s a section of questions asked at actual FAANG interviews.

Want to know why we love Zero to Mastery? Read our Zero to Mastery Review: Is Zero to Mastery by Andrei Neagoie Worth It?

Support

Zero to Mastery has a busy community where you can interact with instructors and other students on LinkedIn and Discord. You can also contribute to open source projects, work on coding challenges and more.

💰 Cost: $39 per month or $279 per year ($23/mo) for all courses
⏲️ Duration: 19.5 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: Yes

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9. Algorithms: Sorting and Searching: Treehouse

Treehouse has one of the best algorithms courses for students who learn best with videos.

In Algorithms: Sorting and Searching, you’ll learn how to implement popular sorting and searching algorithms.

You’ll also learn about recursion and big O notation.

Treehouse is similar to Zero to Mastery because it’s a video-based platform. But you will find code for algorithms like bogosort and selection sort that you can copy and paste.

Code for selection sort in the course Algorithms: Sorting and Searching on Treehouse

Course Layout

Algorithms: Sorting and Searching is separated into two modules: Sorting Algorithms and Searching Names. Each covers a set of common algorithms.

Sorting lesson in the course Algorithms: Sorting and Searching on Treehouse

Read our full Treehouse Review.

Support

Treehouse has a forum where you can get help from other students.

💰 Cost: $25 per month for all courses and Learning Paths
⏲️ Duration: 2 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: No


10. Algorithms, Part I: Coursera

Note: The courses Algorithms, Part I and Algorithms, Part II have a companion book, Algorithms, 4th Edition.

Algorithms, Part I is one of the best algorithms books for students who learn best with courses and books.

Like Treehouse and Zero to Mastery, Coursera is a video-based platform. You’ll do all work outside of the platform in your own coding environment.

There are sections where you can submit your work for review.

Explanation of supporting resources in the course Algorithms, Part I on Coursera

Course Layout

In Algorithms, Part I, you’ll learn about elementary data structures and sorting and searching algorithms implemented in Java.

Then you’ll work on 4 programming assignments throughout the course that you can submit for review.

8 Puzzle assignment in the course Algorithms, Part I on Coursera

Support

There are forums within courses on Coursera where you can get help from instructors (for a fee), mentors and other students.

💰 Cost: Free
⏲️ Duration: 54 hours
📉 Level: Intermediate
🖥️ Format: Video
🎖️ Certificate: No


Best Algorithms Courses: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best algorithms courses:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
AlgoExpert

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
A Visual Introduction to Algorithms: Educative.io

💸 Best Value 💸
Master the Coding Interview: Data Structures + Algorithms: Zero to Mastery

So whether you need value, newbie-friendliness or want the cream of the crop, the best algorithms courses are right under your bubble sort. 🙃


Up Next:


  1. What are the best algorithms courses?

    We think these are the three best algorithms courses. Overall, we prefer AlgoExpert. For newbies, we think A Visual Introduction to Algorithms by Educative.io takes the win. And for value, we think Zero to Mastery's Master the Coding Interview is the clear winner.

  2. What are algorithms?

    Algorithms are recipes or step-by-step mathematical instructions for solving a problem. They're used to automate solutions to particular problems. A good example of an algorithm in action is YouTube suggesting videos based on your past viewing history.

  3. Is Algorithms, Part I worth it?

    In Algorithms, Part I, you'll learn about elementary data structures and sorting and searching algorithms implemented in Java. It's part one of a two part algorithms course that has a top-rated companion book titled Algorithms.