At the age of 17, many teenagers will be heavily focused on applying to colleges as their time in high school approaches its end. Students will want to stand out from the crowd, and one skill that can help with that is computer coding. Coding is an in-demand skill in the workforce, with high earning potential across many computer-related fields. Plus, programming helps to build problem-solving skills that apply to other fields. If this sounds like it could benefit your student, continue reading to learn about the best ways to get started and progress with coding for seventeen year olds.

Explore Coding for 17 Year Olds

Let's take a look at some programs that can help eleventh and twelfth graders develop a passion for computer science and lifelong learning. This coding curriculum for grade 12 designed by award-winning company Create & Learn, equips students with the skills to work in a wide range of computer science fields. Future game developers can experience industry-standard game engines like Unity, creatives can explore Wix to learn about website design, and students can even prepare for AP exams. Since seventeen year olds have typically completed some higher-level math and science courses, they are well-equipped to tackle the world of programming. Create & Learns advises students start with introductory classes, advance into intermediary classes as they discover their interests, and then take on advanced courses if they feel strongly motivated.

Top Free Coding Programs for 17 Year Olds

You don’t need to pay vast sums of money for a foothold in the world of coding! Create & Learn - a company created by experts from MIT, Google, and Stanford- offers numerous free coding classes. These include courses on Python, game design in Minecraft and Roblox, block coding with Scratch, and much more. If students do enjoy the introductory courses, they can continue on their learning path by progressing to Create & Learn’s paid curricula. For seventeen year-olds who don’t know where to start, Python is typically a good option. It has many benefits as a starting point, including its understandable syntax, wide-spread use cases, and extensive collection of prebuilt libraries.

1. Free Python

Python is one of the most common entry points for text-based programming, and it's a popular real-world programming language used by top companies today including Netflix and Spotify. This live online free introduction to the language enables students to use basic Python to create their own animation, in a fun small group setting.

2. Free Roblox Coding

Roblox is more than just a platform for gaming- in fact, teens can build their own games using Roblox Studio! In this free live online Roblox intro session, students will learn to install and activate Roblox Studio, plus finish a self-paced tutorial to create a simple interactive experience.

Top Coding Classes for 17 Year Olds

When choosing an online coding course, there are numerous factors to consider. Quality of curriculum, teacher experience, subject variety, and customer service all are critical for positive outcomes. It is in these respects which Create & Learn excels. Through Create & Learn’s paid courses, students will work in small, synchronous classes (2-5 students) with highly-experienced teachers. This allows students ample opportunity to ask questions and get insights from their teachers. The courses offered at Create & Learn span numerous computer science and creative fields, including AI, robotics, web design, game design, and more. And, if students find that the course they enrolled in is a poor fit, they can transfer into a different course as per Create & Learn’s satisfaction guarantee.

1. Mobile Coding for Apps & Games

Having become a ubiquitous part of modern living, mobile apps are a key area of growth in the tech industry. Students can join into the rush of innovation by learning the block-based coding tool Thunkable. It’s a great starting point for beginners, yet is still powerful enough to produce  professional-quality apps. Using this tool, students will work with foundational coding concepts including loops, functions, and more, as well as cloud-computing technologies!

2. Python for AI

Python’s simplistic syntax and widespread usage make it a great tool for learning to code. Through this course, students will learn important foundational concepts of programming, including conditional statements, variables, loops, and functions. As they progress, they will eventually have a chance to work with AI using Python!

3. Modern Website Design with Wix

With modern software, it doesn’t take extensive technical experience to build a fantastic website. Wix (a widely-used page building platform) is a great entry-point into web design for creative students. Teens will get to build their own themes, site structure, and more by creating websites for topics they are passionate about. The course even ventures into popular e-commerce tools for collecting payments!

4. Coding with Roblox Studio in Lua

For the gamers out there, Create & Learn offers a Coding with Roblox Studio course. Game design is an excellent way to learn conditional logic, loops, and events, as these are critical elements to any well-made game. Students will be able to channel their creativity into designing custom games and assets, and can share their games/play with friends due to Robox’s online game hosting capabilities!

5. Computer Science Principles (AP)

Although programming is an important part of computing, there are many other fields budding computer science students can get into. APCSP is a means of introducing students to the wider world of how computers “work,” whether that be networking, encryption, binary, and more. Developed by expert AP computer science educators, the class also meets the requirements for the APCSP exam as defined by the College Board. Because of the wide subject matter the course covers, students should have previous experience with Python before enrolling.

6. Data Science with Python & Pandas

Mathematics and computer science often go hand-in-hand, and data science is a fantastic example of the overlap between the fields. Pandas- an open-source Python library built for fast data manipulation- is an intuitive tool for learning the basics of data science. Students will have the opportunity to sanitize and manipulate datasets with Pandas and extract meaningful data from the results. The real-world applications of these skills are numerous, as data science is critical to virtually all businesses and industries. Prior to enrolling in the course, students must have taken at least Python for AI III.

7. Unity Game Development

What do Pokemon Go, Beat Saber, and Kerbal Space Program all have in common? All of these games were built using the Unity Game engine! Your teenager can harness the power of this platform to create their own epic video games, while building on important coding concepts. This is a course intended for students who have prior experience with text-based programming languages (like Python or Java), and requires a computer with a minimum of 8 GB of RAM (learn how to check your RAM here).

8. Cloud Computing for Web Apps

Industry trends have shown that a majority of businesses are moving into the cloud, which is why future computer scientists need to hone their cloud-computing skills. This course aims to teach students about web apps, modern authentication, and cloud tools like Google Firebase. 17 year-olds will benefit from these experiences, as these skills will translate well into future internship and college applications.

9. Intro to Java Programming

Any students seriously considering pursuing software development in college should consider taking Intro to Java Programming. The course is based upon’s College Board certified APCSA curriculum, which means it can help students to prepare for the AP exam (which in turn can earn them college credit). This is a challenging endeavor, running either 16 or 32 classes in length. Students are expected to have prior experience with Python before enrolling.

10. Android Game Building

Unlike Create & Learn’s introductory Mobile Coding course, the Android Game Building course is targeted at experienced students who have previously worked with the Java coding language. This is an excellent course for students who want to build their own Android apps in the future, as they will advance their knowledge in object-oriented design, data structures, and more. Students will be able to practice those skills by building a different Android app with each unit. Please note that students need access to a computer with at least 8 GB of RAM; additionally, it can help to have an Android device for testing (although it is not required).

11. AI Creators

AI has received a substantial amount of attention over the past few months, but it isn’t just a buzzword - it’s the future of productivity. This class enables students to use number of tools (including the Google Vision API) to build their own modules while learning important concepts of AI. Students who want to be on the cutting edge of technology will be fascinated by this course. Please ensure your students has previous Python experience, as well as a computer with at least 8 GB of RAM, before enrolling.

12. Intro to Computational Biology

Programming isn’t just a tool unto itself- it is used to advance practically all other fields of science. This is an amazing course for students who want to see a real-world application of computer science research. Make sure your teenager brushes up on their genomics knowledge, including DNA, RNA, etc. before taking the course, and that they also have completed at least Python for AI II.

Self-Guided Coding for Eleventh and Twelfth Graders

Industrious students will want to dive deeper into content, and there are some tried-and-true strategies to keep their learning going. One useful strategy is to read  coding books for teens to augment their studies. Students who are studying Python and Pandas would benefit from further reading on data science principles as outlined in books like this. Other students may prefer a more “hands-on” technique, like the online resources available from the interactive W3Schools platform.

Enjoy Coding for 17 Year Olds

At 17 years old, students are able to take such a range of topics in computer science. Give them the best opportunities available by enrolling them in one of Create & Learn’s award-winning courses. Now that you have an overview about coding for teens, check out some specific coding projects in Python to get started, like an introduction to Python loops or Python lists.

Written by Create & Learn instructor Dominic Occhietti. Dominic is a graduate of Michigan State University, where he studied music performance and computer science. He thoroughly enjoys teaching, whether that be coding classes, French horn lessons, or even downhill skiing lessons!