How to Get an Education in AI and Machine Learning

There could be no better time than now to jump into the field of artificial intelligence. AI is safely past its infancy and poised to experience a major boom as new and exciting applications are explored. It’s about way more than self-driving cars and digital assistants. AI is showing up in lots of interesting ways in our daily lives.

If you’re fascinated by computers and love to work with data, consider pursuing an education in AI and machine learning.

Stick with us to learn more about the present and future of artificial intelligence and the best way to get an education in this exciting field.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Basics

Artificial intelligence is any piece of software that mimics human learning and enables a machine to perform a complex task. Machine learning, on the other hand, is the process by which machines learn to do things that they weren’t specifically programmed to do. It takes a set of algorithms, or training data, and builds upon that information to draw new conclusions.

This is different from the idea of sentient machines, those that are aware of themselves and have individual motives and desires based on their experience of “life.” Though a staple of sci-fi literature, this is not likely to ever happen in reality as the binary nature of computer programming is fundamentally different than the complex way that human brains operate.

Preparing For an Education in AI

There are several different specialties and applications within the realm of AI and machine learning. The course or courses you take will depend on your goals. However, for any AI-related program, there are some pre-requisites that will prepare you.

A good place to start is with mathematics and data analysis. You’ll also need strong programming skills and a solid foundation in algorithms.

When you are ready to pursue your certification, consider which specialty will best support your immediate goals. Following are just a few that can provide a firm foundation in AI.

Machine Learning Certification

While artificial intelligence is the umbrella concept, a machine learning certification allows you to delve deeper into predictive modeling. As it is the method by which AI gains intelligence, this course is a great way to get involved in the hands-on work of developing new applications and uses for AI.

AI in Finance

Artificial intelligence has many applications in the financial world, and these will only increase as the movement of money around the world becomes increasingly digital. Machine learning can help regular people navigate the world of investing, make responsive budgets, and better track their finances.

It is also invaluable to any type of business in achieving sustainable growth. Financial institutions in particular rely on AI to make credit decisions, better communicate with customers, and manage risk.

A specialty in this area will explore data science, Natural Language Processing (NLP), artificial neural networks (ANN), recommendation engines, and more. You will learn about current best practices and get a window into the finance-related AI of the future.

Masters Course

If you’re looking to understand all things related to AI, it will be worthwhile to invest the time and money into a Masters-level course. This comprehensive training launches from a Bachelor degree in Computer Science, Math, or Statistics.

The Masters Course covers all of the facets of AI and machine learning necessary to both do the work and oversee a team. This includes programming languages and deep learning, a subset of machine learning that specifically mimics the workings of the human brain. It allows machines to gain in understanding by applying given examples to future problems.

Continuing Education

Even if you already know a lot about AI, continuing education is going to be critical throughout your life. That might mean learning new programming languages, delving into data analysis, or taking courses that link AI to a specific niche. There is always something new in AI, so be on the lookout for ways to stay on the forefront.

Internship/Mentoring Program

Any AI expert will tell you that hands-on experience is key to success in the field. Degrees and certifications are an important baseline, but getting hooked up with a mentor or involved in an internship program can provide an excellent real-world look at the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

This is a great strategy for rounding out your education and learning the things that may not have been covered in school. There will always be differences between how something is taught in class and how it is actually done on the ground, especially in an industry that’s growing as quickly as AI.

Traditional vs. Online Programs

The choice to attend a traditional college or an online one is largely personal. Many top tier colleges offer their classes online, so you can actually have the best of both worlds. You can even earn a full degree, such as a Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence, through an online program.

However, if you already have a college degree and simply want to add an AI certification to your credentials, it can be done most easily and affordably online. Some programs are basically free, charging only if you need a verified certificate at the end. Others are more expensive depending on who offers them and what specialty they teach. Still, you can earn an AI certification online in just a few months of self-paced learning.

Investing in a technological degree has always been a good bet because tech is always evolving. Now, with the development of artificial intelligence, the field is wide open for new ways of using it. If you have a good head for numbers and love working with computers, it could be the best educational path for you. Don’t hesitate to take on a degree or certification course – it will offer fantastic life-long benefits.