Growth is inevitable in the AI sector. According to Statista, the already-booming industry looks set to go from a value of $100 billion in 2021 to $2 trillion by 2030, increasing by a multiple of 20 to become one of the world’s biggest industries. Naturally, the need for skilled AI professionals will grow alongside that enormous scaling.

That’s where you come in.

With the right applied AI course, you can develop both the knowledge of the foundational theory that sits behind AI and learn how to apply that theory in a real-world setting. Here are four of the best applied AI courses to get you started.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an Applied AI Course

Every search for a new course starts with figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of each one you consider. These factors help you do that, ensuring you don’t spend your hard-earned money on a course that fails to equip you with skills that make you desirable to employers.

Course Content and Curriculum

AI is such an expansive field that every applied AI course has the potential to cover different topics and subjects. Think about what you want to learn (and your prospective career path), then align your course selection with that intended path.

Course Duration

Applied AI courses can vary tremendously in length, from several years for degree-level courses to a few months for online courses. Ask yourself how long you wish to spend studying. Also, consider the flexibility of the course, such as whether you’ll be able to fit your studies around your existing work and family commitments.

Instructor Expertise

AI is a burgeoning industry, meaning expertise levels vary from course to course. For applied AI courses, in particular, you want professors who combine in-depth knowledge of the theory with real-world experience. What have they done in the industry? If the answer is “nothing,” they may not be able to guide you down the path to an AI-centric career.

Course Fees and Financial Aid

Course fees vary massively depending on the type of course you take. For example, those in the U.K. can easily spend between £15,000 and £25,000 on university-level courses, with Aston University’s tuition fees of £23,200 being somewhat typical. Online and self-learning courses cost considerably less, so you need to figure out how much you’re willing to spend (and if you can get any help with your fees) before moving forward.

Job Placement and Career Support

Though you need one eye pointed toward the present when choosing between applied AI courses, the other needs to be firmly pointed toward the future. What prospects will you have when you complete the course? In other words, does the course provide you with a direct path into the industry, along with support, or are you left to fend for yourself once you have your qualification?

Top Choices for Mastering Artificial Intelligence

Choices abound when you jump online to find applied AI courses. The following selection offers a nice mix, from online certifications offered by industry professionals to a couple of courses from some of the world’s most prestigious universities.

Course 1 – IBM Applied AI Professional Certification

If you’re fresh to the world of AI (though ideally not new to computer science), IBM’s industry-specific applied AI courses offer both foundational knowledge and a respected qualification. They’re flexible, too, with this course lasting for six months but only requiring three hours of work per work. Those in full-time work (or education) can fit the course around their lifestyle, while those who have time to burn can complete the entire course much quicker, earning degree credits along the way.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Certification from one of the most respected companies in the AI space
  • Direct exposure to use cases in the deep learning, machine learning, and neural network spheres
  • Learn how to build AI-powered solutions (like chatbots) using Python and IBM’s Watson AI
  • Over three-quarters (77%) of students report career improvement

Pricing and Enrollment

IBM’s course is available via Coursera and offers a seven-day trial you can use to get to grips with its structure and examine its modules. It’s fully online, which improves flexibility at the cost of not having direct access to a professor, and you’ll receive an IBM badge upon completion. You’ll pay a monthly fee of $35 (approx. €31) and can enroll at almost any time.

Course 2 – Computer Science for Artificial Intelligence (Harvard University)

Harvard University may be seen as the gold standard in the United States, but what many don’t know is that it offers a comprehensive suite of online courses that almost anybody can take. Its Computer Science for Artificial Intelligence course is a perfect example. Comprising of two courses – an introduction to computer science followed by an introduction to applying computer science principles to AI using Python – it lasts for five months. You get access to professors and can learn at your own pace, with the course recommending between seven and 22 hours of study per week.

Key Features and Benefits

  • Two modules give you a crash course in applied AI and the computer science theory that underpins it
  • Director access to Harvard professors Doug Lloyd, Brian Yu, and David J. Malan
  • Complete flexibility in how and when you learn
  • Get to grips with Python and build experience with machine learning libraries

Payment and Enrollment

As an online course, Computer Science for Artificial Intelligence is available for enrollment whenever you’re ready, with the five months starting once you’re enrolled. It costs £277 (approx. €312) and you’ll need to create an account with the EDX website (which hosts the course) to get started.

Course 3 – Artificial Intelligence Graduate Certificate (Stanford University)

Ranked as the third-best university in the United States for general computer science and AI teaching, Stanford University has opened up some of its best courses to online learners. Entirely online (and instructor-led for those who want more guidance) this is one of those applied AI courses that is equivalent to a full graduate degree. You’ll complete at least one required course – with a choice between machine learning and the principles of AI – and select up to three electives. It’s the electives that make this course stand out, as there are 18 to choose from, with the right combination giving you a chance to specialize for specific career paths.

Key Benefits and Features

  • Direct tuition from prominent Stanford faculty members, including Andrew Ng and Chelsea Finn
  • Some level of autonomy in how you study thanks to the online-centric nature of the course
  • Specialize in specific areas of AI thanks to a wide range of electives
  • You get a degree from one of the world’s foremost colleges in the AI field

Payment and Enrollment

Let’s get the bad news out of the way immediately – this isn’t a cheap course. As a full-on graduate degree, it costs between $18,200 and $22,400 to take (approx. €16,235 and €19,980), though financial aid may be available for some students. You can’t just hop onto the course, either, as a college-level understanding of calculus, linear algebra, Probability Theory, and several programming languages is required. Stanford itself calls this one of its most difficult courses and recommends that you take several foundation courses (ideally at degree level) before enrolling.

Course 4 – Master in Applied Data Science & AI (OPIT)

As a full postgraduate course that takes between 12 and 18 months to complete, OPIT’s Master in Applied Data Science & AI is an interesting case for one simple reason – there are no computer science prerequisites. The course is open to everybody and it teaches both advanced applied AI concepts and the foundational knowledge needed to understand them. You’ll complete a pair of terms containing courses, with your final term dedicated to a project or thesis that puts what you’ve learned into practice.

Key Benefits and Features

  • The course is supplied by an institution with accreditation from the European Qualification Framework
  • It’s a fully remote course that gives you control over how and when you learn
  • Discounts and payment plans are available, as well as scholarship and funding options
  • You come out of the course with a recognized postgraduate degree

Payment and Enrollment

Though the course usually costs €6,500, OPIT offers “early bird” discounts that allow you to enroll for €4,950, assuming you sign up early enough. Intakes are semi-regular, with the next one scheduled for October 2023 and international students get 90 credits under the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) for successful completion.

Tips for Success in an Applied AI Course

As you can see, you have plenty of options for applied AI courses, from professional certifications designed to get you into a career quickly to full postgraduate degrees. Regardless of your choice, these tips will help you get your precious certification:

  • Dedicate time for study – Time well managed is time well spent. Understand that you’ll need to dedicate self-learning time to get to grips with concepts you’re taught during classroom hours.
  • Set clear goals – Going into an applied AI course with no sense of what you’re supposed to get out of that course leaves you directionless upon completion. Make sure you know exactly what you stand to gain before committing time (and money) to a course.
  • Network often – Even online courses give you a chance to get involved in teamwork projects and speak to experienced industry professionals. Take those chances. The more connections you build during your studies, the more opportunities you’ll see coming out of the back end.
  • Seek guidance – As attractive as the prospect of self-guided learning may be, we all need a helping hand from time to time. If a course provides direct access to tutors and professors, use it.
  • Stay up to date – AI is a fast-moving field, with every change and advancement bringing new challenges and opportunities. Stay on top of what’s happening in the industry. You may just find that one course sets you up to be ready for those changes, while another may not.

Build Your Skills With an Applied AI Course

Whether you go down the full postgraduate degree route or you choose a professional qualification, an applied AI course is a route into one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. Simply put, we’re set for an AI explosion. Over the next decade, AI will permeate everything we do, from complex computing to simple office tasks, and you can use the right course to give yourself the skills you need to take advantage of that fact. Explore the options shared in this article, ask yourself what you want to achieve in your career, and make the educational choice that’s right for you.

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Il Sole 24 Ore: 100 thousand IT professionals missing
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 14, 2024 6 min read

Written on April 24th 2024

Source here: Il Sole 24 Ore (full article in Italian)

Open Institute of Technology: 100 thousand IT professionals missing

Eurostat data processed and disseminated by OPIT. Stem disciplines: the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%

Today, only 29% of young Italians between 25 and 34 have a degree. Not only that: compared to other European countries, the comparison is unequal given that the average in the Old Continent is 46%, bringing Italy to the penultimate place in this ranking, ahead only of Romania. The gap is evident even if the comparison is limited to STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) where the share of graduates in Italy between the ages of 20 and 29 is 18.3%, compared to the European 21.9%, with peaks of virtuosity which in the case of France that reaches 29.2%. Added to this is the continuing problem of the mismatch between job supply and demand, so much so that 62.8% of companies struggle to find professionals in the technological and IT fields.

The data

The Eurostat data was processed and disseminated by OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. an academic institution accredited at European level, active in the university level education market with online Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in the technological and digital fields. We are therefore witnessing a phenomenon with worrying implications on the future of the job market in Italy and on the potential loss of competitiveness of our companies at a global level, especially if inserted in a context in which the macroeconomic scenario in the coming years will undergo a profound discontinuity linked to the arrival of “exponential” technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics, but also to the growing threats related to cybersecurity.

Requirements and updates

According to European House Ambrosetti, over 2,000,000 professionals will have to update their skills in the Digital and IT area by 2026, also to take advantage of the current 100,000 vacant IT positions, as estimated by Frank Recruitment Group. But not only that: the Italian context, which is unfavorable for providing the job market with graduates and skills, also has its roots in the chronic birth rate that characterizes our country: according to ISTAT data, in recent years the number of newborns has fallen by 28%, bringing Italy’s birth rate to 1.24, among the lowest in Europe, where the average is 1.46.

Profumo: “Structural deficiency”

“The chronic problem of the absence of IT professionals is structural and of a dual nature: on one hand the number of newborns – therefore, potential “professionals of the future” – is constantly decreasing; on the other hand, the percentage of young people who acquires degrees are firmly among the lowest in Europe”, declared Francesco Profumo, former Minister of Education and rector of OPIT – Open Institute of Technology. “The reasons are varied: from the cost of education (especially if undertaken off-site), to a university offering that is poorly aligned with changes in society, to a lack of awareness and orientation towards STEM subjects, which guarantee the highest employment rates. Change necessarily involves strong investments in the university system (and, in general, in the education system) at the level of the country, starting from the awareness that a functioning education system is the main driver of growth and development in the medium to long term. It is a debated and discussed topic on which, however, a clear and ambitious position is never taken.”

Stagnant context and educational offer

In this stagnant context, the educational offer that comes from online universities increasingly meets the needs of flexibility, quality and cost of recently graduated students, university students looking for specialization and workers interested in updating themselves with innovative skills. According to data from the Ministry of University and Research, enrollments in accredited online universities in Italy have grown by over 141 thousand units in ten years (since 2011), equal to 293.9%. Added to these are the academic institutions accredited at European level, such as OPIT, whose educational offering is overall capable of opening the doors to hundreds of thousands of students, with affordable costs and extremely innovative and updated degree paths.

Analyzing the figures

An analysis of Eurostat statistics relating to the year 2021 highlights that 27% of Europeans aged between 16 and 74 have attended an entirely digital course. The highest share is recorded in Ireland (46%), Finland and Sweden (45%) and the Netherlands (44%). The lowest in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%) and Croatia (18%). Italy is at 20%. “With OPIT” – adds Riccardo Ocleppo, founder and director – “we have created a new model of online academic institution, oriented towards new technologies, with innovative programs, a strong practical focus, and an international approach, with professors and students from 38 countries around the world, and teaching in English. We intend to train Italian students not only on current and updated skills, but to prepare them for an increasingly dynamic and global job market. Our young people must be able to face the challenges of the future like those who study at Stanford or Oxford: with solid skills, but also with relational and attitudinal skills that lead them to create global companies and startups or work in multinationals like their international colleagues. The increasing online teaching offer, if well structured and with quality, represents an incredible form of democratization of education, making it accessible at low costs and with methods that adapt to the flexibility needs of many working students.”

Point of reference

With two degrees already starting in September 2023 – a three-year degree (BSc) in Modern Computer Science and a specialization (MSc) in Applied Data Science & AI – and 4 starting in September 2024: a three-year degree (BSc) in Digital Business, and the specializations (MSc) in Enterprise Cybersecurity, Applied Digital Business and Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI), OPIT is an academic institution of reference for those who intend to respond to the demands of a job market increasingly oriented towards the field of artificial intelligence. Added to this are a high-profile international teaching staff and an exclusively online educational offer focused on the technological and digital fields.

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Times of India: The 600,000 IT job shortage in India and how to solve it
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
May 2, 2024 3 min read

Written on April 25th 2024

Source here: Times of India 

The job market has never been a straightforward path. Ask anyone who has ever looked for a job, certainly within the last decade, and they can tell you as much. But with the rapid development of AI and machine learning, concerns are growing for people about their career options, with a report from Randstad finding that 7 in 10 people in India are concerned about their job being eliminated by AI.

 Employers have their own share of concerns. According to The World Economic Forum, 97 million new AI-related jobs will be created by 2025 and the share of jobs requiring AI skills will increase by 58%. The IT industry in India is experiencing a tremendous surge in demand for skilled professionals on disruptive technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, cybersecurity and, according to Nasscom, this is leading to a shortage of 600,000 profiles.

 So how do we fill those gaps? Can we democratize access to top-tier higher education in technology?

These are the questions that Riccardo Ocleppo, the engineer who founded a hugely successful ed-tech platform connecting international students with global Universities, Docsity, asked himself for years. Until he took action and launched the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT), together with the Former Minister of Education of Italy, Prof. Francesco Profumo, to help people take control of their future careers.

OPIT offers BSc and MSc degrees in Computer Science, AI, Data Science, Cybersecurity, and Digital Business, attracting students from over 38 countries worldwide. Through innovative learning experiences and affordable tuition fees starting at €4,050 per year, OPIT empowers students to pursue their educational goals without the financial and personal burden of relocating.

The curriculum, delivered through a mix of live and pre-recorded lectures, equips students with the latest technology skills, as well as business and strategic acumen necessary for careers in their chosen fields. Moreover, OPIT’s EU-accredited degrees enable graduates to pursue employment opportunities in Europe, with recognition by WES facilitating transferability to the US and Canada.

OPIT’s commitment to student success extends beyond academics, with a full-fledged career services department led by Mike McCulloch. Remote students benefit from OPIT’s “digital campus,” fostering connections through vibrant discussion forums, online events, and networking opportunities with leading experts and professors.

Faculty at OPIT, hailing from prestigious institutions and industry giants like Amazon and Microsoft, bring a wealth of academic and practical experience to the table. With a hands-on, practical teaching approach, OPIT prepares students for the dynamic challenges of the modern job market.

In conclusion, OPIT stands as a beacon of hope for individuals seeking to future-proof their careers in technology. By democratizing access to high-quality education and fostering a global learning community, OPIT empowers students to seize control of their futures and thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Read the article