Artificial intelligence (AI) permeates every aspect of modern society, with that effect only becoming more pronounced as we move deeper into the 21st century. That’s a statement supported by the Brookings Institute, which asserts that whoever rules AI by 2030 (be it a country or corporation) will rule the global roost until at least 2100.

The point is that AI is already everywhere, even if in limited capacities, and you need to be ready for an AI-centric world to unfold ahead of you in the future. The right AI courses ensure you’re ready, so let’s look at four that you can complete today.

What Is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

As humans, our brains give us the ability to learn and adapt to everything around us. For computers, AI achieves the same thing, equipping machines with the ability to take in datasets, learn from the data, and apply what it learns to real-world scenarios. There are many types of AI, with the following three being among the most prominent:

  • Narrow AI – An AI system that’s dedicated to performing a single task, like a chatbot that delivers stock responses based on user queries. Think of these AI as the “manual labor” machines that exist to do the same thing over and over again.
  • General AI – With general AI, we move closer to AI that has the same capacities to learn and apply that humans have. Multi-functional is the keyword here, as these AIs will be capable of completing multiple tasks at a human level.
  • Superintelligent AI – Though not in existence yet, superintelligent AI is the pinnacle of AI research, or the peak on the Mount Everest of AI. In addition to bringing the multi-functional talents that humans have to the table, these AI will have an unlimited capacity for learning.

We’re nowhere near the superintelligent AI level yet (some even say that this type of AI will be more of a threat than a help to humanity), but we can see AI in so many industries already. Self-driving cars, automated stock checkers, and even email spam filters are all examples of narrow AI in action, with each having specific functions. As the technology evolves, and it’s already doing so at a rapid pace, we’ll see more multi-function AI come to the fore.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an AI Course

When choosing a course, the key question is always what is artificial intelligence course criteria that actually matters? Here are five things to look for in an artificial intelligence course:

  • Quality course content – In this context, “quality” doesn’t solely mean “good” (though that’s a part of it). Your course also needs to deliver an educational experience that furthers whatever goals you’ve set for yourself in your career.
  • Course flexibility – Some people can commit themselves fully to an AI course. Others need to fit their learning around work, family, and other commitments. Figure out which category you slot into and search for courses that offer the flexibility (or lack thereof) that you need.
  • Instructor expertise – Good instructors bring a combination of theoretical mastery and industry experience to their courses. That’s why the best AI courses are usually created, and run, by people who currently work in the field.
  • Course reviews and ratings – Online reviews and ratings are the modern “word of mouth,” with global courses benefitting (or otherwise) from what their students have to say online. A few minutes of research can tell you if other students consider your chosen course to be a dud or an AI masterclass.
  • Pricing – As attractive as a full Master’s degree may be, the five-figure pricing may feel prohibitive. Other courses, such as a short-term artificial intelligence online course, may offer snippets of what you need to know at a much lower price. Balance your needs against your budget to make your choice.

Top AI Online Courses

There is no such thing as the “best” artificial intelligence course because every course offers something different that may or may not align with your needs. But these four run the gamut, from full-blown Master’s degrees (with accreditation) to crash courses designed to get you up to speed as fast as possible.

Course 1 – CS50’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence With Python (Harvard)

There are few educational institutions as prestigious as Harvard University, and its CS50 course is perfect for those who already have a grasp of the Python programming language. Offered completely online, it’s a self-paced course that comes with a verified certificate (assuming you’re willing to pay an extra $199/€180).

Key Topics Covered

  • Reinforcement learning as it applies to machine learning
  • The core principles of artificial intelligence
  • Creating Python programs that use AI
  • An in-depth study into graph search algorithms

Course Duration and Pricing

Harvard advertises the course as a seven-week-long self-paced online program and recommends between 10 and 30 hours of study per week. How much time you actually spend on your studies depends on how quickly you pick up the concepts. It’s free to enroll (though a certificate costs money, as mentioned) and enrollment is open between May and December of each year.

Course 2 – Expand Your Knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (Udacity)

Marketed as a “nanodegree” program, which basically means it packs a lot of information into a short timeframe. Expand Your Knowledge gives you access to a digital classroom. It comes with some prerequisites, such as an understanding of Python and statistics, but it’s a course designed for those taking their first steps into applied AI.

Key Topics Covered

  • Foundational AI algorithms that power things like NASA’s Mars Rover
  • An introduction to AI concepts using Python as your base programming language
  • Classical graph search algorithms
  • Project reviews and feedback from over 1,400 people in the AI field

Course Duration and Pricing

This is a three-month course, with estimated study hours of between 12 and 15 per week, making it ideal for part-time learners who want to grasp the fundamentals of AI. Pricing is flexible, too. You can subscribe to the monthly version of the course via Udacity at a cost of £329 (approx. €377) per month or buy the whole thing upfront for £837 (approx. €959).

Course 3 – Master in Applied Data Science & AI (OPIT)

Those who’ve already completed a Bachelor’s degree in a computing or statistical subject may want to continue their full-time studies. OPIT’s Master’s program offers that opportunity, with its 100% online course being supported by experienced tutors who are available literally whenever you need them. The course contains both live and prerecorded content and the degree you receive carries European Qualification Framework accreditation.

Key Topics Covered

  • Real-life business problems (and solutions) that use both AI and data science
  • Python programming in the context of AI and data science
  • Business-related topics, such as the ethics surrounding AI usage and project management
  • Applied machine learning and artificial intelligence techniques

Course Duration and Pricing

OPIT’s Master’s program is a full-time postgraduate course. The regular version takes 18 months of self-timed study to complete. A fast-track version is available, lasting for 12 months, for those who want a more intensive educational experience. The cost varies depending on when you enroll. Intakes occur in October of each year, with early birds paying a discounted price of €4,950, to save almost €1,500 on the usual €6,500 price.

Course 4 – AI Engineering Professional Certificate (IBM via Coursera)

For those looking for direct tutelage from professionals who already work in the AI field, IBM’s offering is one of the best AI courses online. It’s also ideal for beginners, with no experience in computing needed and a flexible schedule allows you to learn as and how you want. Those studying for formal degrees aren’t left out. The certificate you earn through this course counts toward your degree credit.

Key Topics Covered

  • The foundations of machine learning and neural networks
  • Machine learning algorithm deployment
  • Neural network development using PyTorch, Keras, and TensorFlow
  • Implementation of both supervised and unsupervised machine learning models

Course Duration and Pricing

Flexibility is the name of the game with this course. It lasts for eight months, with three hours of learning per week, though fast and full-time learners may be able to complete it much quicker. Enrollment begins in May of each year, and the first seven days of the course act as a free trial so you can get a taste of what it has to offer. It’s also fairly cheap, with the course costing around €125 if you go for the full eight-month option.

Benefits of Taking AI Courses

There’s no use looking for the best artificial intelligence course if you don’t understand how that course will help you in the future. These are four benefits of studying AI:

  • Develop a skillset that will not only be important as we move toward an AI-driven future, but will serve as a foundation for the skills you’ll need to develop as AI evolves.
  • Combine theoretical and practical knowledge of AI to make your CV sparkle when it’s in front of employers.
  • Create the problem-solving skills that are essential in the tech industry, with those skills often being transferable to other sectors.
  • Follow whatever path you want in the constantly branching AI field.

Take Your Next Career Step With an Artificial Intelligence Online Course

Each of the four courses highlighted here offers something different. Some are short-term introductory courses while others allow full-time students to continue in-depth formal education. Whichever you choose serves as an investment into your future. AI is already causing ripples in the industrial ocean, and those ripples will grow into a tidal wave of opportunity for those who are prepared for the explosive growth of the industry. By investing in yourself today, through education and career foresight, you set yourself up for an amazing future tomorrow.

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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.

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