AI is everywhere today.

The algorithms that drive your Netflix and Spotify recommendations use AI to figure out what you’ll like based on what you’ve already consumed. Every chatbot you’ve ever spoken to, targeted ad you’ve seen, and even the more fanciful ideas floating around (self-driving cars, anyone?) use AI to some degree.

Given that so many businesses use AI already, it stands to reason that taking online courses on the subject will help you get ahead. But for the budget-conscious among you, a course that costs thousands of euros isn’t the route you want to go down. You want a free AI course.

That’s where this article comes in. But let’s get something clear immediately, a free AI course won’t go into as much depth as a paid one. Nor will it give you a qualification that’s as prestigious as one from a formal educational institution. But what it will give you is foundational knowledge, often backed by a certification, which is why we’re looking at four of the best AI courses you can study for free in this article.

Top Artificial Intelligence Course Online Free With Certificate – Four Great Options

Is it really possible to find an artificial intelligence free course with certificate that shows you have actually learned something useful? It is, and these four courses are great examples.

Course 1 – Elements of AI (University of Helsinki)

With over 950,000 students already to its name, the Elements of AI course is all about lifting the veil on the mysterious concept of AI. It includes two modules, the first giving you an introduction to the “whats” and “wherefores” of AI, with the second digging into building your own AI models. It’s set up to run in 170 countries and is ideal for those who want a basic grasp on AI that they can build on with other courses.

Key Topics Covered

  • The theory of AI, including what is and isn’t possible with the tech
  • Development of basic AI algorithms
  • An introduction (and exploration) of using Python to create AI models
  • Practical exercises that you can take at your own pace to see how AI applies in real-world scenarios

Certificate Details

The certification you get from this free AI course comes directly from the University of Helsinki, which is a recognized and authoritative European institution. But it’s important to note that the certificate is not a degree. Instead, it’s both a demonstration of your grasp of basic AI concepts and a statement of your intent to dig deeper into the topic.

Course 2 – Machine Learning With Python: A Practical Introduction (IBM)

There are three things you want from your AI course – online, free, and practical. IBM’s offering delivers all three, with the focus being on how you can apply machine learning (with Python programs underpinning your models) to the real world. The content is created and delivered by Saeed Aghabozorgi, who’s a senior data scientist at IBM, meaning it comes direct from somebody who understands precisely how machine learning is applied in practical terms.

Key Topics Covered

  • Python programming in the context of creating machine learning models
  • The theory and application of both supervised and unsupervised learning
  • An introduction to the most common machine learning algorithms
  • Real-world examples of how machine learning is already impacting society

Certificate Details

In return for five weeks of your time (estimated study – four to five hours per week) you’ll earn an IBM “skill badge.” This online credential verifies that you’ve completed the course and can be shared on social media profiles. The course is also part of IBM’s Data Science Professional Certificate Program, making it a piece of a larger jigsaw puzzle of free AI courses that you can complete over the course of a year to get an IBM certificate.

Course 3 – Supervised Machine Learning: Regression and Classification (DeepLearning.AI via Coursera)

You’re getting into specialization territory with this course, which serves as the first of several that make up DeepLearning.AI’s Machine Learning Specialization certificate. It’s a completely online course that allows you to reset deadlines to suit your schedule and takes about 33 hours of studying to complete. Sadly, it’s only available in English (at the time of writing), which may make it less accessible to non-English speakers.

Key Topics Covered

  • A wide-spanning introduction to the various types of machine learning
  • Explanations of the best practices for AI implementation currently used in major Silicon Valley companies
  • Several mathematical and statistical concepts, such as linear regression
  • Practical examples and project work for building predictive machine learning models

Certificate Details

Coursera provides its own shareable certificates to anybody who completes this course, with those certificates being shareable on social media and printable for your CV. It’s also worth noting that this course is part of a wider three-course program. Combine it with DeepLearning.AI’s Advanced Learning Algorithms and Unsupervised Learning and Recommender Systems to get two more course-specific certificates and a certificate for completing all three courses.

Course 4 – Learn With Google AI (Google)

Learn with Google AI is less a dedicated course and more a collection of different modules (and even competitions) designed to help you get to grips with AI. Think of it like a resource bank, only it incorporates practical exercises as well as theoretical information. Beyond the courses themselves, you’ll find a useful glossary and some guides for how AI can apply to environmental and social courses.

Key Topics Covered

  • Theoretical modules covering machine learning, neural networks, and the ethics behind AI
  • Hands-on tutorials that give you practical experience with the course content
  • Real-world examples of how Google incorporates AI into what it does
  • Competitions that allow you to test your skills against other participants

Certificate Details

Learn with Google AI isn’t a traditionally structured course, and that’s reflected in the lack of certification for completing the courses in this resource bank. It’s better to think of these courses as free primers that equip you with the knowledge you need to ace other free (or paid) AI courses.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an AI Course

The price is certainly right with a free AI course, but you’re still investing valuable time into whichever program you choose. Think about the following to ensure you spend that time wisely:

  • Course content – Though many artificial intelligence free course will cover the basic concepts underpinning AI, you want to know that you’re going somewhere with what you learn. Think about why you’re studying AI and whether the course will move you closer to your goals.
  • Course duration and flexibility – Online courses come with a key advantage over traditional programs – you control your studying. That flexibility allows you to fit your studies around your life, though you still have deliverables (and sometimes tests) you need to complete.
  • Instructor credentials – With free courses, the certification you get isn’t as immediately prestigious as one you’d receive from a paid course. A respected instructor can add that prestige. Research the background of whoever creates and delivers the course, specifically checking their reputation as a teacher and experiences in the AI industry.
  • Community support and resources – Given that most free AI courses focus on self-learning, you need to know that there are people (or resources) around to help when you get stuck. No learner is an island. If there are other students and instructors around to offer guidance, you have a course that you’re more likely to pass.
  • Certificate value – As touched upon earlier, the value of your certificate plays a role in your decision, with specific attention being paid to how employers will see that certificate on your CV. A respected instructor or a course delivered by a major brand (think Google or IBM) adds credibility compared to courses delivered by nameless and faceless individuals.

Tips for Successfully Completing an AI Course Online

No athlete gets a gold medal for running half a race, and the same applies to students who don’t complete the courses they start. Use these tips to see you through when the going gets tough:

  • Set clear goals for yourself, which inform the course you choose and help to motivate you if you start feeling discouraged when struggling with the material.
  • Dedicate time to learning both in the context of your course and by parsing out personal time for practice.
  • Engage with the community that’s evolved around the course to learn directly from peers and qualified professionals.
  • Never be afraid of seeking help when needed, as you’re learning some complex concepts that are all too easy to misinterpret.
  • Take every opportunity you can find to apply the theoretical concepts you learn in real-world scenarios.

Study AI Courses Free Online

A free AI course is never going to be a direct substitute for a paid course delivered by a recognized institution. But it doesn’t have to be. Free courses can set you up with general skills that you can apply in your existing workplace, in addition to helping you lay a foundation for future study. And in some cases (such as with courses offered directly by major AI players) you’ll get a certification that actually means something to employers.

AI is going to be so much more than a part of future technology. It’ll be the bedrock on which everything to come is built. Your efforts to expand your knowledge in the field will help you become one of the people who lay that bedrock. The sooner you start learning (and applying) AI, the better your position will be when the AI revolution truly takes hold.

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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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