As the world becomes increasingly data-driven and computing power advances beyond all expectations, two intriguing fields are at the center of attention – data science and machine learning.
These fields are often grouped together as they have numerous contact points. First and foremost, both areas are all about data. But data science primarily focuses on extracting valuable insights from data, while machine learning aims to use the data to make predictions and decisions without explicit programming.
These revolutionary technologies have seeped into (and revolutionized) virtually every existing sector: healthcare, business, finance, retail, IT, and the list can go on and on. So, no wonder companies are constantly seeking highly skilled professionals in these fields.
If you’d like to build a career in these highly lucrative fields, improving your skills and knowledge is an absolute must.
Luckily, nowadays, you don’t have to leave your home to achieve this level of expertise. Just pick a data science and machine learning course from this list (or do all three!), and you’ll be well on your way toward a bright future in these burgeoning fields.
Top Data Science and Machine Learning Courses
Whether you’ve just started to dip your toes in these fields or want to take your skills to the next level, you’ll find the perfect data science and machine learning course on our list.
Data Science: Machine Learning by Harvard University
The first data science and machine learning course on the list is classified as an introductory course. In other words, it’s ideal for beginners.
The course first tackles the basics of machine learning, gradually digging deeper into popular algorithms, principal component analysis, and building recommendation systems. You’ll finish this course with fundamental data science and machine learning skills.
The class lasts eight weeks and is entirely self-paced. The recommended time commitment is two to four hours per week, but every learner can tailor it to their needs. Another great option is auditing this data science and machine learning course for free. But you’ll have to pay a fee for a verified certificate and unlimited access to the materials.
The $109 (a little over €101) cost is a small price for the theoretical and hands-on knowledge you’ll gain after this course.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be given a chance to gain this knowledge. Due to some licensing issues, this course isn’t available for learners in Iran, Cuba, and Ukraine (the Crimea region). Another potential downside is that the class is a section of a nine-part data science program. And most of those nine parts precede this course. Although not obligatory, the program creators recommend taking these courses in order, which can be too much time and financial commitment for some learners.
Machine Learning, Data Science, and Deep Learning With Python by Udemy
Do you feel like you need more hands-on experience in machine learning and data science? Have you had to pass on promising job applications because you don’t meet the listing requirements? If you’ve answered positively to both questions, here’s some good news. This data science and machine learning course was custom-made for you.
And no, these aren’t empty promises à-la infomercials you see on TV. This course covers all the most common requirements big-tech companies seek in data scientist job listings. Implementing machine learning at a massive scale, making predictions, visualizing data, classifying images and data — you name it, this course will teach it.
Naturally, this is the single most considerable advantage of this course. It will give you the necessary skills to successfully navigate the lucrative career paths of data science and machine learning. But this only goes if you already have some experience with coding and scripting. Unfortunately, this course isn’t beginner-friendly (in terms of Python, not data science), so not everyone can take it immediately.
Those who do will enjoy over 100 on-demand video lectures, followed by several additional resources. For a $119.99 (approximately €112) fee, you’ll also receive a shareable certificate and full lifetime access to the course.
Data Science and Machine Learning: Making Data-Driven Decisions by MIT
The last item on our list is a big-league data science and machine learning course. The word “course” might even be an understatement, as it’s closer to an entire learning program encompassing a broad set of educational activities.
For starters, the course involves a mentorship program with leading industry experts as guides. And this isn’t a one-and-done type of program either; you’ll have weekly online meetings in small groups. The course itself is taught by MIT faculty and industry experts with years of experience under their belts.
In 12 weeks, you’ll significantly grow your data science and machine learning portfolio, examine numerous case studies, acquire valuable knowledge in applying multiple skills (clustering, regression, classification, etc.), and receive a professional certificate to prove it.
The only notable downside of this extensive data science and machine learning course is its price. With a $2,300 (around €2,142) fee, this course is far from accessible for an average learner. However, those who can afford it should consider it a long-term investment, as this course can be a one-way ticket to a successful career in data science and machine learning.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Course
Online learning platforms have democratized the world of learning. Now, you can learn whatever you want from wherever you are and at whatever pace works best for you.
But keep in mind that this goes for instructors as well. Anyone can now teach anything. To avoid wasting your time and money on a subpar course, consider these factors when choosing the perfect data science and machine learning course.
Course Content and Curriculum
First things first: check what the course is about. The course’s description will usually contain a “Curriculum” section where you can clearly see whether it delves into topics that interest you. If you have experience in the field, you’ll immediately know if the course spends too much time on skills you’ve already mastered.
Course Duration and Flexibility
Most online courses are self-paced. Sure, this kind of flexibility is mostly a good thing. But if you lack discipline, it can also be detrimental. So, before starting the course, check its duration and make sure you can fully commit to it from beginning to end.
Instructor Quality and Expertise
A data science and machine learning course will undoubtedly contain portions some learners might perceive as challenging or tedious. If there’s one thing that can help them breeze through these parts, it’s an engaging and personable instructor.
So, before committing to a course, research the instructor(s) a little bit. Check their bios and play a video to ensure their teaching style works for you.
Cost and Return on Investment
A data science and machine learning course can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. To ensure you’ll get your money’s worth, check how well it will prepare you for finding a job in the field.
Does it come with a highly requested certification? Does it cover the skills your future employers seek? These are just some of the questions you should consider before investing in a data science and machine learning course.
Hands-On Experience and Real-World Projects
This is another factor that can make investing in a data science and machine learning course well worth it. As valuable as theory is, hands-on experience is king in these fields. Working on real-world projects and building a rock-solid portfolio opens up new doors for you, even before leaving the course.
Networking Opportunities and Job Placement Assistance
A strong support system and direct contact with instructors and mentors should be a course must-have for anyone interested in a data science and machine learning career. Meet notable figures in the industry and stand out among the course goers, and incredible job opportunities should follow suit.
Tips for Success in Data Science and Machine Learning Courses
You can get straight to learning after selecting the perfect data science and machine learning course. Sure, closely following the curriculum will help you gain the necessary knowledge and skills in these fields. But following these tips while studying will do wonders for your future career prospects:
- Develop a strong foundation in mathematics and programming: This will allow you to take more advanced courses and breeze through the rest.
- Stay up-to-date with industry trends and advancements: Despite being updated frequently, the courses can barely keep up with the innovations in the field.
- Engage in online forums and communities for support and networking: Sharing ideas and receiving feedback can help you overcome learning challenges.
- Practice your skills through personal projects and competitions: Challenge yourself to go beyond the scope of the course.
- Seek internships and job opportunities to gain real-world experience: Besides looking great on your resume, these will help you get the hang out of things much quicker.
Learn, Practice, Excel
A carefully selected data science and machine learning course is an excellent opportunity to enter these booming fields with a bang. Developing data science and machine learning skills further will help you stay there and enjoy a successful and rewarding career for years to come.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.