Natural language processing, or NLP for short, has been making waves for years, but as of late, it has caught the attention of even non-tech enthusiasts. Why is that? Simply put, natural language processing bridges human language and computer understanding to make interactions feel more natural and less like talking to machines.

For tech professionals, NLP skills have grown from “nice-to-have” status a few years ago to some of the most significant skills of the decade. The field is growing quickly, and many are interested in taking on the challenge. Luckily, many resources online can get you there and are flexible, in-depth, and practical.

Understanding Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing is an element of artificial intelligence (AI) that deals with the interaction between computers and humans using natural language.

Traditionally, human-computer interactions have largely been done through predefined commands within terminals or graphical user interfaces that obscure the “commands” behind graphical interactions. These interactions work well and aren’t going away. However, instructing a computer by “speaking” to it has been within the realm of science fiction for decades but has also been a research goal of many computer scientists for a long while.

The goal of natural language processing is to read, decipher, understand, and make sense of human language in a valuable way. Recently, it has been integrated into everything from search engines figuring out what users are searching for to translating languages on the fly. It’s even a part of predictive text that finishes sentences, particularly on mobile phone keyboards. Taking a course in NLP gives you a new skill for the CV that opens doors to many employment positions across sectors.

Choosing the Right NLP Course Online

When searching for the right NLP course, consider what you need. Specifically, focus on these:

  • Curriculum
  • Instructors
  • Recognition
  • Experience

Does the curriculum cover the latest in NLP technology? The field evolves fast, sometimes with several breakthroughs or at least advancements a year. Course material and curriculum that’s several years behind might miss some of the new developments.

Are the instructors seasoned professionals? The more experience one has in the field, the better equipped they are to pass that knowledge down.

Is the NLP course recognized by industry leaders? It isn’t a matter of appealing to authority but rather knowing that the course is of high enough quality to be considered valuable and useful.

And let’s not forget about the hands-on experience. You can’t really learn NLP just by reading about it. It would be best to try your hands in real-life projects and workshops.

Most NLP courses will walk you through the basics of machine learning, algorithms that power NLP, and hands-on projects that solidify your knowledge.

OPIT offers a full NLP course as a part of the Master of Science (MSc) in Responsible Artificial Intelligence program. The course gives you a solid theoretical foundation and plenty of hands-on experience, presented by instructors who are experts in the field. The degree teaches you how to use NLP and use it ethically and responsibly.

A List of the Best NLP Online Courses

Here are some standout NLP online courses:

  • Coursera’s Natural Language Processing Specialization is for intermediate learners and spans over four months. It covers logistic regression, naive Bayes, word vectors, sentiment analysis, and more. The program is a comprehensive one that combines theory with practical assignments.
  • Stanford Online’s Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning focuses on the cutting-edge intersection of NLP and deep learning. It’s an in-depth exploration of NLP’s fundamental concepts and its role in emerging technologies. This course is perfect for those looking to get a solid foundation in NLP from one of the leading institutions in the world.
  • edX Natural Language Processing Courses & Programs: edX provides an intro to NLP that covers core techniques and computational linguistics. Topics include text processing, text mining, sentiment analysis, and topic modeling. It’s a great starting point for beginners and offers a broad overview of what NLP entails.
  • DeepLearning.AI’s Natural Language Processing in TensorFlow on Coursera was designed by one of the pioneers in AI education. It offers practical insights into implementing NLP techniques using TensorFlow. The course covers processing text, representing sentences as vectors, and building NLP models.
  • Udacity’s Natural Language Processing Nanodegree is project-focused with hands-on NLP learning. It covers foundational NLP concepts, including text processing, part-of-speech tagging, and sentiment analysis.

While these are the best natural language processing courses online, OPIT’s MSc in Responsible Artificial Intelligence, including NLP as part of its curriculum, is unique. This program teaches you NLP and embeds it within the broader context of artificial intelligence development, AI ethics, and responsible use. It’s excellent for those who want to go beyond the technical aspects and consider the societal impacts of their work in AI.

Benefits of Enrolling in an NLP Online Course

Attending an NLP course online might give you more than traditional on-site education. One of the biggest advantages is flexibility. You can learn at your own pace and on your schedule.

Online courses also open up networking opportunities with peers and mentors from around the globe. These are connections that on-site education would not have the scope to provide. Moreover, completing an NLP course can significantly boost your career prospects, potentially leading to job promotions and salary increases.

NLP Certification and Career Opportunities

With this certification, you’re proving your ability to understand and manipulate natural language data, making you invaluable in roles from data science and AI development to UX/UI design and content strategy.

Companies, from tech giants to startups, are on the lookout for professionals who can bridge the gap between human communication and machine understanding. The demand also translates into diverse job opportunities, competitive salaries, and the potential to work on groundbreaking projects in AI, machine learning, marketing, research, finance, and customer experience, among others.

Natural Machine Communication

NLP leads many of today’s technological advancements, making skills in this area more valuable than ever. Natural language processing courses that equip students with skills in natural language processing, AI, and related fields are growing in both offer and popularity. Completing one of these NLP courses sets you on a course for a financially promising career path within one of the most prestigious tech fields.

Get the right education and get ready for the future. Check out OPIT’s NLP course offerings within the MSc in Responsible Artificial Intelligence program or as a subject within our other computer science degrees.

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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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