Did you know that machines can learn, too, similarly to humans?

In machine learning, software applications can be trained to parse data, learn from it, and then make informed decisions based on their findings. This outcome prediction has proven to be invaluable in numerous industries, including IT (malware threat detection), healthcare (disease diagnosis and prognosis), manufacturing (business process automation), and finance (fraud detection).

The importance of machine learning in today’s technology-driven world can’t be understated. So, if you’re considering a career in data science, software engineering, or artificial intelligence (AI), this is the skill to learn.

Fortunately, learning this skill is now accessible to almost anyone. Just go online and find a machine learning course for beginners.

We’ve gathered our three favorites to help you narrow your search (and avoid wasting time on subpar courses). We aim to make it easy to select the perfect free machine learning course and crush it online.

Criteria for Selecting the Top Beginner-Friendly Online Picks

The internet offers seemingly endless learning resources. This is undoubtedly great news, as it levels the playing field for eager learners worldwide. But be careful; not all online resources will be valuable to you. Some will just waste your time.

So, how can you comb through the sea of content and find a course worth pursuing? By knowing precisely what you’re looking for, of course. Check out our selection criteria to track down a great online course.

Course Content and Structure

Most courses you find online will come with a description. The more detailed it is, the better. By carefully reading the description, you’ll better understand what the course covers and how it is structured.

These descriptions can sometimes read fluffy to get as many learners to apply. But try to look past the buzzwords and extract only the essential information – what the syllabus looks like, how many hours it takes to complete the course, and how the lessons are spaced.

If there are video lessons, check previews to ensure you’ll only work with high-quality video and audio outputs throughout the course.

Instructor Expertise and Teaching Style

If the course’s content is sound, it’s time to move on to the person (or people) who will present it to you. After all, anyone can read a bunch of words from a book. It takes an experienced and knowledgeable instructor to help you truly understand the learning material.

So, before signing up for the course, do a little research on the instructor. Check out their bio to learn about their expertise and experience in the field.

Beyond that, play a lecture or two to ensure their teaching style suits you. Having issues with the little things like their voice or body language can impact your concentration and, in turn, your success.

Platform Features and User Experience

Now that we’ve covered what you’re learning and who you’re learning it from, the only question is where the learning will take place.

Take a more in-depth look at the platform hosting your chosen course. Ensure it offers a seamless user experience, as glitches and downtime aren’t exactly ideal for a learning environment.

Also, the more exciting features the platform has, the easier it will be to stick to the course. Different learning material formats, interactive elements, discussion forums, and progress tracking are just some of the features that can significantly improve your learning experience.

Community Support and Resources

The lack of personal interaction in online learning can make you feel like you’re all alone. This can be incredibly challenging if you’re struggling with a lesson or a part of the course. So, when looking for the perfect online class, ensure you’ll get a chance to interact with other learners or even experts in the field.

Asking questions, sharing insights, collecting feedback, and receiving support and motivation should be a part of every learner’s journey.

Cost and Accessibility

If your chosen course checks all your boxes, don’t celebrate just yet. First, check whether you can access it and how much it costs.

Access can sometimes be limited by your country or device, so make sure nothing stands between you and learning online.

As for the cost, you’ll find plenty of high-quality courses free of charge. If there is a fee to pay, check whether you can purchase just the individual class or you have to subscribe to the platform. The latter approach is better for those who want to acquire multiple skills and work on their education long-term.

Top Beginner-Friendly Online Picks for Free Machine Learning Courses

Here are the top three beginner-friendly machine learning courses we’ve chosen based on the selection criteria above. Each one should help you learn the fundamentals of this field and how to use machine learning effectively as a skill.

Supervised Machine Learning: Regression and Classification by Andrew Ng

If you want to learn more about machine learning, why not consult one of its leading figures? That’s what you can do if you take this course. You’ll learn from Andrew Ng, a prominent computer scientist and a pioneer in machine learning and AI. All things considered, it’s no wonder this is probably the most popular free machine learning course online.

During this course, you’ll master the key concepts of machine learning (supervised and unsupervised learning and best practices) and learn how to apply them in practice. Some of the skills you’ll gain include:

  • Linear regression
  • Logistic regression for classification
  • Gradient descent
  • Regularization to avoid overfitting

This is one of the best beginner courses for entering the machine learning field. It offers abundant knowledge, a flexible schedule, and resettable deadlines. The only downside is that you must enroll in the entire specialization to receive a certificate upon completion.

Machine Learning Crash Course by Google

Google is a major disruptor in the AI industry. So, a free machine learning course offered by this tech giant is seriously a big deal. As the name suggests, this is a crash course, so expect a fast-paced and intense approach to machine learning.

Throughout 25 lessons, you’ll learn about specific machine-learning areas through video lectures from Google researchers, real-world case studies, written guides, and hands-on exercises.

The key topics this course covers include:

  • A deep dive into neural networks
  • The inner workings of gradient descent
  • Model training and evaluation
  • The importance of loss functions

The course is relatively short (15 hours) yet informative, so it can be an excellent choice for those pursuing machine learning while having a job. However, if you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll have to do some reading before starting the course, which some may view as a downside.

Practical Machine Learning With Scikit-Learn by Adam Eubanks

If you’re looking for something even shorter than Google’s Crash Course, you’ll love this course on Udemy. You’ll learn the most powerful machine-learning algorithms in a little over an hour. This course focuses on Scikit-Learn, a Python machine-learning library ideal for beginners.

Here are some of the algorithms this course covers:

  • Linear regression
  • Polynomial regression
  • Multiple linear regression
  • Logistic regression
  • Support vector machines
  • Decision trees

This is the perfect course for kick-starting your machine-learning journey. However, some learners might find it too limited in scope. Also, the course lacks interaction with the instructor, which might be a deal breaker for some learners.

Tips for Success in Learning Machine Learning Online

Imagine going through all the trouble of finding the perfect machine learning free online course, only to abandon it halfway through. There’s no judgment here, of course. We know how difficult it can be to persevere with learning outside the traditional classroom and school system.

So, here are some tips to help you complete a machine learning course for beginners triumphantly:

  • Set clear goals and expectations. Before starting the course, remind yourself of why you’re doing it and how it fits your career development. Don’t just buy the course for the sake of buying it; these impulse purchases rarely translate to success.
  • Dedicate consistent time for learning. Like with many things in life, consistency is key. But this time, there’s no one to keep you on track besides yourself. So, work on your self-discipline and commit to regular study sessions.
  • Engage with the community and seek help when needed. Online learning can feel like an isolating experience. But it doesn’t have to, provided you’ve selected the right platform. If you ever feel stuck, don’t hesitate to seek help from the community. These simple interactions will help you stay motivated and focused.
  • Apply learned concepts to real-world projects. As soon as you gain a fundamental understanding of machine learning, try to put this knowledge to practice. Seeing how the theory you’re learning sets you up for success is a great incentive to keep learning.
  • Continuously update skills and knowledge. Are you done with the machine learning course for beginners? Great, it’s time to look for a more advanced one. Continuously learning and improving your skills is the only way to stay on top.

Considerable Knowledge at No Cost

You won’t make a mistake regardless of whether you put your trust in Andrew Ng or Adam Eubanks or go the Google route. What you will do is gain valuable knowledge about an even more valuable skill: machine learning.

If you want to master your knowledge of machine learning, consider pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Modern Computer Science from the Open Institute of Technology. The syllabus includes two courses focusing on machine learning and numerous others that will skyrocket your career opportunities.

Related posts

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.

Read the article
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