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.

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New OPIT Degrees launching (soon)!
Riccardo Ocleppo
Riccardo Ocleppo
Nov 29, 2023 2 min read


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:

  • Cybersecurity
  • 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!

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Five Reasons to Study Online at OPIT
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
OPIT - Open Institute of Technology
Nov 29, 2023 9 min read

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.

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