Few computer science concepts have been as popular as artificial intelligence and machine learning. Traditionally reserved for sci-fi and fantasy, these disciplines have entered the real world and been eagerly welcomed by the public. Of course, tech companies and businesses across all industries were also quick to reap the benefits of AI and ML.
Today, the job market is full of offers for experts in the two fields. More importantly, plenty of those job listings come from leading companies, representing prime career opportunities. But tech giants want genuine experts – people thoroughly educated in the field.
Getting an MSc in AI and machine learning is an excellent way to gain the knowledge, experience, and proper credentials to land some of the most profitable and exciting jobs in the industry. The possibilities here are almost unlimited: You can enroll at a university for live classes or obtain your master’s degree in AI and machine learning online.
We’ve compiled a list of the best programs to get your masters in AI and ML. Let’s look at what the top educational institutions have to offer.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Masters Program in AI and ML
Picking the best masters in machine learning and artificial intelligence isn’t a straightforward choice. Many institutions offer courses on the subject, but not all of them are of equal quality. Here are the essential criteria to consider when deciding which course to take:
- University reputation and ranking: The first factor to look at is whether the university is well-regarded among current and former students, as well as internationally. A reputable institution will usually meet other quality criteria as well.
- Curriculum and course offerings: Every masters in AI and ML program will be slightly different. You should examine the curriculum closely to find out if the classes match your educational and professional goals.
- Research opportunities and faculty expertise: There’s plenty of theory in AI and ML, but the core value of these disciplines lies in practical application. That’s why you’ll want to pick a program with ample research and hands-on opportunities. On a similar note, the faculty members should be industry experts who can explain and show real-life uses of the skills taught.
- Job placement and industry connections: Besides the knowledge, top MSc in AI and machine learning programs will provide access to industry networks and the relevant job market. This will be one of the greatest advantages of enrollment. You’ll get the chance to enter the AI and MS professional landscape upon graduation or, in some cases, during the program.
- Tuition fees and financial aid: Studying at top universities can be costly and may impact your budget severely. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get quality education without breaking the bank. You can find reasonably priced offers or financial aid methods to help you along the way.
Top 5 Masters Programs in AI and ML
1. Imperial College London – MSc in Artificial Intelligence
The Imperial College in London offers intensive AI and programming training in this MSc program. During your studies, you’ll gain the essential and advanced technical skills, as well as experience in practical AI application.
This program lasts for one year and includes full-time studying on site in South Kensington. The total fee, expressed in British Pounds, is £21,000 for UK students and £39,400 for learners from abroad. To enroll, you’ll need to meet the minimum requirements of a degree in engineering, physics, mathematics, or similar fields.
In terms of the curriculum, this program’s core modules include Introduction to Machine Learning, Introduction to Symbolic Artificial Intelligence, and Python Programming. You’ll participate in individual and group projects and have access to state-of-the-art computing labs.
Certain projects are done in collaboration with leading AI companies, representing an excellent opportunity to get in touch with acclaimed tech professionals. As a result, graduates from this program have improved chances of finding high-level work in the industry.
2. University of Tuebingen – International Master’s Program in Machine Learning
The master’s in machine learning from the University of Tuebingen is a flexible program with particular emphasis on statistical ML and deep learning. The institution ensures the lectures follow the latest trends in the ever-developing machine learning field.
You can finish the studies during the four semesters of the program or take an extra semester. In that case, you’ll be eligible for a note of distinction, depending on the quality of your thesis. Non-EU students will need to pay a fee of €1,500 per semester along with a €160 semester fee. Students from the EU and others eligible for fee exceptions will only have to cover the semester fees.
As mentioned, the curriculum is exceptionally flexible. The program features only three mandatory lectures: Probabilistic Inference and Learning, Statistical Machine Learning, and Deep Learning. All other lectures are elective, so you can tailor the program to fit your needs and goals precisely.
The lecturers at Tuebingen University, all renowned machine learning researchers, will work with you actively during the program. Owing to the institution’s interdisciplinary approach, you’ll be able to work on your thesis under the supervision of any computer science professor, regardless of their particular field of expertise.
As a partner of the Max Planck Institute, this university regularly collaborates with world-class tech professionals and innovators. And as a student of the University of Tuebingen, you’ll have the chance to meet and work with those authorities. You can even write your thesis during an apprenticeship with a leading tech company.
3. University of Amsterdam – Master in Artificial Intelligence
The artificial intelligence MSc at the University of Amsterdam is among the most comprehensive programs worldwide. It’s designed to provide students with a broad scope of knowledge about AI and its practical application.
This is a full-time, regular program that lasts for two years and takes place in the university’s Science Park. The tuition fee for Dutch, Swiss, Surinamese, or EU students is €2,314, while other learners will need to pay €16,500. It’s worth mentioning that scholarships are available for all students.
For the first year, the curriculum includes seven core courses meant to establish a strong foundation in machine learning, computer vision, and NLP. The second year consists entirely of electives, both restricted and free-choice. Of course, you’ll wrap up the program with an AI thesis.
This artificial intelligence MSc program offers excellent career prospects. Many alumni have found work in distinguished positions at leading tech or tech-adjacent companies like Google, Eagle Vision, Airbnb, and Volvo.
4. Johns Hopkins University – Artificial Intelligence Master’s Program Online
As one of the leading educational centers in the world, Johns Hopkins University provides exceptional programs and courses in numerous areas. This online AI master’s program is no different. It will give you a solid understanding of the subject in theory and practice.
To earn this degree, you’ll need to pass 10 courses in the total period of five years. Since Johns Hopkins is a U.S. university, the tuition fees are expressed in dollars. The standard fee per course is $6,290. However, this program is a part of the university’s Engineering for Professionals division, and all courses in that division are subject to a special dean’s discount. The actual price you’ll pay, therefore, will be $5,090 per course or $50,900 in total.
The core courses you’ll take will include Introduction to Algorithms or Algorithms for Data Science, Applied Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Creating AI-Enabled Systems. The rest of the curriculum will consist of six electives – you’ll have 26 to choose from.
The faculty consists of acclaimed experts, and the university has close ties with industry-leading companies. Both of which will help you build your network and connect with professionals who may help advance your career.
5. KTH Sweden – MSc Machine Learning
Housed at the university’s campus in Stockholm, this MSc in machine learning program is a part of the KTHs School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The program examines different facets of machine learning and how they apply to problem-solving in the real world.
The program is broken down into four semesters and lasts for two years total, if completed regularly. Swiss and EU students need not pay fees for program application or tuition. For other learners, the tuition fee for the whole program will be SEK 310,000, while the application fee is SEK 900.
The curriculum consists of mandatory and elective classes, with the electives being conditioned. For example, you’ll need to choose a minimum of six courses from the two groups of Theory and Application Domain.
KTH has an impressive percentage of graduates who found employment – 97%. Of those, half have assumed leadership positions, and one in 10 works in a managerial role. In fact, more than half of KHTs students start working in their respective industries before getting the degree. This serves as proof of the stellar reputation that KHT enjoys nation- and worldwide.
Become an Expert in the Leading Computer Science Disciplines
Getting a masters in AI and ML can help you find your place in these highly competitive industries. Of course, it will be necessary to find a program that suits you to maximize your chances of success.
Whichever program you choose, one thing is certain: Machine learning and artificial intelligence will continue to grow in importance. With a proper education, you’ll be able to keep up the pace and may find yourself among the experts leading the progress in these disciplines.
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.