Tuesday, May 28, 2024

9 Best AI Certification Courses to Future-Proof Your Career in 2024

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AI certifications provide you with the expertise you need to work in the field of artificial intelligence while demonstrating to potential employers or customers that you possess a baseline level of knowledge and experience in AI development. Most certification curricula focus on the programming and math behind the fundamental topics within AI, with a heavy emphasis on machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), natural language processing (NLP), and their practical applications. Here are our top picks for the best AI certifications for career growth in 2024:

AI Certification Comparison Chart

The table below provides an overview of the top AI certifications for 2024, including who they’re best suited for, the institution or provider behind them, and the program duration and cost.

Certificate Level Who It’s for Provider Duration Cost
Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) Entry-level Beginners who want to learn basic AI concepts Coursera Eight hours $49 per month
AI for Everyone Entry-level

Non-technical professionals

AI engineers who want to learn the business aspect of AI

Coursera Six hours $49 per month
Introduction to Generative AI Entry-level Anyone who wants to learn about generative AI Coursera One hour $49 per month
Professional Certificate Program in Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Advanced

Data analysts

Managers who want to use AI and ML

Professionals with at least three years of experience

MIT Professional Education 16 days of qualifying courses $2,500 to $4,700 per course
CertNexus Certified Artificial Intelligence Practitioner Advanced Data scientists who want to enter the field of AI Coursera Two months at 10 hours a week $49 per month
Certified Artificial Intelligence Scientist Advanced Senior AI professionals and business leaders USAII Four to 25 weeks with eight to 10 hours of learning per week $894
Artificial Intelligence Engineer (AiE) Certification Advanced Professionals with a degree or relevant experience in a computer-related field ARTiBA One hour and 30 minutes $550
Generative AI for Software Developers Specialization Specialty Software developers who want to use generative AI Coursera One month at 10 hours a week $49 per month
Professional Certificate in Computer Science for Artificial Intelligence Specialty Aspiring AI engineers and developers edX Five months at seven to 22 hours a week $518

Best Entry-Level Certificates

The dynamic field of AI offers a wide range of opportunities for jobseekers, and the right certifications can help you kickstart your career. While advanced certifications demonstrate expertise, entry-level AI certifications offer a valuable starting point for beginners by equipping them with fundamental knowledge and skills about AI and its applications across industries. The best entry-level certificates on this list are from Coursera, which offers over 50 options for AI professionals.

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) by IBM

IBM icon.

Best for Understanding Basic Concepts of AI

IBM’s Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (AI) covers the basics of AI and its applications, including machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks. At the end of the four-module course, beginners will understand basic AI concepts as well as various issues and ethical concerns surrounding the field. They will also learn from experts and demonstrate the application of the basic AI concepts with a mini-project at the end of the course. This course doesn’t require any programming or computer science background, making it an ideal starting point to learn the fundamentals of AI.

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Anyone interested in the fundamentals of AI
  • Professionals who want to start a career in AI

Skills Acquired

  • Fundamentals of AI, its applications, and use cases
  • Issues and ethical concerns surrounding AI
  • Basic concepts of machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks
  • Insights about starting a career in AI

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; approximately eight hours
  • Online
  • $49 per month

Requirements

There are no technical background requirements for this course, but since it’s a part of multiple programs, learners will be asked to select a specific program.

AI for Everyone by DeepLearning.AI

DeepLearning.AI icon.

Best for Learning Real-Life Applications of AI

DeepLearning.AI’s AI for Everyone is designed for people who want to learn AI, especially non-technical professionals who’d like to know more about the field. In this course, you’ll become familiar with AI terminologies, learn what AI realistically can and cannot do, and learn how to identify opportunities to use AI to solve problems in your own organization. You will also gain insights into how to build machine learning and data science projects and what it’s like to work with a team to create an AI strategy in your company.

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Anyone who wants to learn about AI
  • Non-technical professionals
  • AI engineers who want to learn the business aspect of AI

Skills Acquired

  • AI terminologies
  • Real-life AI applications
  • Workflows of machine learning and data science projects
  • Designing an AI strategy with a team

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; Approximately six hours
  • Online
  • $49 per month

Requirements

  • No prerequisites

Introduction to Generative AI by Google Cloud

Google Cloud icon.

Best for Beginners Who Want to Learn Generative AI

Google Cloud’s Introduction to Generative AI is a short course on the branch of AI focused on creating new data. You can finish the course in an hour or at your own pace. At the end, you will be able to define generative AI, describe generative AI model types, and explain how generative AI works and its various applications. At the end of this course, you will be required to pass one assessment test before to gain a shareable certificate.

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Anyone who wants to learn about generative AI
  • Beginners who want to learn more about the different branches of AI

Skills Acquired

  • Defining generative AI and model types
  • Explaining how generative AI works
  • Describing generative AI applications

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; approximately one hour
  • Online
  • $49 per month

Requirements

No prior experience in generative AI is required, but learners should note that this course is part of the Introduction to Generative AI Learning Path Specialization.

Best Advanced Certificates

An advanced AI certification allows experts looking to grow their careers to demonstrate in-depth knowledge, skills, and techniques in the field. Earning these certifications shows employers your dedication to professional development, demonstrates that your knowledge is up-to-date, and suggests that you have the ability to solve complex AI-related problems, helping you stand out in a competitive AI job market.

The best advanced certificates in this list are offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Coursera, the United States Artificial Intelligence Institute (USAII), and the Artificial Intelligence Board of America (ARTiBA).

Professional Certificate Program in Machine Learning And Artificial Intelligence by MIT

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) icon.

Best for In-Depth Understanding of AI and ML

MIT Professional Education offers a certificate program in AI and ML designed for professionals with at least three years of experience in a technical field. This program covers core concepts and advanced topics in AI and ML, such as linear regression, neural networks, deep learning, and natural language processing. You’ll earn a professional certificate after successfully completing 16 or more days of qualifying short program courses in the Professional Education track, which includes core courses and electives. After completion, you’re also eligible to earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Professionals with at least three years of professional experience in a technical field
  • Data analysts who want to learn more about AI/ML
  • Managers who want to use AI/ML to manage data
  • Professionals looking for hands-on experience with MIT faculty and industry experts

Skills Acquired

  • Natural language processing (NLP)
  • Predictive analytics
  • Deep learning
  • Big data and text processing
  • Large language model applications
  • ML applications for various industries

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • 16 days of qualifying courses
  • On-campus and online
  • $2,500 to $4,700 per course
  • Non-refundable application fee of $325

See the full list of the Professional Certificate Program’s courses and costs.

Requirements

  • At least 16 days of qualifying courses
  • At least one Machine Learning for Big Data and Text Processing course
  • Participants must complete each successive course within 36 months of the first one

CertNexus Certified Artificial Intelligence Practitioner by CertNexus

CertNexus icon.

Best for CAIP Certification Exam Preparation

CertNexus, through Coursera, offers vendor-independent courses to prepare for certification exams. Data science practitioners who want to enter the field of AI can leverage this program to prepare for the industry-recognized Certified Artificial Intelligence Practitioner™ (CAIP) exam. This five-course series certificate is designed for intermediate levels of understanding in AI, covering topics on business applications, AI workflow, ML/DL algorithms, and more.

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Data science practitioners who want to enter the field of AI

Skills Acquired

  • Machine learning (ML) algorithms
  • Data analysis and data structure
  • Artificial neural network
  • Support vector machine (SVM)
  • Ethics of AI

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; two months at 10 hours a week
  • Online
  • $49 per month

Requirements

  • High-level understanding of basic AI concepts
  • Experience working with databases and high-level programming languages such as Python, Java, or C/C++

Certified Artificial Intelligence Scientist by USAII

United States Artificial Intelligence Institute (USAII) icon.

Best for Managing Complex AI Projects

This certification program is designed for experienced working professionals who want to improve business outcomes using AI. Applicants need a college degree and at least four years of work experience or programming to qualify to take the test. The test covers in-depth concepts in AI, ML, DL, NLP, computer vision, generative adversarial networks, reinforcement learning, and more. It also focuses on the core machine learning and deep learning techniques required to lead AI projects, making it ideal for senior professionals.

You pay an all-inclusive fee and access all of study books and e-learning materials in addition to the exam and the certificate.

Who Should Get This Certification? 

  • Senior AI professionals and business leaders who want to develop AI solutions and strategies

Skills Acquired

  • AI frameworks
  • Support vector machines
  • Deep learning essentials
  • Computer vision techniques
  • Recurrent neural network

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; four to 25 weeks with eight to 10 hours of learning per week
  • Online
  • $894

Requirements

There are three eligibility paths to join for an AI professional aspiring to become a Certified Artificial Intelligence Scientist:

  • Path 1: Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in any academic field, preferably STEM; five years of experience in AI, ML, data science, business analytics, project management, or any programming language.
  • Path 2: Master’s degree or equivalent in any academic field, preferably STEM; four years of experience in AI, ML, data science, business analytics, business intelligence, engineering, finance, management, and more.
  • Path 3: Certified Artificial Intelligence Consultant (CAIC) or equivalent certification; candidates with a bachelor’s degree should have at least four years of experience, while candidates with a master’s degree should have three.

Artificial Intelligence Engineer (AiE) Certification by ARTiBA

Artificial Intelligence Board of America (ARTIBA) icon.

Best for Demonstrating AI Engineering Expertise

The AIE certification by the Artificial Intelligence Board of America (ARTiBA) is a program designed for professionals with experience in computer science and related fields who want to demonstrate their AI engineering skills. The exam certifies that you can handle popular AI and ML technologies, understand advanced AI modeling concepts, prepare organizational data, and explain how AI and machine learning applications can solve business challenges.

The exam fee covers the exam, certificate, and course study materials. To qualify to take the test, you need a college degree and work experience. The test covers ML, DL, DLP, regression, and types of AI learning: unsupervised, reinforced, and supervised.

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Professionals interested in earning an AI engineer certification
  • Individuals with a degree in computer science, data science, and related fields
  • Professionals with at least two years of experience in a computer-related field

Skills Acquired

  • Essentials of AI and ML
  • AI and ML programming
  • Natural language processing
  • Neural networks and deep learning

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; 90 minutes (60 questions)
  • Online
  • $550

Requirements

There are three tracks for AiE certification applicants:

  • Track 1: Associate’s degree or diploma in computer science or any other related discipline; at least two years of experience in any of the computing sub-functions.
  • Track 2: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, data science, or any other related discipline; work experience isn’t mandatory, but beginner-level programming experience is required.
  • Track 3: Master’s degree in computer science, data science, or any other related discipline; work experience isn’t mandatory, but working proficiency in programming is required.

Best Specialty Certificates

Specialty certificates focus on specific and in-demand areas within the dynamic field of AI, including NLP, machine learning engineering, computer vision, generative AI, and more. Professionals who obtain specialty certifications validate their mastery of industry-specific domains and their specialized knowledge and skills. The best specialty certifications on our list are offered by Coursera and edX, which are accessible learning platforms.

Generative AI for Software Developers Specialization by IBM

IBM icon.

Best for Software Developers Building Generative AI Skills

This specialization course is designed to help software professionals understand and build applications with generative AI technologies. It covers topics on prompt engineering for text and code, real-world applications of generative AI, responsible AI principles, and more. This three-course series is best for software developers who want to delve into practical generative AI techniques and apply them directly to software development tasks.

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Software developers who want to incorporate generative AI into their work
  • Professionals looking for AI tools to help with software development tasks
  • Developers interested in improving the code generation process

Skills Acquired

  • Describing popular generative AI models
  • Code generation using generative AI
  • Foundational knowledge on generative AI prompt engineering
  • Developing software engineering solutions using AI and LLMs

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; one month at 10 hours a week
  • Online
  • $49 per month

Requirements

There is no experience necessary, but some software engineering knowledge will be helpful.

Professional Certificate in Computer Science for Artificial Intelligence by Harvard University

Harvard University icon.

Best for Designing Intelligent Systems

This professional certificate offered by Harvard University delves into the foundations of computer science and programming specifically designed for the field of AI. It combines CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science course and Introduction to Artificial Intelligence with Python. You can access lessons on algorithms, data structures, and intelligent system designs and gain exposure through hands-on projects. Professionals who want to learn more about designing intelligent systems will find this course helpful in establishing computational principles, the ability to design efficient algorithms, and familiarity with architectural considerations needed to build intelligent systems.

Who Should Get This Certification?

  • Aspiring AI engineers and developers
  • Individuals who want a comprehensive computer science foundation for AI applications

Skills Acquired

  • Robust understanding of computer science and programming
  • Graph search algorithm
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Designing intelligent systems
  • Using AI in Python programs

Duration, Mode, and Cost

  • Flexible; five months at seven to 22 hours a week
  • Online
  • $518

Requirements

There are no strict requirements, but basic mathematical knowledge would be helpful.

Artificial Intelligence Careers

Artificial intelligence is a rapidly expanding field, and there are several career opportunities for professionals to explore.

Machine Learning Engineer

These professionals are critical members of the data science team and are responsible for designing, building, and deploying machine learning models. They turn complex data into actionable insights and solutions essential to maintaining and improving AI systems.

Data Scientist

Data scientists are specialists who collect, analyze, and interpret large data sets. They use various AI techniques to identify patterns, build models, and generate data-driven decisions for companies and organizations.

AI Researcher

An AI researcher is a professional who designs and tests hypotheses in various AI domains, pushing the boundaries of the field. They are often found in academic or research labs, developing new algorithms, architectures, and theories to further develop and advance AI.

Natural Language Process Engineer

NLP engineers work with human language data and teach computers to understand speech patterns and generate text and speech. They are responsible for building and maintaining NLP systems used in extracting meaning from human language, determining sentiments, and more.

AI Product Manager

An AI product manager leads teams in managing the development and launch of AI-powered products. They usually work with technical and business teams, helping them to efficiently collaborate.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are the Key Benefits of Earning an AI Certification?

An AI certification validates your knowledge and skills in the field, helping you stand out in a competitive job market. Certifications also offer opportunities for career advancement, as many employers value AI certifications, allowing you to have better job offers, promotions, and salary boosts. Additionally, AI certifications ensure that you are updated with the current AI trends and technologies, enabling you to stay relevant in an ever-changing field.

What Types of Organizations Offer AI Certifications?

Organizations that certify in artificial intelligence fall into four main categories: vendors, technology associations, universities, and education platforms. Each backs the credibility of their credentials in different ways and certifies different aspects of AI knowledge.

  • Vendors: Specialty certificates for specific platforms—such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM Cloud—or AI subcategories, such as machine learning, are available from several major AI companies.
  • Associations: Technology associations such as the Artificial Intelligence Board of America (ARTiBA) and the United States Artificial Intelligence Institute (USAII) do not teach classes. Instead, they offer study guides and tests that allow those with a basic understanding of AI to pass a test and obtain a credential.
  • Universities: Many universities offer degrees and certifications in AI, such as Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Northwestern University, the University of Oxford, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Texas at Austin, and more. These certificates cost significantly more than technology association certificates, but they also offer classes, student networking, and access to professors.
  • Education Platforms: AI certifications are available at many online education platforms, such as Coursera, edX, Google, LinkedIn Learning, Udacity, and Udemy. The courses are run by various organizations. For example, MIT runs a course on Emeritus.org, Great Learning offers a course run by the University of Texas, and Coursera features certificates by IBM, Stanford, and CertNexus.

How Do I Prepare for an AI Certification?

Before deciding to take an AI certification, you should solidify your foundations by exploring online resources and practicing exams. You can also join online communities to connect with other AI learners and get insights, tips, and advice.

To be successful in studying AI, you need fundamental knowledge in:

  • Python Programming: Most assignments will be to write programs in this language.
  • College Calculus and Linear Algebra: Especially multivariable derivatives, matrix notation, vector notation, and common operations.
  • Probability Theory: Basic distributions, basic functions, and fundamental definitions, such as expectation, independence, and dependence.

Bottom Line: Choosing the Right AI Certification

Finding the right AI certification is essential to mapping your career path as an AI professional. It’s important to evaluate your career goals, resources, and commitment before deciding on which certifications to take. Consider certifications aligned with your desired specialization and ensure that you have the foundational knowledge required before committing to a program. You should also look into the overall cost and time involved in completing the program, especially if you have other academic and professional responsibilities. Use our list to narrow down your options and assess which ones better suit your career aspirations and the job path you’d like to pursue.

Are you curious which top AI companies are leading the way in developing innovative AI applications? Read our list of the 100 top AI companies to see which businesses and organizations are currently trendsetting in the field.

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