Learning artificial intelligence (AI) skills will cover some of machine learning (ML), but truly learning ML will require additional classes, training, or work experience.
There are options to take single classes, obtain a graduate degree or earn a certificate in ML. Obtaining a machine language certificate provides an affordable option for those students to deepen their understanding of ML and verify a certain level of competence to employers.
As a branch of artificial intelligence, machine learning provides the basis for many of the latest intelligent products and replacing humans in performing tedious tasks.
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ML Certifications Today
To successfully obtain certificates in ML, students will need to understand the basics of artificial intelligence and have programming experience, especially in Python. Students should also be well versed in math, especially probability, calculus, and linear algebra. Most algorithms will be advanced algorithms, combining probability, multiple variables, vectors, and matrices.
Organizations that certify in machine learning fall into three main categories: technology associations, universities, and vendors. Some certificate programs are broad, but others focus on a specific tool or industry application.
For those seeking to use the certificate to obtain employment, make sure the topics covered in the certificate program match the requirements sought by a future employer.
ML technology associations vary in what they the offer and what they test. The International Association of Business Analytics Certification (IABAC) offers a test and refers candidates to partners that provide the training. The Japan Deep Learning Association (JDLA) provides an online test for the JDLA Certificate and a reference syllabus, but it does not offer a course. The Machine Learning Institute (MLI) offers both a Certificate in Finance as well as a six-month part-time course.
Universities tend to offer a broader ML curriculum and base the certification upon the completion of classes. Some certificate programs, such as the Loyola Marymount University Machine Learning Certificate, may only be available to current graduate students or university staff, while other programs, such as the Carnegie Mellon University certificate in Machine Learning: Fundamentals and Algorithms, will be available to the public.
ML certificates offered by companies usually emphasize using their proprietary tools. Many of the vendor certificates are offered through online learning platforms, such as Coursera or Simplilearn, and others, such as the AWS Machine Learning certificate, will be offered directly by the vendor.
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6 ML Certificate Programs
1. AWS Certified Machine Learning
Amazon’s AWS Certified Machine Learning program is based upon a test and requires candidates to be able to express the intuition behind basic ML algorithms, demonstrate experience with ML/DL frameworks, and perform basic hyper-parameter optimization as well as follow best practices for model training, deployment, and operations. Students are also expected to have two or more years of “hands-on experience developing, architecting, and running ML or deep learning workloads in the AWS cloud.”
2. Carnegie Mellow University Executive Education, Machine Learning: Fundamentals and Algorithms
Carnegie Mellon University’s ML certificate program requires prerequisite knowledge in linear algebra, calculus, probability, statistics, and programming experience in Python. The program takes 10 weeks and costs $2,500. The coursework covers decision trees, fundamental algorithms, model selection, multiple types of regression, optimization, regularization, neural networks, and backward propagation.
3. Google Cloud: Machine Learning Engineer Professional Certificate
Offered through Coursera at $49 per month, the Google-centric certificate course teaches hands-on ML engineering and how to use Google Cloud technologies through Google’s Qwicklabs platform. Students should have a basic ML background.
The International Association of Business Analytics Certification offers a test to certify Machine Learning Experts for 145 pounds, and the test can be taken within 48 hours of registration. The test recommends prerequisites of software programming skills, statistics and mathematics. Training partners can provide the coursework that should cover Python programming, ML algorithms, model deployment, and data science applications for statistics and SQL.
Offered through Coursera, IBM’s ML certificate costs $39 per month and requires prerequisite knowledge in Python programming, statistics, and linear algebra. The course covers basic ML data analysis, regression, classification, time series, survival analysis, and different types of learning: unsupervised, DL, and reinforcement. Students learn through hands-on projects and the coursework is general, not IBM-specific.
6. Purdue University: Applied Machine Learning Program
The four-month long, self-paced ML boot camp from Purdue University costs $2,500 through the Simplilearn portal. The course covers data analytics, feature engineering, feature selection, statistics, time series modeling recommendation systems, decision trees, random forest, and multiple types of learning: supervised, unsupervised, and ensemble. The course concludes with a capstone project, and Simplilearn offers a career service to help students obtain related positions.