It doesn't just help to have a list of AI courses...it helps to have a list of the right ones.
AI is estimated to contribute $15.7 trillion to the world economy by 2030, according to PwC.
And, in 2021 alone, Gartner projects AI augmentation will create $2.9 trillion of business value, and 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally.
That's a disruptive level of impact which will be felt by everyone, no matter what job or field you're in.
It doesn't matter if you're a student looking to enter a hot computer science field or a seasoned professional with no interest in coding...
You will need to understand AI at some level-either to build it or harness its power in your career.
To do that, you're going to need some education. Specifically, you're probably going to look into online AI courses. In fact, most of the education you need to get started is available online, completely free.
What AI courses are available?
What subjects do you need to know?
Which courses are the best ones?
Who should you trust when you look for an AI course?
This post is here to help.
In it, we answer all the key questions you might have about AI courses online—and we even offer our top picks for the best free AI and machine learning courses.
An Important Note About AI and Machine Learning Courses
On Coursera alone, there are 1,400+ artificial intelligence courses. Plenty of technology companies, like Google, also offer AI courses.
These courses don't all require you to have an engineering or data science background.
In fact, many of them teach you how to apply AI in your business or work, even if you've never written a line of code.
But which one you take depends on a few things...
What do you want to do with artificial intelligence?
Do you want to learn how to build AI? Then do this.
If so, you'll likely need a strong technical background or credentials in computer science, software development, and/or data science.
Machine learning engineers rely on these foundational concepts to design and build AI systems.
Do you want to help companies implement AI? Then do this.
If so, you may not need to know how to build sophisticated AI systems from scratch, but you better have a solid technical background in data science and machine learning.
Do you want to use AI for real-world business challenges? Then do this.
If so, you don't always need hard technical skills. In fact, many AI tools today can be used without knowing how to build AI.
You still need to understand the fundamentals of the technology, which isn't always easy. You also need to know the ins and outs of the technology you're using.
But plenty of people are using AI on the cutting edge of their industries because they function as "AI translators," or highly competent business professionals who work with technical teams to apply AI to exciting business challenges. Many courses cater specifically to these professionals.
Here's the good news:
All the top courses online clearly indicate what subjects you need to know to get value out of the course.
Just don't fall into the trap of thinking you have to spend years learning how to build artificial intelligence to get started. You don't.
1. Stanford University's AI Course
Andrew Ng is the former chief scientist at Baidu, adjunct professor at Stanford, co-founder of Coursera, and one of the biggest names in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
He's also the teacher of one of a machine learning certification course on Coursera, offered through Stanford University.
This Coursera machine learning course is titled simply "Machine Learning" and it's 100% free to take. You'll only need to pay if you want a shareable machine learning certification from Coursera upon completion (though this may be appealing to potential employers).
The course material is a little more intensive than Google's machine learning course with 11 weeks of learning comprised of 5-8 readings and videos each week.
This is a free online course that does a great job at explaining the strategy behind AI as well as offering a greater understanding of how artificial intelligence and machine learning applications work.
2. Google's Machine Learning Course
Google is one of the top players in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and they offer their machine learning courses for free. It's the same training they require all of their engineers to take.
Why give away their secrets in a free machine learning course?
According to their developer's blog "We believe that the potential of machine learning is so vast that every technical person should learn machine learning fundamentals." The awesome thing about Google's machine learning crash course is that it's really not that technical.
Sure, you'll want to understand basic math concepts, but expertise in computer science isn't required. Despite that, you'll learn what you need to know about core topics like:
- What a machine learning model is.
- Which machine learning algorithm is which, and which ML model to use.
- Differences between supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and types of machine learning training.
- Different types of ML algorithms.
The best advice we can offer is to not get too caught up in the tiny details. Focus on the broad picture and the basic concepts.
Even if your goal is just to understand AI (rather than build it), this course will be beneficial.
While you won't get a formal machine learning certification from the course, we do highly recommend the course for any marketer.
3. Udacity's Free AI Course
In a TED talk from a few years back, AI experts Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun talked about their success teaching an online AI course with over 100,000 students.
They've loaded up that same artificial intelligence course, where you can learn the basics of AI and its growing applications in business.
It has an estimated timeline of four months, is 100% free, and counts as credit towards their machine learning specialization program, which offers a machine learning certification, for those who choose to pursue them.
BONUS: Intro to AI for Marketers Course
Intro to AI for Marketers is a free live masterclass offered by Marketing AI Institute. While geared towards examples in marketing, it
In the 30-minute course, Marketing AI Institute founder and CEO Paul Roetzer teaches you exactly how to understand and get started with artificial intelligence. During the class, you learn:
- What AI is, and why it matters to marketers.
- How to identify AI use cases.
- How to find and evaluate AI technology vendors.
- How to classify artificial intelligence applications within the five levels of the Marketer-to-Machine ScaleTM.
- What business outcomes AI can help you achieve.
- How to measure the value of AI tools on your company's efficiency and performance.
- How to prepare your team for piloting and scaling artificial intelligence.
While geared towards marketing examples, Intro to AI is a great foundational course for any business leader looking to get started with artificial intelligence.
As Chief Content Officer, Mike Kaput uses content marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing technology to grow and scale traffic, leads, and revenue for Marketing AI Institute. Mike is the co-author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing and the Future of Business (Matt Holt Books, 2022). See Mike's full bio.