The Best AI Courses Leading to AI Certifications

December 22. 2018. 6 mins read
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You’d have to be living in the DRPK to not have heard about the ever-increasing list of artificial intelligence (AI) applications. Some experts say that 80% of all service jobs will be replaced, and it’s not just white collar jobs that are on the chopping block. Everyone has reason to be concerned, except of course the people who will help facilitate the replacement of all those jobs – the chosen ones who have learned how to create the artificially intelligent algorithms. It’s all rather daunting, and there are any number of reasons why you ought to be thinking about taking some AI courses to learn more about artificial intelligence – bonus points if said AI courses can lead to reputable AI certifications. You might be interested in learning more about AI if:

  • You’re one of the 7 million people who drive a truck in ‘Murica
  • You’re a CTO who needs more terminology to throw around during the next board meeting
  • You’re like us and just want to know more about how artificial intelligence works

If you go do a Google search for “AI courses” or “AI certifications,” you’re likely to get thousands of pages and ads offering AI courses, so our approach is to look at the pedigree of the provider as opposed to reviewing the actual courses. If the provider is solid, the courses will likely be solid and most importantly they’ll be respected in the industry. Since anyone can claim to give you a paper certification, you want to make sure that it’s worth something. One way to do that is by looking at the extent to which their brand is recognized among potential employers. You don’t want to get certified by some firm which turns out to be the next Devry.

We recently attended the Re.Work Applied AI Summit in Houston and had a chance to hear a provider of courses on artificial intelligence, Coursera, talk about how their training platform actually uses AI in order to teach you AI better. That’s probably the coolest thing we’ve heard all week, so let’s start by taking a look at what Coursera has on offer.

6 of the Best AI Certifications Today

Click for company websiteIf you’re going to attend online courses, why not do it on a platform that was co-founded by someone whose past stints include Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab and Chief Scientist at Baidu where he built an artificial intelligence group several thousand people strong. We’re talking about Mr. Andrew Ng, someone who is the Co-founder of Coursera, an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, and who also was the founding lead of Google Brain. The guy knows everything about AI, and his company, Coursera, has taken in just over $210 million to build out an education platform with some excellent brand recognition. Coursera offers a number of courses on machine learning, but skip the rest and go with the best. Join the 88,256 people that have rated Dr. Ng’s course 4.9 out of 5.

Coursera AI certifications on your own time
Coursera AI certifications on your own time – Source: Coursera

It’s 55 hours of your life and there’s a certificate you can then attach to your LinkedIn profile if you want to rub it in the faces of your co-workers. The Machine Learning Course offered by Stanford has been one of the most popular courses on Coursera this year.

Update 04/25/2019: Coursera has raised $103 million in Series E funding to scale out its business into new geographies, subject areas and products. This brings the company’s total funding to $313.1 million to date.

Click for company websiteIf you’re looking for a company that’s solely focused on training and certifications in the area of machine learning data science, look no further than Experfy, a firm that’s put together a collective of 30,000 data science experts. The best AI algorithms will be the ones that utilize the best data, and becoming an expert in data science is just about as important as knowing how to build AI algorithms. Founded in 2014, the Harvard-incubated startup has taken in just $1.5 million in funding to put together a sizable collection of training courses and certifications. Their Machine Learning Certification contains 12 self-paced courses, nine of which are offered live. Alternatively, you can just take each course separately and attain more granular certifications as you go along.

Click for company websiteFounded in 2009, San Francisco startup Simplilearn has taken in $31 million in funding to become one of the world’s leading certification training providers. Over 1,000,000 professionals have taken one of the 400 courses they have on offer, and they work with some of the world’s biggest corporations – names like Visa, Amazon, Salesforce, Microsoft, and the list goes on – to develop corporate training programs. This helps ensure that the person sitting across the table looking at your resume knows that the brand “Simplilearn” means something. The company offers certain tracks that you can take which they call “Masters Programs” as seen below:

AI Certifications from Simplilearn
AI Certifications from Simplilearn – Source: Simplilearn

You need to bear in mind that this leads to a certificate. In other words, you’re not on par with the hiring manager sitting across from you who spent six-figures on an actual Master’s degree from an actual university. Still, you’re going to be much better off having put in the time to actually learn new skills. If you don’t want to take the entire “Masters Program,” just take select courses instead – like the Machine Learning Certification Course.

Click for company website Founded in 2010, San Francisco startup Udemy takes the cake when it comes to the number of courses on offer, a number that exceeds 100,000. For those of you whose native language isn’t English, they offer those courses in more than 50 languages. Building such a monstrous training platform isn’t cheap, and the firm has taken in around $173 million in funding so far. Join the more than 30 million students who have enrolled in more than 190 million courses and you certainly don’t need to worry about brand recognition given how many alumni they have who will no doubt be supportive of other people who attach themselves to the Udemy brand. Some of Udemy’s top machine learning courses are being offered to new students at discounts of up to 90%:

AI Certifications from Udemy
AI Certifications from Udemy – Source: Udemy

You may want to check them out “while supplies last” and all that.

Click for company websiteFounded in 2011, Silicon Valley startup Udacity has taken in $160 million in funding “to democratize education through the offering of world-class higher education opportunities that are accessible, flexible, and economical.” Udacity began as an experiment in online learning, when Stanford instructors Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig elected to offer their “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course online to anyone, for free. Incredibly, over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled. Fast forward to today and Udacity’s “School of AI” now offers various “nanodegrees” that you can pursue by dedicating as little as 10 hours a week to your future career, building AI algorithms that will replace other peoples’ jobs, not your own.

Click for company websiteWhen it comes to brand recognition, look no further than a publicly traded $2.65 billion company called Pluralsight (PS) whose subscription-based “technology learning platform” can be found in 65% of all Fortune 500 companies. With over 7,000 courses on offer, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs. It’s just $30 a month to access their entire course library, and the price gets even cheaper if you pay annually instead. While there are over 138 machine learning courses on their platform, you’ll be better off choosing one of the many “paths” that combine courses and lead to industry-recognized certifications. Given that Pluralsight is a publicly traded company, you can be sure they’re keeping an eye on the other private companies we’ve mentioned in this article as potential acquisition targets.


Over the past year, loads of firms have approached us asking if we can help them promote their AI certifications, many of which are not on this list. What we’ve done instead is to provide you with a handful of certification providers that have the pedigree necessary to teach you valuable skills in exchange for a certification that won’t be tainted in the coming years because the firm pulled a DeVry. This is not meant to be a comprehensive list of every firm out there offering an AI certification so don’t complain if we “missed” your firm.

You can’t come to the table these days without some rudimentary knowledge of how AI works. Sure, there are free courses on offer from the likes of Google, Amazon and even (heaven forbid) Facebook. (We’ve been bashing those incompetent tools over at Facebook for years because of a horrible experience we had with their ad team – and because they have a crummy business model and leadership team – not because of the reason du jour.) Ask your employer to pay for you to get certified in machine learning and they’ll push you towards free certifications. Politely tell them to pack sand. Instead, make them dip into that training budget and pay for a certification that doesn’t come from a company that’s mired in politics or one that’s trying to dominate the world. If your employer’s not paying, throw down the cash yourself and invest in your future. You’ll be thankful you did when the robots take over.


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