Monday 15 July 2019

Which are the best online courses for machine learning?

Here are some of the courses I took on Machine Learning:
  • 2nd year summers: I barely had any knowledge of Machine Learning. I had just begun. I took the famous Andrew Ng’s course on Coursera and undoubtedly it is a great course. Unfortunately, the course uses Octave (which is similar to MATLAB) instead of Python. Python is great for ML.
  • 3rd year: I took the Machine Learning course on Udacity. Udacity has gone through a lot of developments since then, and I am not really sure if the link I shared is correct one. However, I think the courses at Udacity are great for beginners. The best part is that the courses follow an application based approach rather than getting deep into the theory. Note that that’s just a personal choice. If you are interested in theoretical ML, you should prefer sticking to Coursera.
  • 4th year: In the 4th year, I did not take online courses. I rather took offline ones at IITB - ML and Advanced ML. Both courses were theory heavy and in fact, given that I already knew the basics of ML through the online courses, understanding theory became much easier.
Recently, I had been exploring various platforms for online courses on ML so that I can increase my knowledge. Udemy is arguably one of the most popular ones. However, I got to know of a relatively unknown platform named Eduonix where I found a great course on Machine Learning which uses a “project-based” learning approach. Taking such an approach is quite beneficial:
  • You get to learn.
  • You get to apply.
  • You get to showcase projects on your resume.
I believe that taking a course for the sake of it may not be the best. Many students take the course for getting a certificate of completion.
A better approach would be to take courses so that you can attempt projects that you are eventually able to showcase on your resume. This way, you can create a great interview story.
Basically, during the interview, you can talk about the specific projects you implemented and explain the underlying concepts (“In this project, I implemented a Deep Learning model that predicted so and so with an accuracy of 95%”). This is far better than just saying “I completed so and so course where I got a certificate”.
To summarize, aim for online courses that not only help you learn but also help you build your resume.

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