Best Free University & College Courses in Artificial Intelligence
AI (artificial intelligence) has changed the way people work, learn and adapt in an array of different arenas. And believe it or not, artificial intelligence plays a big part in our everyday life.
For instance, you could be ordering a pizza and come across a virtual assistant helping you with the process of your order.
But that’s not all. Look at AI devices such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, they assist in several daily activities, and this tech continues to grow.
So, it is no surprise that jobs within this industry have increased.
AI is everywhere, so being competent in this domain is key for securing many future jobs in the gaming, social media and fintech categories.
But just how do you acquire the skills you need to get into such a sought-after field?
This article will look at free university and college courses that specialize in artificial intelligence. So, if you are looking for a suitable AI certification, this should help you on your way.
All the courses we have listed are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). This means that they are free to access, but you will have to pay for a certification if you want to show a credential for your work.
Check out our list of the 8 best free online courses in artificial intelligence.
The below courses might vary in their content. However, whatever your skill set and learning objectives are, you should be able to find an option to suit your requirements.
- Provides a good overview of different elements in data science including Python programming
- Able to learn at your own pace
- Lots of examples to follow
- A useful introduction to help determine whether a master's in data science and AI is right for you
- Free access limited to two weeks
- Certificate on completion only available with paid options
To kickstart our list of the best free online courses for AI, this course from Coventry University in the UK explores several disciplines involved in artificial intelligence and data science.
You will get the chance to develop your skills in Python and discover other important areas you will need for a career in AI, such as statistics, data science and math.
During this course you will be asked to complete your own piece of data science output and be taught various aspects about the work of data scientists. You will also be introduced to data ethics, which is important to know if you are looking to take up a career in AI.
After taking this course you should be able to assess your own understanding of data science and similar topics to help you decide whether you want to proceed in taking a master’s degree in data science and AI.
- Learn at a pace that suits you
- Interesting concepts for beginners seeking an introduction to AI that isn't overly technical
- Learn about different aspects of human and animal intelligence
- Does not cover in-depth details on how AI works; may not suit those seeking more technical AI knowledge
- Free access limited to two weeks
- Completion certificate only available with paid options
Another free course from Coventry University, Artificial Intelligence: Distinguishing Between Fact and Fiction focuses on exploring how well you understand AI and how to differentiate the hype from the reality.
During this course, instead of learning specific attributes you will need for a job in AI, you will investigate whether artificial intelligence is real or just a marketing strategy.
You will delve into how people perceive AI today, and what the future holds for this industry.
You will also cover the roots of artificial intelligence, where it came from and Asimov’s laws.
3. Coventry University – Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technologies for Business Planning and Decision-making
- Discover how AI can inform business decision-making and planning
- Learn at a pace that suits you
- Two-week course duration with suggested three hours of weekly study will suit those with busy schedules
- Aimed at beginners and won't suit those seeking more advanced or technical AI insights
Another free option from Coventry University is their Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Technologies for Business Planning and Decision-making course, where you will discover how business leaders are supported in decision-making and planning by artificial intelligence.
During this course you will explore how to transition from data to knowledge that can assist your decision-making tactics.
You will also gain knowledge surrounding machine learning algorithms, as well as the concepts of various data sources.
Additionally, you will piece all this information together to work out how these processes can be useful when it comes to professional business planning.
- Provides a good overview of the role of AI and machine learning in investing and managing wealth
- Study at your own pace with flexible deadlines
- Clear and informative; well suited to beginners in the fintech space
- Completion certificate not available with free access
Next, we have the University of Michigan and its course in artificial intelligence, where you will get the chance to explore the evolution of online wealth management and artificial intelligence investing.
But what does investing have to do with AI
Well, this course will explore the way we invest our money, how things are changing with the help of machines and what challenges might occur; for example, robo-advisors and wealth management apps.
This course will also look at the transition from human-based strategies to neural networks. It will give you the chance to see how AI can help to make investment decisions in trading and other business-related instances.
- Useful introduction to the use of AI and robotics within the healthcare sector
- Suitable for undergraduates in healthcare, engineering and product design, as well as healthcare and MedTech professionals
- Study at your own pace
- Accredited by the CPD Certification Service
- Free course access limited to two weeks
- Access to tests and certificate on course completion only available with paid options
Another UK-based university, the University of Leeds is offering you a way to explore the interaction between human and robot.
With this course you will get the chance to delve into the world of AI and robotics in the healthcare sector.
You will look at case studies and discover why regulations are needed for using both robots and artificial intelligence in healthcare, as well as explore how to bring a product or service to market.
In addition to the above, you will also learn how AI is used for surgical procedures, exoskeleton technology and patient care, touching upon precision diagnostics too.
- Study at your own pace
- Suitable for beginners looking for insights into the use of AI in marketing; no experience required
- Uses real-world examples and case studies
- Graded assignments and certificate require paid option
If you have already majored in marketing, you might not have explored the world of artificial intelligence in marketing, and how it works.
This course from the University of Virginia will cover this topic.
You will discover how to harness the power of AI and how it offers a lot of marketing potential and growth, as well as how businesses use artificial intelligence to enhance their marketing strategy.
There will also be a chance to explore how AI tools can drive success and be implemented into your existing marketing plans.
- Useful introduction to AI in healthcare; suitable for healthcare professionals as well as those with an interest in clinical data, medical software and digital medicine
- Two-hour weekly study time suits busy schedules
- Study at your own pace
- Uses real-world examples
- Access to tests and completion certificate only available through paid options
If you are looking to learn about how AI is transforming healthcare, then this course from the University of Manchester in the UK is the one for you.
Here, you will explore how artificial intelligence can change the healthcare workforce.
From offering more precise patient diagnosis to simplifying workflow, this course will allow you to delve into how AI is transforming the industry.
You will also get to see real examples of how artificial intelligence is evolving in departments such as pathology, nursing and radiology.
- Useful introduction to legal challenges associated with AI
- Study at a pace that suits you
- Three-hour suggested weekly study suits busy schedules
- Course completion certificate only available with paid access
Through this course from National Chiao Tung University you will step into the world of legal and policy implications that might occur during the development of artificial intelligence.
So, whether you want to look at virtual voice assistance or self-driving cars, this course will investigate the legalities of the sector, ethicalities and human rights challenges businesses might face – while also exploring how lawyers deal with said issues.
As this is an introductory course, there will also be a chance to discover what artificial intelligence is and how it can be regulated.
From healthcare to retail, AI is all over the place and it’s forecasted to play a part in many job roles in the future.
So, gaining skills in artificial intelligence is a good accolade to have under your belt. But let us start with what AI is:
In a nutshell, artificial intelligence is a machine that is created to act like a real human being. The focus of these smart machines is to assist with decision-making and many other tasks like customer services and administration.
Each machine uses and analyzes the data that is provided to them and absorbs the information like a real human being would intake new information.
The benefits of studying AI are as follows:
- Artificial intelligence is an increasingly in-demand area that requires skilled technicians.
- It is a growing industry that is only going to get bigger and bigger.
- Having a niche skill set looks attractive on your resume, especially if the company is looking to expand its AI department.
- You will have great future career possibilities.
- Having AI skills can help in non-technical skills too.
The above list is just a few of the benefits you could gain from studying AI, and in time will likely encompass more.
The career possibilities in artificial intelligence are vast. As we mentioned above, AI can assist businesses in the healthcare sector and retail, to name just a few.
If you want to work in a particular industry, it’s a given that in years to come said business will have some form of AI machinery.
This means it is good to get a head start with obtaining the necessary skills you might need for now and the future.
There are many healthcare apps available now that rely on AI to help with administrative tasks, virtual doctors, repeat prescriptions and customer service.
This means that if you want to get into the healthcare sector in some capacity, then gaining AI skills can help your chances of securing new roles and teams within the business that have expanded.
If you already have experience in the retail industry but are looking for ways to expand your skill set, then AI is a great way to do so.
For instance, some brands might want to use AI for stock replenishment, or even consumer marketing.
Teams of AI specialists can program a machine with an array of data to ensure customers are regularly sent their essentials without having to do anything.
Many big corporations rely on artificial intelligence to support their consumer relations department.
With working algorithms and data, AI can simultaneously liaise directly with customers and send emails on behalf of a business. The data stored on the machine can set information in motion, allowing the AI bot or device to ensure the right information is going to the right person – kind of like a human.
These are just a few of the industries that have introduced AI to their everyday business function, and there are plenty more businesses that intend to do this in the future. This is why having AI skills and knowledge are useful for any employee, business and recruiter.
If you are not in a role within artificial intelligence but want to know whether you have transferable skills, or the right education, then you will need to have a graduate degree in computer science.
If you are already a software engineer with a degree in CS then you can easily make the transition to AI rather quickly, as you are working with machine learning already.
Here are some of the skills you will need:
Mathematical skills – It is imperative you are efficient in numerical algorithms and are well versed in analytical skills. This is a must when you are working with machine learning (ML) and AI.
Programming expertise – As mentioned above, software engineers can make the quickest transition to AI based jobs as they already have the programming know-how. Think about JAVA and Python courses too.
In-depth curiosity and creativity – Although you need many technical skills to work in AI, there are also several soft skills you will need too. Curiosity and creativity are just two of these skills. You must be creative enough to discover new processes and problem solve.
Ability to adapt to new processes and concepts – Adaptability is imperative in the world of AI as problems can arise and change is always around the corner. It is an industry that is evolving, and with that comes new skills. So, the ability to learn is important too.
Patience – You need to be patient and be able to persevere when working in both ML and AI, as you might have to deal with various versions of programming until you get the right fit.
These are just a few of the skills you will need to work in AI. However, if you do not have the technical experience then there are several Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) you can take from various colleges and universities.
These courses do not just help with AI. They can also help to develop existing skills you might already have to get a promotion at your current role or to move to a different department.
If you are looking for a career change then it is always beneficial to test the waters and learn something new.
A free MOOC course can help you do that by expanding your skill set alongside your work or preparing you for a specialized project within your job.
It will also help if you are unsure of your job path. AI skills always look impressive on a resume, and it doesn’t hurt to learn something new.
Plus, the skills you might develop may assist you with various situations without having to invest time in a full tutored course or degree.
Your current employer might be looking to expand the business and introduce AI into its technology.
So, learning new skills and taking a course can be handy to increase your skill set and be able to change roles and develop within your existing career.
If you are going to take the plunge and take a MOOC course, there are several different ways you can improve your learning alongside your chosen course.
Data science knowledge – If this is a totally new space for you, then increasing your data science knowledge is a must. There are plenty of materials you can work with while taking your course that might help you obtain the information a little bit quicker.
Teamwork – This might seem like a given, but when you are working on various programs at one time, you will have to work with a team of people and know how to work together. This is something that can help you while doing your course.
Math – As mentioned above, math is a key skill for people wanting to get into AI, but it is also a key skill for various other industries. So, this is something that can help you in a multitude of roles, which makes it worthwhile to brush up on.
It’s no secret that artificial intelligence is a fascinating area of technology that has opened many doors when it comes to career opportunities.
If you want to pursue a job in AI then there are many online resources that can help you achieve your objectives, whether you are in a computing role or not. We are sure you will find an artificial intelligence course that’s right for you.