Machine learning has been growing to increasing popularity as of late. With that in mind, many people are opting into machine learning and all that it can offer for them. If you’re like me and want to open a window into this world, you probably need some decent resources to back it up. This is exactly the situation I found myself in a while back.
Asking my friends, coworkers, and colleagues all resulted in the same thing; being recommended the Udacity Learning Machine Learning Nanodegree course. But being a bit skeptical I decided to proceed with caution and enroll in other courses as well. I have now decided to compile all my research into a comprehensive Udacity Machine Learning Nanodegree review so you can get a feel for what the course offers.
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At First Glance
Udacity’s Machine Learning, the front page starts off by giving a brief overview of machine learning. What it can do and what you can do with it. It lists where machine learning is applied into the real world and what companies and corporations are using it. It shows what kind of living you can make from learning it. At the end, it goes off to list which instructors will be teaching the course to you. And finally, you have a rating section with reviews from people who have taken the course. It all looks above and board on the surface. First impressions withstanding, it would seem like this is the ideal course for you to learn machine learning.
You’re not going to find any concrete details about the course on the main page. It’s mostly just figures and statistics thrown around to make the course look appealing. To someone as skeptical as me, this just seems like an extended ad campaign for the company.
The course is split into two terms basic and advanced with each costing $1000. So all in all, if you’re looking to complete the entire course, you’re going to be dropping $2000. Having done both I have the prerequisites to put up a Udacity Deep Learning Nanodegree review and a Udacity Nanodegree Machine Learning review. Just like a lot of Udacity’s courses, this Nanodegree course has a time limit that you have to wait before you sign up. The sing up process itself was fairly straightforward with minimal hassle. I received updates on my progress regularly by email.
Once I was signed up and enrolled, I was ready for taking my course regularly. Here, I discovered where the name “Nanodegree” comes from. A typical college degree might take up 3-4 years of your time. This course was meant to give you the same experience in a short amount of time. This is why the course lasts a period of 6-12 months. The course consists of 10 study hours per week not counting project work. This would normally be fine except Udacity’s Nanodegree course proceeds with or without you.
This can become a problem with you if you have other things occupying your time. I found it difficult to keep with the course since I have to tend to responsibilities in my life. I had to pull last minute ditch efforts in order to barely catch up with the course material.
The Udacity Nanodegree discussion forums helped me figure things out greatly. It can almost be said that some of the concepts were explained better by other users in the forums than by the course instructor. I feel like the discussion forums were the strongest aspect of enrolling in Udacity’s course.
Summing Up the Nanodegree Experience
Reading my review up to this point you might probably figure that this Nanodegree is really worth getting. But in reality, I wouldn’t really consider recommending this course to anyone looking to seek out machine learning. The problem with this course is that it simply drags on for too long while overburdening you with work that isn’t really relevant to the course. I felt like this course could have been easily condensed into a few months at best. And accordingly, it could’ve been a bit easier on the costs as well.
So what can you do if you really want to get into Machine Learning? For me, there was a clear winner among all the different courses I tried out, the Coursera Machine Learning Specialization. It really stood out among all the different alternatives out there. The reason is simple, because it’s easy and straightforward to get into. No complicated signups, no pesky deadlines, no overburden of course work, just a pure and simple learning experience.
The Coursera Machine Learning Specialization course focuses on a 5 hour per week course load. This is more than feasible for a lot of working people out there. The best thing about this course is that there are no specific deadlines. It all starts and proceeds at your own pace with enough flexibility to work around your pace. The fees are also quite feasible with a free 7 month trial and then $59/month after that. However, if you cannot afford the fees, Coursera offers you extensive financial aid.
There are some nice additional benefits too. For one, this course is offered in different languages such as English, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese (Simplified), and Arabic. The course is broken down into four easy modules for you to complete. You’ll also be given projects in between your learning curriculum to practice what you’ve been taught as well as give you the ability to implement your core knowledge in real world scenarios. Upon completing the course, you get a handy certificate that shows your time and experience spent on the course.
This course has severely helped me realize my potential and my affinity for machine learning while also giving me the confidence boost I needed to finish my own projects. I would highly recommend checking out the Coursera Specialization course if you’re interested in Machine Learning. Sign up for their free 7 day trial to check out the service for yourself firsthand.