5 online learning platforms to kick-start your career in machine learning

Want to work in machine learning? There are plenty of online courses that will give you a solid grounding in the world of data.

Machine learning is one of the top emerging technologies of the year. Jobs in data analytics, data science and data mining are plentiful but, as with most of the technology sector, there is a talent gap.

Third-level education has been catching up in recent years with a number of relevant courses added in various universities and institutes of technology. As the CAO change of mind facility is open until 1 July, you can still put one of these top machine learning degrees as your first preference.

However, there are other options to help you get on the career ladder. If a three or four-year degree doesn’t take your fancy, an online course can often give you a solid grounding for a fruitful career.

Online courses give people more flexibility and less commitment when it comes to learning the basics of any skill.

For many online courses and e-learning facilities, you can dip in and out in your own time, study and practise in your own time and move at your own pace. Many are free and the ones that aren’t often offer a free trial.

5 online learning platforms to kick-start your career in machine learning

There is also a wide variety of course levels you can do, prices you can pay, time you can spend learning and there’s scope to upskill.

Below we’ve looked at just some of the e-learning platforms where you can learn about machine learning that will help kick-start your career.


Udacity is a US-based e-learning platform offering a number of online courses in machine learning in collaboration with various industry experts and educational institutes.

Udacity offers a nanodegree for those interested in becoming a machine learning engineer with certification at the end of the programme. Udacity also offers a ‘nanodegree plus’ programme, which offers a job or money-back guarantee.

For those who are looking for something a little less costly, Udacity also offers a number of free machine learning courses ranging from 10 weeks to four months.


With links to some of the best universities in the US, Coursera offers high-quality education in various topics online.

Its machine learning course is 11 weeks for a fee and is offered by Stanford University.

You will receive a certificate at the end and throughout the course you will be able to connect with thousands of other learners on the course.


Lynda from LinkedIn is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn a wide range of skills, including machine learning. The site offers a 30-day free trial and after that, prices are from €14.95.

Lynda offers short online courses of approximately an hour into various aspects of machine learning from beginner to advanced.

One in particular to consider is Mathematica 11 machine learning. In this, you can learn how to analyse data using machine learning capabilities built into Mathematica 11.


To help grasp the basics of technology and data mining, Alison is a Galway-based e-learning platform offering a number of free online courses on software development, data science and machine learning.

For those interested, Alison has an introduction to machine learning course. This course is an ideal starter for anyone who is interested in computer science.


Udemy offers thousands of online courses with which to upskill, including a number of machine learning courses.

One in particular is Machine Learning A-Z: Hands-on Python and R in Data Science. This course offers more than 40 hours of on-demand videos and a number of other articles and resources.

For this course, you only need some second-level maths in exchange for an insight into data mining, R programming and Python.


Open, distance learning courses need fresh UGC approval

Higher educational institutions offering open and distance learning (ODL) courses with the approval of the University Grants Commission (UGC) will now have to apply afresh with it for grant of recognition.

The higher education regulator has made it mandatory for all universities, notifying revised regulations for the institutions offering undergraduate and post-graduate level ODL programmes in various disciplines.

The UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017 came into immediate effect from June 23, with the commission notifying it in an official gazette.

Higher Educational Institutions in India do not have the Government’s permission to offer degree programmes in engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy and other technical disciplines in the ODL mode.

“Every higher educational institution offering a programme in ODL mode in pursuance of an approval granted to it for the purpose by the then Distance Education Council or by the Commission or by any other regulatory authority or intending to offer a programme in ODL mode from the academic session immediately after the notification of these regulations shall, for grant of recognition, make an application to the Commission,” the revised regulations stipulate.

 The UGC (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017 came into immediate effect from June 23, with the commission notifying it in an official gazette. PTI File Photo

Only last month, the UGC granted approval to more than 100 higher educational institution’s ODL programmes for the academic session of 2017-18.

The institutions will have to make an on-line application in the format specified by the UGC and upload the same on its portal along with scanned copy of the documents required “at least six months before the commencement of the academic session of the programme intended to be offered by them, the regulations sought.

Under the revised rules, the UGC will grant approval to the ODL programmes of only those higher educational institutions which have a valid accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and has completed five years of existence.

“Provided that this clause shall not be applicable to Open Universities until the time they become eligible for the NAAC accreditation and it shall be mandatory for Open Universities to get NAAC accreditation within one year of their becoming eligible for the same,” the UGC regulation provides.

Besides, an institution deemed to be a university so declared by the Central Government shall offer the ODL courses or programmes as per the extant Deemed-to-be-a University Regulations of the UGC, it further clarifies.

If a higher educational institution does not obtain UGC recognition under the revised regulations for offering ODL programmes, the degrees granted by them to their students will not be treated as valid.

For violation of the regulations, the institutions may have to face de-recognition of their ODL programmes.

“If a higher educational institution is found continuing the violations, a First Information Report (FIR) may be lodged against the officials or management of the errant institution to take action as per law,” the UGC regulation stipulates.


New distance learning rules: Universities need fresh approvals from UGC for programmes

Universities offering programmes through distance mode will now be regulated under the University Grants Commission (UGC) (Open and Distance Learning) Regulations, 2017, notified by the commission on Friday.

The commission, through the regulations, has laid down the minimum standards of instruction for the grant of degree at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels through open and distance learning mode.

According to officials, under the new regulations, students will also be allowed to take up to 20% of the total courses being offered in a particular programme in a semester through the online learning courses/massive open online courses as per UGC’s (Credit Framework for Online Learning Courses through SWAYAM) Regulations, 2016.

“Under this mode, students will be able to opt for online courses offered by various universities and institutions across the country and the credit will be transferred to them,” said a senior UGC official.


All higher educational institutions offering a programme in open and distance learning mode will now have to seek fresh approval from the commission to operate.

Delhi University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Kurukshetra University among others will be impacted by the move.

The regulations will apply to universities offering distance learning mode for all degree programmes at the undergraduate and post-graduate level, other than programmes in engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, physiotherapy and programmes not permitted to be offered in distance mode by any other regulatory body.

All examinations for programmes of the open and distance mode will be conducted within the institution where the study centres or learner support centres are located.

Wichita Public Library Begins Learning Circles Program For Online Classes

Ten Learning Circles are planned from now through November on topics such as fake news, the art of poetry, superheroes and how to make a website.

The idea is to get a group of 10 to 15 people together to take an online course and talk about it along the way to completion.

Library Director Cynthia Berner says this shared experience keeps people motivated to actually finish an online class.

“The curriculum has been vetted; it comes from experts,” Berner says. “What the library will be doing is bringing a facilitator to the Learning Circle and our staff will actually be learning together right with the other participants.”

Most of the Learning Circles will be held at the Central Library in downtown Wichita.

“The advantage of the Learning Circle is people come together in the same physical space so we will be doing these first ten courses in our libraries,” Berner says.

Some sessions are once a week while others meet consecutively for several weeks.

Berner says if there’s enough interest in the program, they could offer the Learning Circles in other places in the community through the library’s laptop learning program in the future.

“So taking online learning, which tends to be visual, and then collaborating together with your peers to talk about that in conversation embraces the concept of the blended learning and we really believe that the students will take more from the courses than they would if they were just doing it individually at home,” she says.

Berner says the Wichita Public Library is one of just ten public libraries nationwide that was invited by an organization called Peer 2 Peer University to participate in the Learning Circles project.