Udacity Natural Language Processing Nanodegree Review

The more humans depend on technology, the more gaps there are to fill. These gaps narrow the line between machine and man, attempting to help one another execute tasks more efficiently and effortlessly. This translation process between distinct languages require a broad range of skills where a sound understanding of statistics, machine learning, and different text representation styles are applied. This is better known as Natural Language Processing, where professionals in this field specialize in developing Natural Language Processing (NLP) applications. As you can imagine, this skillset and the wide range of knowledge that comes with it requires training, one that will give you a strong foundational ground as the field and technology continually advance.

There are so many online Natural Language Processing courses out there, with each promising to be the best. But, exactly what makes an online course the best and how can you decide the right course for your learning needs? While a quick search online can help you answer this question, we have hand-picked one MLP course to discuss today, Udacity’s Natural Language Process Nanodegree program. If you are thinking about a career in Natural Language processing, this online course promises to provide you with everything you need to successfully break into a career in this field.

This course has been created by Udacity in collaboration with Amazon Alexa and IBM Watson, something that makes it stand out from the crowd. This post seeks to take a deeper look at all the crucial stuff, digging into the course as well as Udacity learning platform.

About Udacity

First, let’s take a look at Udacity. Founded in 2012 by two Stanford University professors, Udacity have made a name for themselves as one of the best online learning platform for IT and tech related courses. The platform was founded by two Sanford University professors with the goal of bringing quality online computer science courses to learners from all over the world at a fraction of the normal cost. Several noticeable partnerships and hundreds of skilled graduates later, Udacity is still going strong, now offering Nanodegree courses for more complex topics like Natural Learning Processing. Read Udacity review here.

About Udacity Nanodegree Courses

Udacity Nanodegree programs are designed to introduce learners to more complex topics in the field. Most are created in collaboration with industry leaders while others provide learners with hands-on projects that mirror the challenges businesses encounter in their day-to-day operations. Just as with the other Nanodegree courses offered on this platform, learners who sign up for this online Natural Learning Processing course will benefit from the following extras:

Flexibility

Learners have the liberty to set their own learning schedules and duration. With the course accessible 24/7, learners are free to learn whenever and wherever they want to learn, completely adopting the course to fit their lifestyle.

Mentorship

You will have access to a mentor who will not only respond to your queries but also cheer you on to ensure that you are motivated and focused to follow through and complete the course.

Real-world projects

All Udacity Nanodegree programs feature mini-projects that come at the end of each module as well as one large capstone project at the end of the course which allows you to put all the new knowledge you have acquired into practice. Each of these projects is inspired by real-world challenges that businesses encounter in their daily operations.

Career services

Udacity’s Career Services are meant to help you break into the field after successfully completing your course. Your resume will be reviewed and you will be taken through a mock interview complete with a feedback on how you can stand out during an actual job interview. Additionally, you will be enrolled in Udacity career database so potential recruiters can get to see your qualifications and contact you.

Course instructors

Alongside the extras, every single one of Udacity’s Nanodegree courses is taught by an A-list team of instructors. You will be learning from tutors who have years of experience in the field. Here are the tutors you will meet while taking this Natural Learning Nanodegree course:

Luis Serrano

Luis is a machine engineer at Google and is quite knowledgeable in the field. He brings in loads of hands-on experience to this course.

Jay Alammar

Jay’s degree in computer knowledge is perhaps the basis for his knowledge and thoughts in the topic of Natural Language Processing. He is currently the investment principle with STV, a venture capital fund with over $500 million at hand.

Arpan Chakraborty

Besides teaching at Udacity, Arpan is also a computer science lecturer at Georgia Tech. He is also an author of various language specific books related to R.

Dana Sheahen

 Dana has worked with Motorola on developing embedded systems. She has also worked as an instructor at Georgia Tech. Her background is in electrical engineering and computer science.

Course prerequisites

You are expected to have an intermediate knowledge of the following to successfully follow through with this online course:

  • Python – Including being able to write nestled loops and read codes written by others
  • Statistics – you should be familiar with concepts of probability
  • Machine Learning techniques – you need basic understanding of neural neural network architecture
  • Deep Learning frameworks – You need some understanding of PyTorch and TensorFlow

If any of these concepts appear to be out of your league, you can always brush up or start out with a few free Udacity courses.

Course Duration

Now onto the course. This course is divided into three modules with the most fundamental one first and the most complex topics coming at the end of the course. Here, will look at the course in detail, introducing you to the concepts you will start out with.

Introduction to Natural Language Processing

This online course kicks off with an introduction where you will learn about the most basic topics to stemming and lemmatization. You will put these concepts to practice at the end of this module by building a speech tagging model.

Computing with Natural Language

This is where you will begin to delve deeper with these fundamentals, working with things like machine translation and embedding. This is meant to help you understand the process as information flows from one spot to the next. This module ends with a machine translation activity where you will get helpful hands-on practice.

Communicating with Natural Language

Perhaps the most important process of turning text into speech and vice versa is demonstrated here. There is where you will get to build a speech recognition model. You will dive into deeper machine learning in the section, combining everything you have learned all the way through to the tail end.

Course duration

Though you can take as much time as you wish to complete this Udacity Nanodegree program, the academy estimates that you can complete the course within 3 months if you dedicate 10-15 hours per week to learning. This estimate is used as part of the discount offer which we will discuss next. The amount you will pay for this course is directly affected by the duration you will take to complete it, and longer you take the more you will pay. Therefore, it is important that you come up with a learning program that fits your schedule while ensuring that you get the most out this program.

Course cost

So, what will it cost you to study Natural Language Processing online at Udacity? Well, this depends. As it has already been mentioned, the time you take to complete the course directly affects how much you will pay for it. This is because Udacity charges for their courses on a per month access. It costs $399 for each month of access to the course. You can use this payment option if you intend to access the course per month. Alternatively, you can opt to go with Udacity’s estimate and pay for the entire course upfront. This option comes with a 15% discount.

That said, Udacity is currently offering 50% discount on all its online courses, so consider taking advantage of this offer and save $399 off this and other Nanodegree programs offered on the platform. This promotional FREE month access comes with both per month as well as bundle deals, allowing you to save on whichever option you go for.

Previous Learners’ experience with the course

Let’s now take a look at what learners who have taken this course have to say about it. In overall, the course enjoys a 4.5/5-star rating where learners, for most part, expressed total satisfaction. Here is what they had to say:

This program is the best and well coordinated i have seen so far. The program is very concise, gives equal weightage to theoretical concepts and their practical applications. I am a data scientist who recently got the opportunity to work in NLP and was looking for a program who can help and guide me moving into this unknown domain. The program duration was apt for me to plan my workload and concentrate on this program. Thanks to this program and udacity team that i am able to understand the concepts and adding value to my work. Mansa kaur k.

 

Overall, great course and content. I learned a lot about RNNs, which I was really looking forward to. To make the program even better (at least for me), I would prefer having more mini projects , where one could practice building particular RNN architectures one by one to really get a detailed grasp of how they work and what their advantages and disadvantages are, before actually jumping into the course project. Shukhrat K.

The Natural Language Processing Nanodegree is definitely challenging and goes through some of the intricate problems one might encounter as an NLP engineer. Provides easy to understand videos at a high level, but provides literature and extra reading material to understand the fundamentals. Geovani M.

Natural Language Process job market

Another important thing to help you decide if this Nanodegree program is right for you are the opportunities and incentives that awaits you upon successful completion. It is sensible to have an idea of what you will be stepping into once you become a qualified Natural Language Processing expert. The good news is this technology is just getting started. This makes the number of opportunities in this field quite attractive. PayScale reports that the average entry level salary for Natural Language Processing experts is $100,000 per year. This is exclusive of bonuses.

Final thoughts

This online Natural Language Processing course has been designed by a reputable online learning platform in collaboration with two industry power giants: Amazon Alexa and IBM. The course is facilitated by a strong team of experienced tutors that will take you through the lectures and projects to enrich your learning experience from start to finish. On top of this, the extras, the exciting and growing job market, and higher than average entry level salary make this skill set worth going for. Now is the best time to sign up for this online course, more so thanks to the one month FREE access discount that makes this course more affordable than ever. A new and exciting career is waiting for you, and the Udacity Natural Learning Processing Nanodegree program is precisely what you need to kick-start your career.

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