Udacity Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree Review

There is not one sector of the economy that will go unimpacted by Artificial Intelligence. The ability to create sophisticated gadgets that make daily chores easy is evolving across the entire workforce, making AI a powerful skill to possess. As an AI expert, you could be behind these the development of these gadgets, creating algorithms and codes that allow machines to think for themselves. These machines will then be able to reason and make decisions based on factors around them to complete complex tasks.

While you may have basic skills and some background knowledge in artificial intelligence, continued learning is crucial in this ever-evolving field. You need an in-depth course that focuses on the skills needed to create the technology of tomorrow. You need online Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree course from Udacity. This online learning platform offers an all-inclusive course. If you are yet to hear about Udacity, they are an online learning platform that specializes in offering industry focused trainings including Programing, AI, data science, and digital marketing. Udacity may have the reputation for excellent courses and great staff but, how is this course and is it worth your time and money? This is what we seek to answer with this post.

About Udacity

Udacity is a popular online learning platform with an established reputation in the field of technology. They let anyone interested in the field acquire industry-tailored skills from the convenience of their homes or workplace. Today, Udacity have a large number of successful graduates, some of whom are employed by high-ranking multinationals. All Udacity’s online courses are developed in collaboration with technological giants and taught by industry experts. Read Udacity review here.

About Udacity Nanodegree Courses

When you sign up for an online course with Udacity, like the Cloud Developer Nanodegree program, you will not only get an in-depth curriculum but also attractive extras. These Udacity’s signature extras have brought the platform a lot of attention. Here are some of these extras:

  • Community support – you will get to interact with learners like you
  • Mentorship – Tech challenges will be no more with a mentor that is ready to give you a hand
  • Career help – your resume will be polished, LinkedIn profile reviewed, and taken through a mock interview in readiness for the job market
  • Projects – you will access real-world inspired projects to reinforce the skills you have learned.
  • Freedom – you will get to design your own learning schedule and learn at your convenience.

Course Instructors

If the course extras haven’t convinced you to give it a try, we are certain the star-studded tutors will. For each of their programs, Udacity makes effort to select tutors that are fit for the job. Their tutors come from astounding educational backgrounds and are experienced in their respective fields. Here are the tutors you will meet in this course:

Peter Norvig

You should be thrilled to be instructed by one of the respected experts in the AI field. Along with his vast knowledge, Peter is also the research director at Google.

Sebastian Thrun

Guess what, Sebastian is the president and co-founder of Udacity. He also co-founded Google X, where things like Google Glass and Self-Driving Car are under his leadership.

Thad Starner

Thad serves as part of the Google Glass team. Apart from his work at Google, he is also a professor and director on a group known as Contextual Computing Group (CCG) Plus. He is also a professor of Computer Science at Georgia Tech.

Course Prerequisites

Chances are you already appreciate that Artificial Intelligence is a complex topic. This is not designed to be an introductory course in this field. As such, there are a couple of skills you need to possess before signing up for this course. Here are some of them:

  • Basics of algebra and calculus
  • Knowledge of probability and statistics
  • Programming knowledge with emphasis on Python
  • Knowledge of algorithm deployment and implementation
  • Experience with Command Line
  • Access to a system that allows for Python 3.4 or later, together with admin permissions for required installations.

If any of these skills are a little out of your league, or maybe you would love to brush them up, you can find a list of free Udacity courses or check out their course catalogue to build a solid basis in any of the skills mentioned above.

Course Breakdown

This online AI course is divided into four sections that are enriched with comprehensive information. At the end of each section, you will have a chance of putting what you have learned to practice by completing a project. Here are the four sections of the course:

Constraint Satisfaction Problems

This section gets you started right away with building agents. You will end this section by creating a Sudoku Solver, one that is capable of reasoning like a human being.

Search, Optimization and Planning

In this section, you will begin expanding your capabilities by creating more advanced systems that enable agents to make logical decisions based on their surroundings. This is the same kind of technique used by NASA when building Mars Rover. You will end this module by building an agent that is capable of planning forward.

Adversarial Search

In this section, you will be introduced to adversarial domains, where you will start learning how to build devices that are capable of making decisions on their own. You will be required to apply the knowledge you have gained to create a device that is capable of playing a game without the need for human intervention at the end of this section.

Fundamentals of Probabilistic Graphical Models

In this final section, you will learn how to apply the concept of uncertainly in pattern recognition. This is applied in real-world scenarios as well, and you will be glad to learn the power of speech tagging. You will apply this skill in creating your own part of speech tagging for your final course project.

Course duration

Udacity estimates that you can complete this online course in three months if you dedicate 12-15 hours per week to learning. However, this is just an estimate given that the learner has the liberty to set their own learning pace and schedule. The most important thing you need to keep in mind is deadlines and due dates for course projects. The second is that, the longer you take, the higher the course pricing will be since Udacity charges on per month access.

Course cost

As already indicated, the cost of this online AI course is directly affected by the time a learner takes to complete it. In order to make the program affordable for learners of different budget ranges, Udacity has two payment plans. As of now, each option comes with a promotional one month FREE access offer.

Monthly Access

Pay as you go is one of the platform’s payment options. Each month you access the course, you will pay $399. As you can imagine, taking too long with this plan can translate in a huge overall bill. That is why it is important that you come up with a workable learning schedule and stick to it.

Udacity deal

You can also opt for Udacity’s estimate. Here you will enjoy a 15% discount when you bundle up and pay $1017 for the course upfront. This option drives the monthly cost to $339 as you will only pay for two of the three months. This is a great deal; especially if you are certain that you can complete the course within three months.

Previous learners’ experience with the course

Udacity enjoys a positive online presence. Though they have previously received questionable reviews, most learners had only positive things to say about this online AI course. Overall, this course enjoys 4.5/5 star rating. You can also visit Quora or Reddit for specific reviews, or even find more feedback on the website. Here is what learners had to say about this course:

“This was an excellent program that covered many aspects of the field with clear concepts and great exercises and projects. The project evaluation was good and detailed, from the concepts to the code review. Thanks for a great Nanodegree!” Eduardo R.

“The Nanodegree is a high-quality class I’ve wished for. The most significant difference to other courses is that Udacity Nanodegrees will motivate you really strong! It’s such a fantastic community with great inspiring mentors. I personally will use Udacity as long as it exists, maybe one time, I will complete every possible Nanodegree! Udacity is an investment in yourself, do it! If you can also study perfectly with only a book and have fun, go for it, but I think this is a super rare skill. If you want to have fun and get curious about the topic, go with Udacity!” Peter K.

So far the pace is great, and I really like the balance of video/hands-on. The call-outs to what needs to be completed in the code could be a bit more prominent, I got stuck on the project because I missed the TODO in the first few lines of the code where we were asked to add diagonals to the unitlist 🙁 Sébastien d.

A look at the job market for AI professionals

By now, you probably know AI skills are in high demand as every single industry gets impacted by it. According to a 2019 Market Watch survey, AI was the number one job with 75 percent increase in hiring. The same study showed that the average starting salary for AI professionals was $125,000, with salaries rising past $200,000 as skills advance.

Final thoughts

If you are thinking about starting a career in Artificial Intelligence, you have quite possible struck gold. This field is still in its formative stages with plenty of room for growth as technologies and algorithms develop. Organizations of all backgrounds and sizes are on the lookout for knowledgeable individuals that can help them take their practices to the next level.

Udacity is an excellent choice when looking to gain the training necessary to start your career as an AI professional. Besides their solid reputation, they also have lots of extras to make them stand out as the go to online learning platform. A successful completion of this online Nanodegree program will equip you with all the skills you need to break into the industry. Take advantage of their current Covid-19 offer and sign up for this Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program today.

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