Technology continues to change the face of the world and streamline our lives. Anyone with qualifications in technology-related fields, or with enough skill, can benefit from an array of profitable careers. Something which very much extends to those who study machine learning.
Day by day more of our processes and procedures are automated. We’re becoming increasingly reliant on computers performing duties and functions on our behalf. With this comes a rise in demand for machine learning professionals.
Machine Learning Engineers, Designers in Human-Centred Machine Learning, Data Scientists and Software Engineers are professions constantly looking for new talent.
A machine learning graduate can expect to start on a salary of about £35,000. With the potential of earning up to £170,000 when working for large multinational companies.
To make the most of these well-paid positions, you’ll need some serious skills and know-how. Most employers look for candidates who hold a master’s degree in the subject, or a PhD in a relevant discipline.
As machine learning is a fairly new discipline, there’s yet to be an abundance of courses dedicated to the area. Currently, there aren’t any specific regulated qualifications until you reach postgraduate studies. So, it can be difficult to know what course to take before this stage to gain the relevant skills.
Rest assured, there are several ways you can study machine learning and get the knowledge needed for your advanced degree.
What you’ll Need to Know
To study a master’s degree in machine learning, you’ll need a strong aptitude for programming, mathematics and statistics. Plus, good analytical skills. To successfully understand machine learning, you’ll first need to learn some basic elements of the subject. These are often prerequisites for most dedicated machine learning courses.
- Linear Algebra
Being comfortable with these components will allow you to understand the fundamentals of how machine learning works. They will enable you to start looking deeper into algorithms, so you can recognise their differences and how they operate.
The base set of algorithms you’d ideally have experience with prior to studying a machine learning master’s degree are:
- Linear Regression
- Logistic Regression
- k-Means Clustering
- k-Nearest Neighbours
- Support Vector Machines (SVM)
- Decision Trees
- Random Forests
- Naive Bayes
While machine learning is a complex and detailed subject, these basic components and algorithmic knowledge are a great starting point.
Courses you can take
Now, it must be said that it is possible to get into the machine learning profession without a degree. You can learn the skills needed elsewhere. But you’d really need to demonstrate exceptional ability for employers to consider you over someone with advanced recognised qualifications.
In this case, you could explore some of the many free online machine learning courses that are available. There are a lot more of these around and they allow you to study in your own time at home. The drawback is that they often only provide basic information which doesn’t go into a lot of depth. In most cases, there also isn’t any support when you get stuck.
University education is the most thorough way of getting prepared for a machine learning career. It’ll give you the detailed knowledge and credibility you need to impress prospective employers and secure a job.
As machine learning draws on knowledge from many other disciplines, entry requirements for master’s degrees can vary. Most ask for a bachelor’s degree in other highly quantitative subjects like statistics, mathematics, electrical engineering or the physical sciences.
Similarly, a bachelor’s degree in a subject that encompasses machine learning as an element, would be highly regarded. In this instance, a computer science qualification would arguably be the most useful.
Study Machine Learning through Computer Science
Machine learning is a specialised field within computer science. By studying level 3 and undergraduate qualifications in computer science, you’ll gain essential knowledge of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
Courses such as these focus on the key components of the industry. Giving you the opportunity to get comfortable and familiar with the aspects of machine learning you’ll explore in your degree. Allowing you to get a head start in your studies and be all the more confident in your career.
Most universities and colleges have machine learning elements incorporated into their computer science curriculum. This is because the computational analysis of machine learning algorithms and their performance is a subset of theoretical computer science. Known as computational learning theory.
Several computer science fundamentals are important and relevant for machine learning professionals. Such as the different data structures, algorithms, computability and complexity as well as computer architecture. For successful machine learning, you need be able to apply, implement, adapt or address all the above when programming.
Access to HE Diploma (Computer Science)
If you’re lacking the qualifications needed for university, an Access to Higher Education Diploma can bridge the gap. They’re designed to help you study at university by standing in place of A Levels.
An Access to HE Diploma (Computer Science) is industry focussed and equips you with essential knowledge and skills. Giving you foundational knowledge that can be further explored in a computer science degree. From which you can access a machine learning masters or related advanced qualification.
The course covers many of the essential components of machine learning. From advanced mathematics and data analytics to programming constructs and coding standards. Helping you get industry ready, so you can make the most of the careers that will be on offer to you.
Where previously you’d spend two or three years getting your A Levels, you’re now able to shave off considerable time. One Access to HE Diploma can account for up to three A Levels, so you need only take one course. Plus, the flexibility of learning online means you can complete the course as quickly as you like.
Meaning if it’s feasible for you, you can complete the course before the two-year timeframe. Allowing you to qualify and be on your way to university much faster. Because of this, many students are finished and applying to university within 9-12 months.
There are also flexible payment options available to help you spread the cost. Plus, you’ll receive the assistance of a dedicated professional tutor.
Stonebridge Associated Colleges is a leading UK distance learning provider. With many online courses to help students achieve their learning goals.
Take the next step toward a machine learning role and get there in less time with our online course. Find out more about the Access to Higher Education Diploma (Computer Science) by clicking below.