The Top 10
Online Machine Learning Certificate Programs in 2021

Being skilled in machine learning can help you earn one of the highest salaries in tech. The machine learning discipline consists of automating computer learning processes for specific tasks with little to no human intervention.

This article shows which machine learning certificates can help you further your career. Although certificate programs consist of entry-level courses, it is a good starting point to build your machine learning career. Read below to learn more about the best machine learning certificate programs.

Why You Should Learn Machine Learning

A machine learning certificate program can help your career because it adds value to your credentials. Machine learning jobs are in high demand, which means you won’t have to struggle to find a job.

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Companies that employ machine learning professionals offer high salaries, so you should take advantage of this and add this skill to your resume. No matter what type of tech job you want, you will be able to find a position with machine learning.

Top 10 Online Machine Learning Certificate Programs

Attending a certificate program allows you to learn a new skill without a four-year bachelor’s degree. You also won’t have to spend as much money. Certificate programs have a relatively low cost compared to traditional education. Below you will see the best online machine learning certificate programs in 2021.

Columbia University

Cost: $2,350

Duration: Five months

The Applied Machine Learning course from Columbia University has a practical approach to machine learning education. You will learn how to use different tools like Python and SQL by using real-life datasets. You will study data analytics and forecasting in both supervised and unsupervised learning.

This program doesn’t require you to have any experience in programming or data analysis. You will learn everything from scratch. However, if you have fundamentals, this program will be much easier.

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Extension

Cost: $6,468

Duration: 450 hours

The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is a research university located in Switzerland. However, the school also has an online extension where you can remotely learn several technical trades.

The EPFL Extension offers an EPFL Certificate of Open Studies in Applied Data Science: Machine learning. This program will teach you essential machine learning techniques such as data acquisition and automation.

This program covers topics like data visualization, Python, and NumPy. You must be familiar with online tools and programming fundamentals to join this program. At the end of the course, you will work on a capstone project.

Harvard University

Cost: $2,150

Duration: Two days

Although Harvard might be one of the most expensive schools in the country, this university still has accessible and affordable programs to attend online. This certificate program, Designing and Implementing AI Solutions for Health Care, will teach you how to implement machine learning in healthcare activities.

You will learn key principles of AI solutions in healthcare, real-world AI implementations, and organizational needs. This program is for those who already know the basics of machine learning.

Imperial College London

Cost: £1,280 ($1,800)

Duration: 10 weeks

Imperial College London is a UK-based institution founded in 1907. Although it is a leading school globally, it has a higher acceptance rate than others like Harvard or Columbia. Imperial College London’s acceptance rate is 16 percent, according to its official website.

This school has a Machine Learning for Decision Making certificate program. This course digs into essential ML topics like predictive performance and regression trees focusing on business applications.


Cost: $2,300

Duration: Eight weeks

MIT is known for its computer science programs. One of the most outstanding is its Machine Learning: From Data to Decisions course, where you will learn the fundamentals of data science and programming.

This program doesn’t have any prerequisites in terms of programming skills. However, if you have a basic understanding of coding and statistics fundamentals, it’ll be easier for you to understand advanced machine learning concepts.

You will learn about data regression, statistics fundamentals, neural networks, and other principles. This is a short-term program with a flexible schedule that allows you to continue with your lifestyle and other responsibilities.

Oxford University

Cost: £2,350 ($3,335)

Duration: Six weeks

Oxford University is a reputable university with highly competent computer science programs. This school offers the Oxford Artificial Intelligence Programme, which will provide you with fundamental machine learning knowledge.

You will also learn other foundational principles like algorithms, deep learning, and neural networks. Machine learning is a subdiscipline of artificial intelligence, so you’ll end up mastering both subjects in this program.

This is an online-only program that will help you advance your career in a short time and help you obtain a certificate from a highly reputable school.

Stanford University

Cost: $1,352 per unit

Duration: One to three years

Stanford University is a reputable institution in the United States. It was founded in 1885, and now it’s one of the leading universities in the world. This school offers an Artificial Intelligence Graduate Program covering topics like machine learning, linear algebra, neural networks, and deep learning.

The Stanford certificate program does require you to have a career background in software engineering. You need to be proficient in Java, C++, and Python. You should also have an undergraduate degree in an IT subject such as computer science.

UC Berkeley

Cost: $2,270

Duration: Six to nine months

The University of California is a leading public research institution with five campuses. The Berkeley extension offers a Machine Learning Methods certificate program that dives into fundamental topics like linear algebra, neural networks, and TensorFlow.

To participate in this program, you need to be a degree holder and understand programming fundamentals. The program is available in a few different learning options: online, in-person, and hybrid.

University of Toronto

Cost: $2,985 CAD ($2,470)

Duration: 108 course hours

The University of Toronto is a Canadian institution that was founded in 1827. This school is known for its high-quality tech degrees, including the Artificial Intelligence Certificate program. In this course, you will learn about core AI skills like neural networks, machine learning, and reinforcement learning.

This is a hands-on experience program where you’ll work with real-world datasets. At the end of the program, you will receive a certificate from the University of Toronto.

University of Washington

Cost: $4,548

Duration: Eight months

The University of Washington is one of the oldest institutions founded in the area. This school was established in 1861 in Seattle. The university offers a Machine Learning certificate.

This program will provide you with core machine learning skills like probability, statistics, math modeling, forecasting, natural language processing, deep learning, and data analysis. This course is conducted online, and classes are during the evenings.

Choosing the Right Machine Learning Program

Choosing the Right Machine Learning Program

Before jumping into a particular program, do some research and consider the following factors. This way, you’ll have a better experience getting your machine learning certificate.

Student Outcomes

One of the most relevant factors to consider is the school’s outcomes. Some institutions have high graduation rates, which indicates that students didn’t have too many challenges to complete their program. A low graduation rate would indicate they were either unsatisfied or weren’t able to continue affording their tuition.

Tuition Cost

Most machine learning certificate programs go from $1,800 to $5,000. However, others can be more expensive than this. That’s why you should verify the tuition cost in advance to see if it matches your expectations. You can also look at financial aid options.


Some programs will cover only the basic machine learning fundamentals, while others will go further and teach you about advanced principles. It’s essential to check the course curriculum to ensure it provides you with a robust set of machine learning skills.

How Long Does It Take to Complete a Certificate Program in Machine Learning?

Completing certificate programs varies in duration. It will depend on the complexity of the program. Some certificate programs last just a couple of months, where others will take up to two years.

Certificate Program in Machine Learning Curriculum

Machine learning is a subdiscipline of artificial intelligence that covers different topics such as supervised and unsupervised learning, Python, SQL, probability, forecasting, and neural networks. Below you will see more subjects in detail.


Machine learning is usually used for forecasting and probability tasks. Therefore, you must understand statistics fundamentals. That’s why you will most likely learn this subject during a machine learning certificate program.


To program machines to do specific tasks, you must have proficient coding skills. You will learn how to use certain programming languages and tools like Python and SQL. These languages are also transferable to other data science careers.

Supervised and Unsupervised Learning

Supervised and unsupervised learning are used to train the computer to make certain predictions. However, they each have a different approach. Supervised learning consists of labeling datasets so that the machine can identify items. Unsupervised learning doesn’t need to do this because computers will find the similarities by themselves.

Machine Learning Certifications

To work as a machine learning engineer, you don’t need to have a professional certification. However, certifications can help you prove your skills in the field. These are different from certificates because they are usually awarded by associations, not schools. They usually consist of an exam and a fee.

Professional Machine Learning Engineer Certification

This certification from Google can help assert your machine learning skills when you apply for jobs. The exam covers ML problems and solutions, processing system design, and more. The exam only lasts two hours and costs $200 to take.

AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty

Amazon Web Services offers this AWS machine learning certification. It is a great option if you want to pursue a career in the AWS Cloud. You should know how to use machine learning to solve business problems. You will need one to two years of experience to take this exam, and it costs $300. There is also a $40 practice exam.

Machine Learning Salary Prospects

Machine Learning Salary Prospects

Machine learning is a high-paying tech skill with tremendous demand. If you have machine learning and AI skills, you can work in different fields such as data science, software engineering, and more. Check out the following list to learn more about each profession.

Machine Learning Engineer

A machine learning engineer is a software developer who focuses on programming computers to identify patterns without human intervention. An ML engineer works with Python, SQL, and TensorFlow.

Entry-Level Salary: $93,436

Mid-Career Salary: $136,991

Business Intelligence Developer

A business intelligence developer is a professional responsible for analyzing large datasets to help companies make better business decisions. They evaluate market trends, internal audits, and inventory patterns to develop an actionable strategy to drive leads to companies.

Entry-Level Salary: $60,506

Mid-Career Salary: $89,462

Software Engineer

A software engineer develops web and mobile applications to meet their company’s goals. Machine learning skills allow you to become a developer and build ML-driven programs. The demand for software engineers will grow by 22 percent by 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is a very high growth rate.

Entry-Level Salary: $76,680

Mid-Career Salary: $95,728

Data Scientist

A data scientist is a professional who oversees and evaluates data to find meaningful insights. They collect, filter, and interpret data to discover interesting patterns that will help them make better business decisions. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are a big part of data science.

Entry-Level Salary: $85,260

Mid-Career Salary: $109,585

Machine Learning Professional Associations

There aren’t any specific machine learning professional associations. However, there are two data science associations that are useful resources for machine learning engineers.

Association of Data Science

The association of data science is a non-profit organization that has become the leading community for most data scientists. This institution provides career guidance, support, and specializations.

Data Science Association

The Data Science Association’s goal is to create a more ethical environment in the data science field. It helps by encouraging diversity and high-quality education. This association is open to data scientists, students, and researchers.

Should I Pursue a Machine Learning Certificate Program Online?

Yes, you should pursue a machine learning certificate program online. Machine learning is an excellent way to build a profession in the tech industry. Machine learning engineers enjoy high salaries and excellent job benefits. You should pursue a machine learning certificate program online since they’re flexible and less expensive than university programs.

However, know that most schools require you to have some background in programming and statistics fundamentals because machine learning is a technical trade. As long as you have the right preparation, you can get a machine learning certificate.

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