Udacity AI for Business Leaders Nanodegree Review

Udacity AI for Business Leaders Nanodegree Review
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Machine learning and AI may sound like two concepts that can only be understood by geniuses but, they are much easier to grasp than you might think. Starting to understand how they work now could mean big things for you and your business in the future, allowing you to start making smart choices based off of powerful data you can collect from your website. This is the direction that things are going, with a large majority of businesses already taking the proper steps to get there.


It might not be noticeable yet but, once it hits a few markets, AI techniques will spread like wildfire helping businesses to function more efficient than ever before. Getting a hold of the skills needed to take businesses to that level are crucial, leaving you to hunt for the perfect academy that will fit into your busy schedule. This is why we’re here to introduce you to the AI for Business Leaders Nanodegree from Udacity. This is a newer course from the academy, said to come packed with a ton of useful information to break into AI. Plus, this course was created in collaboration with BMW, making it one to watch. Below, we’ve taken a deeper look into the course and the job market, helping you to decide if this is a good move for you and your career.


A Bit About Udacity

Udacity has been making a name for itself since it came to life back in 2012. They are known for offering technological courses online of all levels and for their list of noteworthy collaborations. They have completely revolutionized online learning, putting together content with the goal of sending out confident and knowledgeable graduates. Courses offered by the academy range from basic to advanced, some free and others for a fee. Those for a fee are known as nanodegrees, a Udacity exclusive.


What’s a Nanodegree?

A nanodegree is a course that takes only a short amount of time. They focus on one area of a large field, generally going in depth to areas that allow learners to get in, get it done and get on with their careers. Udacity is known for their nanodegrees for a few reasons. Of course, one of them being the fact that each one comes with the knowledge needed to break into some of todays hottest careers. The other being the perks that come along with each one. When you enroll in any nanodegree, you score:


  • The Freedom to Make your Schedule: Log in and learn whenever you want
  • A Sense of Community: Connect with other learners just like you
  • A Mentor: Just in case something goes wrong, your mentor will have your back
  • Projects: Gain experience using real techniques to solve real problems todays industry is facing
  • Career Prep: Clean up your resume, portfolio and even take advantage of a mock interview getting you prepped for the big day.


Before you Begin

While some might be able to hop in and finish this degree without breaking a sweat, others might want to come prepped with a few skills before enrolling. The course was created with the thought that learners would already have some experience in business settings, especially for those whose atmosphere dealt with IT. On top of that, the academy recommends that learners have a basic understanding of:


  • Math, including algebra and geometry
  • Statistics (mean, median and mode)
  • Probability and concepts developed from probabilities


Meet the Instructors

Before we break down the course, let’s take a look at who’ll be teaching you. Udacity searches far and wide to find their team, attempting to scoop up the best in the business for their learners. For this course, you’ll be learning with:


William Ross

William has experience in investing, which led him to success as a product manager. He’s worked with IBM and is currently founder of a startup in Silicon Valley.


Luis Serrano

Currently, Luis is an AI engineer at Apple. Before that, he worked with Google, putting his PhD in Mathematics to use as an engineer.


Josh Bernhard

Josh is an instructor for Udacity and Galvanize, with a passion for sharing his knowledge with other anxious learners. Apart from instructing, he is a data scientist with Nerd Wallet, taking his unique industry experience from cancer research to process automation along with him.


Course Breakdown

This course was constructed in collaboration with BMW. Not only is it made in collaboration with a huge name in the industry but, includes all that you will need to learn the ropes of building and deploying AI technologies into daily business practices. There are seven total sections in this course plus, a capstone at the end to tie it all together. Below, we introduce you to each section, along with a look into what you’ll be learning in each.


The Paradigm Shift

You’ll learn terminology in this section that will be used throughout the course. Apart from a more introductory look to begin with, you’ll be given cases to analyze for businesses, looking to see if you can not the impact and feasibility.


The Magic of Numbers

Machine learning models are driven by numbers and data. This is emphasized in this section, along with a look at how to optimize and classify specific types of applications. Later in this section, you’ll see how predictive modeling is applied when making models, along with reinforcement.


Architectures of Systems in AI

Learn to tell the difference between different applications and architectures in this section. You’ll take a deeper look into natural language processing, (NLP) and see how voice activated technologies work. You’ll get your chance to build up your own architectures, focusing on chatbots and visual classifiers.


Working with Data

Labeling data correctly is also an important part of the process of machine learning. See how to label data and data sets for proper supervised learning processing. While you’re learning the process of correct labeling, you’ll also get a look at all different kinds of scenarios typical for businesses, taking a look at the readiness of data for proper evaluation.


Accuracy, Bias and Ethics

This section will teach you proper labeling, helping you to create learning models that are accurate and ethical.


Collecting Feedback

Feedback is a powerful tool to help you better your models and designs. Learn how to create surveys and other forms of feedback collection that you can analyze and give you answers that help you to improve.


Think Bolder and Bigger

In this section, you’ll see how things come together. See how AI can be added to several different areas and cases, constructing a roadmap that will get you the results you’re looking for. Later, you’ll be asked to create a proposal that will lead you to a transformational view of the business world.



The capstone at the end will ask you to take all the skills that you learned in this section and use them to create your very own AI strategy. You will go from making a strategy to creation to delivery, making your way through the entire process to strengthen your grasp on all your new knowledge.



How Long Does this Course Take?

It may seem like you’re learning a lot, and you are, but you can actually finish this course in a month or a little over. Udacity estimates that, at only 5 hours a week, you can finish the course in 4-8 weeks. You do have the freedom to log in when you’d like, which is a big plus that will allow you to be in charge of the time you take. Still you need to be careful, especially when you think about the total cost. This is because the time that it takes has a direct effect on the total course cost, which we will highlight in the next section.


What’s the Cost?

There are actually a few ways that you can pay, as the academy attempts to give learners options to suit their schedule and their budget. The best way to decide which method is best for you is to think about how much time you can dedicate to the course and how long you think it might take you. Then, you can choose from one of two options offered for this course.


Pay As you Go

This is a monthly fee and comes with the freedom to take as long as you’d like. While it may sound great to take as much time as you want, keep in mind that each month comes out to $359, which can add up pretty quick if you’re not careful. If you think you can finish quicker than Udacity’s estimate then, this is the way to go.


Udacity’s Deal

If you think if will take you more than a month, 2 months to be exact, you can take up Udacity on their bundle deal and save a bit. This will fuse the cost of 2 months together and knock off 50%. The total comes out to a little over $700, making it a steal if you think if will take the full two months for you to complete.


What have Learners Said?

Don’t just take it from us, we are not the only ones bragging over this course. To see what others had to say when asked about this course in particular, this is what they had to say:

“With the new A.I. leadership programs, Udacity joins a host of other firms that have debuted A.I. training programs and education materials for corporate leaders who may be confused about the trending technology. For instance, the World Economic Forum created A.I. guidelines for business leaders to familiarize themselves with the benefits and potential pitfalls of applying A.I. to their companies…” – Johnathan V.


“AI for Business Leaders” Executive Program in close cooperation with the BMW Group. The program introduces the technical foundations and business applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to executives responsible for making strategic technology decisions within their companies.” – Anderson C.


A Look at the Job Market

The shift to AI is inevitable. Businesses all around the world are changing the way that they do things, using the help of AI and systematic technological approaches to solve todays advances business problems. As of now, a study conducted by hbr.org suggested that the demand for advanced machine learning skills in businesses is only around 2.5%.  That could be kind of shocking but, the truth is, the switch is still in a very early stage.


Eaton Business School analyzed the market deeply attempting to reveal the impact of artificial intelligence in different markets. What they showed was that, while software engineers are the highest in demand at the moment, those with management and business style skills are going to be lacking in the years to come. As the role of managers and administrative personnel evolves, so too should the skills that individuals possess. Now, admin and all areas of business are going to need a good grasp on these new techniques, making it a good time to jump in and start learning now.



Before you Go…

The opportunities that come from AI are exciting. This is especially true from a business standpoint, making it a great time to jump in and start building up a company that will beat market evolution to its punch. Those that are already equipped with business skills are at a huge advantage, having the ins on how a successful business runs. Growing a knowledge base that allows leaders to understand and implement AI practices within their company comes with a powerful advantage, one that could take their company to unthinkable levels.


To start gaining the knowledge necessary to take advantage of powerful machine learning practices, a course like AI for Business Leaders from Udacity can help, packed with all the necessary skills it takes to begin. While the choice is ultimately yours, what more could you be on the hunt for than what you’ll find from one of the best online academies in the business.


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