There is no doubt that generative AI has taken the world by storm. While there are issues of reliability and accuracy in tools like ChatGPT, AI chatbots can also provide a substantial productivity benefit to many workers.
Beyond the benefits that come from using generative AI as a tool, there are also opportunities for you to improve your employment situation by developing skills in the generative AI arena.
Although there are many courses, degree programs, micro degrees (which are not degrees, for the record), and boot camps that will charge you big bucks with the promise of earning big bucks, that’s not the only direction you can take. There are also many free resources that can help you expand your skill set.
For example, there is the collection of thirteen free short courses offered by OpenAI (the folks who make ChatGPT) and DeepLearning (an education provider). While DeepLearning does sell longer courses, the thirteen I’m going to spotlight here are a great place to start — and they are completely free.
I signed up and took the first course, “ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Developers.” It consists of nine short videos of roughly 10 minutes each, along with exercises and a test bench that allows you to try out the code taught in the course and see what it does.
I enjoyed the course and got a lot out of it. It helped me understand how to connect ChatGPT to code and how traditional programmers can include generative AI prompts in their coding kit bags. I did it over the course of a weekend, learned a lot, and spent nothing.
It doesn’t get better than that.
Cours offerings are listed as “beginner” or “intermediate.” Keep in mind that beginner refers to your AI development experience, not your technical experience. You need to have a fairly good programming background to really understand the content of these “beginner” level courses.
The following set of courses is considered “intermediate.” I’d recommend completing the above nine courses first, then taking on this next set. Remember that they’re all free, so your only cost is the time it takes to learn some tasty goodness.
Grow your career without growing your credit card balance
AI is hot, hot, hot. As such, companies and even long-established educational institutions will do everything they can to convince you a career in AI will change your life — and they’re the folks who will help you make that change.
Some of those programs are very good. I taught degree-credit programming courses at the UC Berkeley extension for six years and have been an advisory board member at the university for more than 16 years. Many students have told me these types of formal courses helped them change careers. So I’m not saying to avoid formal courses and for-pay education.
But with the wealth of free material out there, I strongly recommend you take advantage of those resources first, especially if you’re on a budget or if you want to get started in this field without making a substantial financial commitment.
What do you think? Are you going to take any of these courses? Have you taken any? What did you learn? Let us know in the comments below.
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