I have conducted multiple session on "First Step to A.I" at corporates, b-schools and with undergrads. As the session ends , Majority would ask - "Which Online Course Should I Take" and my answer is "Why"
I ask this question "Why" because , A.I is a vast a subject and increasingly becoming complex. What I am observing is , that people are just flocking to learn A.I , its like jumping into the water to learn swimming , without knowing the length and depth of the pool.
Let me try to explain this , with a small story
One of my friend who is in management role at a bank , enrolled for a
one year data science course which even offered a placement service. I asked him the same question "Why" , his answer - "It is the hottest skill to have".
Since he had paid the complete fees , I encouraged him to complete the course.
After around 3 months , I asked him how is the data science course going. He was excited that now he understands the technical stuff like Python , Tensorflow , Panda's and was getting ready for working on more complex data sets.
I asked him the same question after 6 months , his excitement was low, I could feel a change in his tone from enthusiasm to apathy. He was rather feeling disheartened by the fact , he does not see that leaning coding in Python , would help him in his career and he does not want to pursue a career as a data scientist.
Being in the field of A.I for more than 5 years , I know where he was coming from. When you have to generate insights from peta bytes of big data , it can actually be overwhelming when you see the complexity of the data . Still as a good friend , I encouraged him to complete the course.
Somedays Later my friend called me up and asked me , can I suggest him a better a course to learn A.I? I got irritated and told him "Why do you want to learn something which you even don't understand. There was silence .
Then he said the golden words - I should First understand AI , then Learn AI .
There it was the mantra - "First Understand AI , then Learn AI"
So, before taking any of the online course , understand why are you taking the course.