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Short Term Engineering Courses & Certificates

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Short Term Courses: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning

Artificial intelligence is the art of designing semi-autonomous computer systems, while machine learning is the art of designing systems that can reach their own conclusions, and, in some cases, extrapolate without further input.

MIT Sloan’s Artificial Intelligence: Implications for Business Strategy online program is the result of a collaboration between MIT’s Sloan School of Management and GetSmarter. Designed and taught by faculty and experts from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the course is designed to help business leaders assess and capitalize upon the value of automation through the development of transformation roadmaps and personalized organizational strategies.

The course is divided into six parts: an introduction to artificial intelligence; machine learning in business; natural language processing in business; robotics in business; artificial intelligence in business and society; and the future of artificial intelligence. The six-week course costs $2,800, and requires six to eight hours of study each week.

Udacity offers a nanodegree in machine learning engineering that teaches students how to build machine learning models and apply them to data sets in areas such as education, finance, and healthcare. Case examples and supervised projects explore how machine learning can tackle real world issues, such as predicting housing prices in Boston, finding donors for a charity, or training a quadcopter how to fly.

Students propose and complete a capstone project of their own by term’s end. Students need intermediate Python programming skills, intermediate statistical knowledge, and intermediate calculus and linear algebra mastery. The program is divided into two terms of three months each, with a total expected time commitment of 200 hours, at a cost of $999 per term. Graduates of this nanodegree program are prepared for Udacity’s advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence courses.

Short Term Courses: Blockchain, Cryptocurrency & FinTech

Blockchain is a distributed ledger system that utilizes cryptography to securely store and transfer data, with major applications in cryptocurrency, financial technology (fintech), and healthcare.

The Blockchain Strategy Programme is a six-week short course offered through a collaboration between the University of Oxford’s Saïd School of Business and GetSmarter. Participants gain a fundamental understanding of blockchain and its implications and applications, with individual modules that cover: blockchain structure; blockchain for business; transfer and storage of value; decentralized apps and smart contracts; transformative business models; and blockchain frontiers.

Primarily designed for executives and business leaders, the curriculum focuses on short and long term strategies related to blockchain innovation and design, but can also provide an onramp for engineers looking to branch out, transition, or gain future-fit skills. The program costs £2,350 (approximately $3,023) and culminates in a certificate from the university’s business school. Those more interested in the technical development side of blockchain can opt for further study in Udacity’s nanodegree in blockchain development.

The Harvard VPAL FinTech online short course, hosted by Harvard’s VPAL and GetSmarter, gives students a strategic framework to critically address the future of the financial services industry, and the skills to address challenges and propose solutions within it. The course is convened by expert Harvard faculty, and divided into modules that cover reshaping the banking and payments industry; raising money with fintech; harnessing data with artificial intelligence and machine learning; transforming personal finance with fintech; demystifying blockchain and cryptocurrency; and forging the future of fintech. An optional final conference allows students to share capstone project presentations. The six-week course costs $3,600 and requires eight to ten hours of study per week.

The Oxford Fintech Programme, a collaboration between the University of Oxford’s Saïd School of Business and GetSmarter, is an eight-week short course designed to equip students with the capability to recognize opportunities for disruption in financial services, as well as launch their own fintech ventures.

The course is convened and instructed by Oxford faculty and industry experts, and divided into eight parts: an introduction to fintech; tools for innovators; the future of money; the future of markets; the future of marketplaces; infrastructure and regtech; proptech and real estate innovation; and frontiers of financial innovation. The program costs £2,500 (approximately $3,228) and culminates in a certificate from the university’s business school.

For more information on these programs, please check out the fintech, cryptocurrency, and blockchain short courses.

Short Term Courses: Business Systems Analysis

Related to project engineering, business systems analysis focuses on the automation of business processes, optimizing tools, people, and culture to fulfill a larger corporate strategy.

Coursera, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, offers a five-week course in analysis for business systems, part of its larger information systems specialization. Students learn about the standard models of systems development, and, in particular, how to create specific deliverables that business systems analysts prepare during the Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC). It’s recommended for students to have some background in IT and project management before beginning the course. After a seven-day free trial, the program requires a subscription fee of $39 per month.

Short Term Courses: Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is the use of an internet-hosted network of remote servers to store and process data, rather than housing that data on a personal device.

In cooperation with the University of Maryland University College, edX has a course where students can learn how to design, configure, and manage cloud computing infrastructure. The eight-week class focuses on components of the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud service model and its most popular deployment architectures. A final project involves successfully migrating a website to an IaaS environment on Amazon Web Services.

The class is part of a four-course MicroMasters program that also covers covers cloud computing for enterprises, cloud computing management, and cloud computing security. Classes may be taken for $249 each or as a bundle for $896. Successful completion of the program allows for transfer of 12 credits towards a master’s degree in cloud computing architecture at UMUC.

Short Term Courses: Cybersecurity & Managing Risk

Cybersecurity is the protection of data from theft, damage, or espionage, and it’s increasingly being included as a consideration in risk management calculations.

The Harvard VPAL Cybersecurity online short course, hosted through a collaboration between Harvard’s VPAL and GetSmarter, is designed for business leaders and security analysts who want to sharpen their understanding of cybersecurity risk management.

The eight-week program is divided into eight sections: cybersecurity risk is a business risk; identifying threats to an organization; identifying important business systems and assets; the crucial role of leadership in managing cyber risk; understanding your technology; cyber risk and the law; incident response and accountability; and designing and implementing a mitigation strategy. The course convener, Eric Rosenbach, is the director of the Defending Digital Democracy Project and a former chief of staff to U.S. Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. The program costs $2,800 and requires eight to 11 hours of study per week.

In collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology, edX has an eight-week course on the subject of cybersecurity risk management, part of their MicroMasters program in cybersecurity. Each week covers a different topic: the evolution of information security; the risk management process, framework, and life cycle; quantitative versus qualitative risk assessments; defining information security metrics; analysis techniques; automating metrics calculations and tools; and industry case studies (two weeks).

The course is free, but can be upgraded (i.e., adding graded assignments, unlimited access, and a certificate upon completion) for $150. Students need to have already completed RIT and edX’s cybersecurity fundamentals course, which teaches network and system administration fundamentals, information assurance fundamentals, and basic cryptography concepts.

For more information on these programs, please check out the cybersecurity short courses.

Short Term Courses: Digital Marketing, Big Data & Social Analytics

Digital marketing makes use of big data and social analytics to create marketing narratives with measurable results.

The UC Berkeley Data Science for Executives online short course, offered through a collaboration between the UC Berkeley School of Information and GetSmarter, gives students the skills necessary to become successful leaders at data-driven organizations. The course is divided into six modules: the principles of data science; data science processes, impact, and functions; modern applications of data science; building a data science team; measuring the success of data science projects; and digital transformation strategies. The six-week course costs $2,800, and requires eight to ten hours of study per week.

The top-ranked Wharton School, in collaboration with edX, is offering a six-week course in marketing analytics, data tools, and techniques. Students learn regression analysis, conjoint analysis, social media analytics, and new techniques in market research. The course is part of a four-course professional certificate program in digital marketing. Other classes in the program include: fundamentals of digital marketing, social media, and e-commerce; managing the value of customer relationships; and selling ideas. Each course costs $585 and is taught by Wharton faculty.

Short Term Courses: Engineering Management

Engineering management applies skills in business leadership, organizational strategy, project management, and staff administration to engineering.

MIT’s Sloan School of Management offers a course called Business Process Design for Strategic Management, hosted by GetSmarter. The course is divided into six modules: an introduction to dynamic work design; the four principles of dynamic work design; the problem statement; structured problem solving; designing work for people; and visual management.

The curriculum was designed by MIT Sloan faculty: Nelson Repenning (associate dean of leadership and special projects) and Donald Kieffer (senior lecturer in operations management). The six-week program costs $2,800 and takes approximately five to seven hours of study per week.

In collaboration with Rice University’s Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Udacity offers an eight-week course in strategic project management. The course is divided into eight modules: the 21st century project manager; strategic thinking for project managers; mining your project for value; maximizing value for organizational impact; strategic project leadership; organizational structures and challenges; and project change and risk in an organizational context. Upon completion of the course, students receive a certificate approved by the Project Management Institute. The program costs $3,000 and requires seven to ten hours of study per week.

Hosted by Coursera, the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership offers a series of three short courses that make up a specialization in engineering project management. Each course covers a different stage of engineering management: initiating and planning; scope, time, and cost management; and risk, quality, teams, and procurement.

The first course on initiating and planning is divided into five parts: a project management overview; project organizations; project communications and stakeholder management; project integration management; and case studies and deliverables. Rice University is a registered education provider through the Project Management Institute, and these online short courses can count for professional development units with the PMI. Each course takes five weeks to complete, and requires approximately 20 hours of study. The certificate-level program may be subscribed to for $49 per month.

Short Term Courses: Industrial Biotechnology, Bioengineering, and Biomanufacturing

Bioengineering weaves together biological processes and engineering principles, whether it be for genetic manipulation, pharmaceutical development, or agriculture.

The University of Manchester has an online short course in industrial biotechnology, hosted by Coursera. Students learn about the diversity of regulatory and governance issues in synthetic biological applications, the role of bioprocessing in biochemical engineering and industrial biotechnology, and the applications of industrial biotechnology products and processes in healthcare, agriculture, energy, and the environment.

Each week covers a different topic: enzyme discovery and engineering; methods in systems and synthetic biology; biochemical and bioprocess engineering; and pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. The course is four weeks long, and available for free.

GetSmarter, in collaboration with Harvard’s Office of the Vice Provost for Advances in Learning, has an eight-week short course in gene-editing applications. The main focus of the class is CRISPR Cas9 technology and its applications in biotechnology. The curriculum is split into eight modules: basic principles of molecular biology; CRISPR and genetic engineering; treating genetic diseases; promoting resistance to infectious diseases; combating cancer through research and treatment; optimizing and fighting microorganisms in the food, health, and energy industries; improving agriculture by optimizing crops; and the ethics of using CRISPR. The program costs $3,000 and requires seven to ten hours of study per week.

The University of California, San Diego, offers a short course in drug discovery, hosted by Coursera. Taught by faculty of UCSD’s Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, each week explores a new process that pharmaceutical and biotech companies go through when discovering a new drug. The four-week course covers five main areas: the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry landscape; drug discovery (proteomics and genomics); compound selection and preclinical studies; challenges in fragment-based drug discovery for protein kinases; and key concepts in drug delivery.

This course is the first in a three-course program that later explores drug development and drug commercialization, and, if taken in sequential order, gives graduates a complete view of the path from drug discovery, to clinical trial, to product launch. The certificate level course costs $59 and takes approximately three to four hours of study per week.

Short Term Courses: Nanotechnology and Nanoengineering

Nanoengineering applies engineering principles to units of measurement on the nanoscale: one-billionth of a meter, including the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules.

Duke University, North Carolina State University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have partnered together with Coursera to offer Nanotechnology: A Maker’s Course. In this course, a combination of instruction and lab demonstration teaches students about nanotechnology tools and how to use them for fabrication and characterization.

The curriculum for this course was developed by experts in nanofabrication, electron beam microscopy, and nanocharacterization, in conjunction with the Research Triangle Nanotechnology Network (RTNN). The RTNN offers training and tools, like those demonstrated in the course, to schools, industry, and the public through United States National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure program. The certificate-level course costs $49 and takes approximately six hours of study per week.

Purdue University, in partnership with edX, offers a course in the fundamentals of nanotransistors. Designed for recent graduates and practicing engineers, the course aims to provide an understanding of the essential physics, practical technical considerations, and inherent limits of nanotransistors.

Students should have a basic understanding of semiconductor physics and electronic circuits before taking the course. The main areas of study are: transistor fundamentals, IV characteristics, and device metrics; MOS electrostasis in one and two dimensions; the Landauer Approach to electron transport; and the transmission theory of MOSFET and its relation to traditional and Vital Source transistor models. The program is eight weeks long, requiring six hours of study per week, and costs $50 in order to earn a certificate of completion.

The Technion Israel Institute of Technology offers a two-part short course in nanotechnology and nanosensors, hosted by Coursera. Each part takes five weeks to complete, and the chief learning outcome is having students understand the fabrication, characterization, manipulation, and application of nanomaterials and nanosensors.

Part one covers an introduction to nanotechnology, an introduction to sensors’ science and technology, metal nanoparticle-based sensors, and quantum dots sensors. Part two covers nanowire-based sensors, carbon nanotube-based sensors, sensors based on nanostructures of metal oxide, sensors based on polymeric nanostructures, and electric skin based on nanotechnology. Each part of the course may be taken for $49, and requires a minimum of 22 hours of study, but the program’s suggested resources total up to over 100 hours of informational material.

Short Term Courses: Python Programming

Python is a general purpose and high level programming language, primarily used by software engineers for websites and web applications.

The University of Michigan offers a specialization in Python 3 Programming, hosted by Coursera. The program consists of five short courses, and takes approximately two months to complete. By the end of the specialization, students are able to write programs that query APIs for data and extract meaningful information from them.

The short courses cover: Python basics; Python functions, files, and dictionaries; data collection and processing with Python; Python classes and inheritance; and a Python project (pillow, tesseract, and pillowcv). While some working understanding of Python is preferred, it’s not a prerequisite to take this specialization, especially if a student already has familiarity with a different programming language. Upon completion all the short courses, students can move on to further specializations in areas like applied data science with Python. The certificate-level specialization, or individual courses, may be subscribed to for $49 per month.

The University of Michigan’s advanced specialization in applied data science with Python, also hosted by Coursera, is intended for students who have a basic Python background and want to add a skills-based specialization. The program consists of five short courses, and takes approximately five months to complete.

Each short course covers a different area of focus: data science in Python; applied plotting, charting, and data representation in Python; applied machine learning in Python; applied text mining in Python; and applied social network analysis in Python. By the end of the specialization, students are able to analyze the connectivity of a social network, discern whether data visualization is good or bad, conduct and inferential statistical analysis, and enhance data analysis with machine learning. The certificate-level specialization (or individual courses) may be subscribed to for $49 a month.

Short Term Courses: Renewable Energy, Green Building, Sustainable Engineering

Renewable energy experts engineer and install products that harness safe and efficient forms of energy. Green builders apply environmentally-friendly principles to structural design and project processes.

Renewable Energy and Green Building Entrepreneurship, a cost offered by Duke University through Coursera, is a short course that focuses on real-world applications, and eschews theory to make room for more case studies. The three-week class is divided into three main sections: the power of three (entrepreneurship, green building, and renewable energy); a dive into business (opportunities and challenges); and moving from ideas to business implementation. The certificate-level class costs $49 and takes approximately six hours per week of study.

Ecole Polytechnique offers a course in wind resources for renewable energies, hosted by Coursera. The main goal of the course is for students to develop enough knowledge in atmospheric and fluid dynamics to be able to quantify the potential wind resources present in a specific area. The course is divided into modules on energy, meteorology, atmospheric and marine boundary layers, wind or marine turbines, and wind resources.

In a final data analysis project, students perform a full wind resource assessment, taking into account the variability of vertical wind shear, probability distributions of wind velocity, and wind turbine power production. The certificate-level course costs $49, and requires approximately 28 hours of study to complete.

Delft University of Technology has partnered with edX to offer a MicroMasters program in solar energy engineering. The program consists of four courses, each of which take between nine and 12 weeks to complete.

Students learn to: model all aspects of a working solar cell; design fabrication processes for photovoltaic technologies; evaluate photovoltaic systems; and take into consideration economics, ecology, and the microgrid when using photovoltaic applications. The four courses cover photovoltaic energy conversion, photovoltaic technologies, photovoltaic systems, the integration of photovoltaic systems into the microgrid, and an applied capstone project.

Each course may be taken individually for free, or for $250 if wishing to earn a certificate. If taken together as a MicroMasters program, the bundle of courses costs $1,260 in its entirety, and the credits earned may be counted towards a master of science degree in sustainable engineering technology (SET) or electrical power engineering at Delft.

Short Term Courses: Robotics, Autonomous Systems, and Self-Driving Vehicles

Where AI and machine learning create autonomous processes, robotics automates larger, physical devices.

Udacity offers a nanodegree for self-driving car engineering, in partnership with industry heavyweights like Uber, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Nvidia. The curriculum covers computer vision, deep learning, sensor fusion, localization, path-planning, control, and system integration. In the capstone course, students work together to design code that they’ll run on Udacity’s own self-driving car. The learning in this course is advanced, diving into deep neural networks, TensorFlow, convolutional neural networks, Kalman filters, and Markov localizations. The program is split into two three-month terms, and costs $1199 per term. Students need to meet prerequisites in Python, C++, and advanced mathematics before joining the program. Udacity also offers an introductory course to the topic of self-driving cars.

Short Term Courses: Software Engineering and Mobile Application Development

Software engineers develop software through a variety of programming languages (Java, Python, Ruby, C++) that are determined by the software’s destination platform (front-end web, back-end web, desktop). Mobile application development focuses on delivering software to mobile platforms with different operating systems and technical constraints.

In a partnership with Google, Udacity offers a nanodegree in Android development. The curriculum is designed to take students with an intermediate understanding of Java and other programming languages and turn them into expert Android developers.

Students get personal in-line code review of their work, as well as personalized support and mentorship. Upon completion of the program, graduates have a healthy portfolio of projects, an established credential, career support, and an app of their own in the Google Play Store. The program consists of two terms, each four months long and requiring approximately eight hours of study per week. The price is $999 per term.

Short Term Courses: Urban Design, Smart Cities, and Resource Management

Modern urban design consists of the planning of cities and their resources using integration with 21st century technologies.

The MIT Media Lab hosts an online short course on GetSmarter called Beyond Smart Cities: Emerging Design and Technology. MIT faculty lead discussions on how disruptive technologies can be incorporated into urban planning to develop smarter, more sustainable, and more responsive cities.

The six-week course is divided into six modules: design and technology for people-centric cities; the mobility revolution and urban robotics; the live-work transformation (robotics, prefabrication, and technology); a network of neighborhoods (AI, real-time simulation, and emerging systems); sustainable communities (local production and lower consumption); and governance (token economies and algorithmic zoning for prosocial behaviors). The course costs $3,000 and requires seven to nine hours of study per week.

Lund University offers a short course called Greening the Economy: Sustainable Cities, hosted by Coursera. Utilizing resources from the Economist Intelligence Unit, UN-Habitat, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the WWF, this four-week course explores the concept of urban design through the lens of green transformation, connecting key trends of urbanization, decarbonization, and sustainability. The course is divided into four parts: sustainable urban transformation; infrastructure and planning; urban living labs; and future urban visions. The certificate-level course may be taken for $49, and takes approximately five hours of study per week.

A ten-week online course in smart cities is offered by edX, in collaboration with ETH Zurich, one of the leading international universities for technology and natural sciences. The course explores man-made environments that are monitored, metered, networked, and controlled—where sensors, mobile devices, and data become major forms of infrastructure.

Students learn the basics of smart cities and urban science, identify principle stocks and flows of information within a city, and understand the concept of complexity science in civil engineering. Offered as part of a larger, four-course program on future cities, individual classes can be taken for a certificate at $50 each, while the entire bundle may be taken for $180.

Short Term Courses: User Experience (UX) & Human-Computer Interaction (HCI)

User experience designers are responsible for the customer-facing side of technological products. Human-computer interaction specialists research traditional and nontraditional methods of interfacing with technology.

GetSmarter has teamed up with MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) to offer a six-week course in human-computer interaction for user experience design.

Eight of MIT’s CSAIL experts go over the fundamental of UX design and also dive into the frontier areas of their UX and HCI research. The course curriculum has six modules: the essence of interaction design; non-traditional and multimodal user interfaces; collaborative computer interaction; intelligent user interfaces and prototyping; multimedia, speech, and vision in computer interaction; and the future direction of human-computer interface. The program costs $2,500, and requires between eight and ten hours of study each week.

Short Term Courses: Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality specialists design and test simulated realities with user interfaces. Augmented reality specialists use wearable tech to layer simulated realities overtop of daily life.

The University of California, San Diego and edX have a professional certificate program in VR app development. Over three courses, students will study computer graphics, the fundamentals of VR, and the creation of VR applications. Individual topics include motion prediction, 3D stereo, lens distortion, time warp, and other VR optimizations to create a fluidic experience for users. Working with Unity 3D and OpenGL, graduates leave the program with working VR apps of their own. The program costs a total of $267, but each course may be taken individually, either for free or for a certificate. The latter option costs $99 per course.