The ChatGPT Gold Rush Is On: Training and Certificate Options Abound
Of all the hot topics in IT right now, large language based generative models are among the very hottest. And at the top of that nearly incandescent list, we find OpenAI’s ChatGPT platform (and related spin-offs that Microsoft is creating for Bing, Office, Visual Studio, and other environments willy-nilly).
Thus, I found myself asking the question, “Is there a ChatGPT certification in the works?” So far, I can’t find anything. Nor does a review of the OpenAI jobs posted on the company website or through LinkedIn suggest that they’re building a cert program right now.
But gosh, it’s clear that nature abhors a vacuum in this area, because training search site Class Central lists 193 courses available on ChatGPT, of which 44 offer certificates of completion, competency, or whatever. Only one is free right now, as shown in the search results graphic I put together:
Who’s In the Certificate Mix?
By examining only those offerings that Course Central (I’ll refer to them as CC for brevity going forward) offers, I see the following potentially noteworthy parties pop up:
Colleges and universities: Vanderbilt, MIT, UMich
Major online providers: Coursera, Udemy, SkillShare
Of all these players, Udemy seems to have splashed out the biggest, with between one and two dozen ChatGPT items currently available and more no doubt coming soon.
Because You Can Train Up on ChatGPT ... Should You?
It’s always interesting getting into a field just as it’s starting to coalesce. Early adopters and learners often have to ensure the hard knocks necessary to put a body of received wisdom on best practices, most useful approaches, workable learning tools with related labs and exercises, and so forth and so on.
Given that LLM technology is already pretty widespread and looks to bulk up tremendously from its current state, venturing into this area is probably less risky career-wise, than other IT phenoms in the past have been. But you must still proceed with a certain amount of caution when considering courses and/or certifications, and when weighing their costs in time, effort and money against their potential future value for your career.
If you look to Microsoft Azure right now, the company already offers multiple AI engineer and related certs that are gathering increasing LLM coverage and content as they evolve. Find them described at the AI Engineer page on the Microsoft Learn website. They currently include:
Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals (Exam AI-900)
Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Engineer Associate (Exam AI-102)
Microsoft Certified Azure Data Scientist Associate (Exam DP-100)
Where the Gold Rush Happens, Certs Will Follow
Outside the Microsoft offerings, companies such as Google Cloud Training offer Machine Learning and AI courses, as does IBM. Oracle currently offers machine learning classes, but no AI-labeled items as yet.
In general I would look to major cloud and AI players as being those most likely to offer AI certifications in the nearer term (especially those involved with LLM technologies). But it’s still a bit early just yet, so it might not happen until later in 2024 as a reasonable guesstimate.
Keep your eyes peeled, and your pencils sharpened. Of course, I’ll keep you posted, too.