In this fast-paced world, we want every task to be completed instantly. With high-speed internet and a smartphone in our hands, we have, lately, become habitual of simply going through some clicks and accomplishing so many things – booking a cab, planning a holiday, watching a video, transferring money to someone, ordering food, connecting with anyone through social media, and a lot more. Even when it comes to learning something, we think about the timelines involved. People, who want to learn machine learning from scratch also have a similar question in mind – How long will it take me to learn machine learning in India? 

Well, the answer is – It depends!

Though this may sound vague, it is true. It depends on a number of factors – your educational background, work experience, prior knowledge of the field, any training or certifications pursued, and lastly, the intensity with which you learn the concepts. For example, a person who has taken machine learning courses in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, or any other city may take less time to go through the ML topics compared to the one who studies independently. 

Check out the rest of the article to get an answer in detail and then analyze how much time would you take to become familiar with the machine learning world. 

Starting with Machine Learning

We have so far learned that machines do not have a brain of their own, they need human command to perform actions they are designed for. So, Machine Learning basically aims to provide computer systems the ability to ‘think and learn’ just like humans do and execute manual tasks as desired. Such systems learn from past experience (feedback) and improve over time to deliver accurate results. Machine learning is an important subset of artificial intelligence which has been used in a number of present-day applications like driverless cars, recommendation engines of eCommerce websites, facial recognition, fraud detection, and voice assistants. 

Discussed below are the factors on which the time is taken to learn machine learning depends. 

Educational background – Machine learning engineers are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in fields like computer science, information technology, statistics, applied mathematics, or other related domains. Such educational background is helpful in understanding the ML concepts easily. With proper training, such professionals can learn machine learning thoroughly within 1 to 2 years. This, however, doesn’t mean that people from non-technical backgrounds cannot start an ML career. They may take longer but will be able to understand the concepts gradually. 

Technical Skills Possessed – Any IT field is incomplete without the knowledge of programming languages. The same holds true for machine learning, you will need to be proficient in using at least one programming language, preferably Python, R, SQL, Java, or C++.  Next, you will have to become familiar with the following:

  • Writing algorithms, data structures, computer architecture
  • Core math including linear algebra, calculus, probability, and statistics
  • Natural language processing, neural networks, deep learning
  • Data modeling, machine learning libraries like TensorFlow, Theano
  • Tools and frameworks like Hadoop, Apache Spark, Pytorch Jupyter Notebook, and Apache Kafka

Gaining all these skills may take you around 6 months. As some of the above-mentioned skills are related to software engineering, we mentioned that professionals with such background will be able to learn ML concepts faster. 

Work experience – Do not assume that any kind of experience would be useful when searching for a machine learning engineer job. If you have previously worked in data analysis, data science, or business intelligence, then you can seamlessly move to a machine learning career. An analytical mindset is crucial to a machine learning job and the above fields train you to build it. The ability to share trends in a meaningful way, build interactive visualizations, and synthesize information also makes a difference. Additionally, if you worked on developing applications, used Python programming, advanced signal processing techniques, and APIs, your experience will be useful when switching into a machine learning career. 

Training courses – Some people do not get time for self-study and so take up training courses online to learn machine learning from scratch. Such ML courses are often 3 to 6 months long. You will go through the concepts involved, solve quizzes and assignments, work on virtual labs and solve real-world problems using industry projects. As you will be taught by industry experts who are aware of the various learning needs of students, you will be able to complete the course on time. An important thing to note here is you need to be dedicated enough and practice what you learn constantly so as to remember everything and apply them on the job. 

To sum up, professionals with recommended educational background, work experience, and the required skills can learn machine learning within 6 to 12 months. However, it may take you over 2 years to handle the responsibilities of a machine learning engineer entirely. Your interest, dedication towards learning, and consistency are what will help master the ML concepts faster. Now that you have a complete understanding of the timelines, step into the world of machine learning soon and you will have a rewarding career ahead.

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