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Furthering your education with a master’s degree in machine learning is the best way to gain a competitive edge in the job market. Machine learning is part of the broader artificial intelligence field. It is focused on training computer systems using data to help them learn to identify patterns in data.

Whether you are coming from a computer science or a data science background, a graduate machine learning course could help you scale your career as big data is becoming a critical source of mission-critical business insights.

Let’s learn more about the best masters in machine learning programs, what they cover, and the careers they prepare you for.

Master’s in Machine Learning

If you are thinking about pursuing a master’s in machine learning, here is what you can expect to learn:

  • Advanced introduction to machine learning
  • Convex optimization
  • Algorithms for NLP
  • Data analysis
  • Machine learning techniques, theory, and methods
  • Neural networks for Natural Language Processing
  • Regression analysis

Most master’s in machine learning programs expect you to have a decent understanding of programming, statistics, math, linear algebra, matrix calculus, tensor calculus, probability and statistics.

Graduate students can expect to study for two to three years or more to complete their master’s degree in machine learning. The time it takes to complete your degree program depends on the program’s flexibility and whether you choose a part- or full-time model.

However, some institutions offer accelerated programs which take a shorter time. You can also pursue a part-time time online program which might take longer than the regular two years to complete.

Payment options are also flexible including financial aid for eligible students and lower fees for instate students and online courses.

Career Opportunities in Machine Learning

The demand for machine learning specialists continues to grow as companies from all industries look for ways to analyze data to improve efficiency and provide better products and services.

Machine learning master’s programs teach both generalist and specialized skills which can be applied in a variety of positions including:

Data scientist

Data scientists are responsible for data analytics activities within an organization. Data scientists rely on skills derived from different fields including computer science, math, statistics, computational data science, and information technology. They also need skills in deep learning, data visualizations, and programming.

Machine learning engineer

Machine learning engineers use programming languages to run experiments with machine learning libraries. Through their experiments, machine learning engineers bring data science best practices to the field, helping data teams to improve their work.

Computational Linguist

A computational linguist has specialized knowledge in computer programming and linguistics. They are the people behind voice recognition and translation applications. Their jobs involve understanding how human beings use language and training computers to understand the nuances of language so they can understand and use it without human intervention.

Business Intelligence Developer

A business intelligence developer is a highly sought-after expert whose responsibility is to apply skills in machine learning and data science to help businesses. Business intelligence developers are skilled in data analytics, communication, problem-solving and statistical skills.

Universities in the United States Best for Machine Learning Masters Programs

Considering various factors such as the research areas, courses offered, duration of the program, location of the University, and job prospects, here are some universities in the United States with the best masters in machine learning program:

Columbia University

Columbia University offers a Master’s in Computer Science with Machine Learning Track. Those who choose this program will take various courses covering artificial intelligence, NLP, computer vision, graphic models, and machine learning for data science.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon offers a Master of Science in Machine learning which equips learners with various machine learning skills. Its curriculum includes an introduction to machine learning, deep reinforcement learning, probabilistic graphical models, probability and mathematical statistics, intermediate statistics, and convex optimization. Applicants to this program must have a strong background in mathematics, programming, statistics, and data analytics.

Duke University

Duke’s Data Analytics and Machine Learning Master’s Program dives into the mathematical fundamentals of big data in addition to machine learning and information theory.

Harvard University

Havard’s Masters in Data Science equips learners with skills in machine learning, data acquisition, analysis of large datasets, and statistics.

Northwestern University

Northwestern offers a Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence to train students on applying various concepts of machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language and automated decision making.

Georgia Tech University

Georgia Tech’s Masters of Science in Computer Science with Machine Learning Specialization includes courses in statistical machine learning, deep learning, machine learning algorithms, and big data systems and analysis.

Universities with the Best Master’s in Machine Learning Online Programs

For those who prefer the flexibility and convenience of online courses, here are some of the universities offering the best masters in machine learning programs online:

Columbia University

Columbia University’s Computer Science Master’s Degree - Machine Learning is a fully online program designed for those who want to develop knowledge in machine learning techniques and applications.

SMU Lyle

Lyle’s Online Master of Science in Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence Specialization prepares graduates for a career in the highly disruptive AI field. The course curriculum covers concepts such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and data mining.

CSU Global

CSU Global’s Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning is a fully-accredited and fully-online program covering core areas such as principles of programming, software development, foundations of computer vision, principles of machine learning and a capstone project.

Georgia Tech University

Georgia Tech offers an Online Master of Science Computer Science with a Specialization in Machine Learning. The program covers various courses in graduate algorithms, machine learning, computer vision, AI, Ethics, and Society.

Northeastern University

Northeastern’s MPS in Applied Machine Intelligence is a fully online program which allows students to choose between part-time and full-time modes. The program covers topics in data management, big data, artificial intelligence, AI system technologies, experiential network and capstone.

San Diego University

The University of Sandiego’s Master of Science in Applied Artificial Intelligence is an online program that offers flexibility to learners who wish to complete their masters degree online. The applied artificial intelligence degree covers areas such as robotics, computer vision and text analysis. students also complete three units dedicated to an AI capstone project.

Stevens Institute of Technology

Steven’s MS in Machine Learning introduces learners to the basics of machine learning and its applications in the real world to prepare them to develop innovative technologies and solutions for the future.

Drexel University

Drexel University caters to learners who wish to pursue their Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning. This program requires a background in computer science.


Machine learning specialists are in high demand around the world. As more people seek formal education in machine learning, getting a master’s degree can make a major difference in your career progression and earnings.