AI is arguably the most transformative technology of this decade, impacting almost every facet of society. The market has grown exponentially in the last couple of years. The 2024 market size is $305.9 billion, with a cumulative growth rate of 15.83%, which is higher than most tech sectors. This makes this field an attractive career path. This blog post will review two IBM AI certifications, the course structure, the opportunities they could afford, the pricing, the exams, and some drawbacks.

We will consider two IBM prominent certifications that are highly regarded in the industry, the AI certifications are:

  1. IBM Applied AI Certificate
  2. IBM AI Engineer Certificate

1. IBM Applied AI Professional Certification Program

AI Skills Are Much Needed In Today’s World

The IBM Applied AI Professional certification is a beginner’s level AI certification to help you gain knowledge and skills in AI technology, its applications, and use cases. This program is made up of 7 courses that can help you learn and understand AI, build AI tools, and kickstart a career in AI technology. Each course series focuses on different key aspects of gaining professional AI skills. The component courses include the following;

  1. Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
  2. Introduction to Generative AI and its Applications
  3. Prompt Engineering Basics in Generative AI
  4. Building AI-Powered Chatbots without Programming
  5. Python for Data Science, AI, and Development
  6. Developing AI Applications with Python And Flask
  7. Building AI Applications with Watson APIs

Completing the IBM Applied AI Professional Certification will help you understand and build skills in using tools like Natural Language Processing, Data Science, image processing, OpenCV, IBM Watson AI Services, and APIs.

1.1 Who Is It For?

The certification is for everyone – beginners, developers, managers, AI researchers, students, etc including those with non-technical backgrounds. Although it is not a requirement or prerequisite, having some basic programming skills in Python is helpful. Python is needed to build and deploy AI applications. For beginners who have no such knowledge, there is an Introductory Python course included in the course content to help overcome such barriers.

The IBM Watson AI Services and APIs also reduce the level of actual coding or programming required to create AI products and tools.

1.2 Career Opportunites And Salaries

There are currently not enough AI Professionals to accommodate the massive explosion of opportunities in the AI industry. This certification can help you explore some of these career opportunities. Some specific disciplines you can take advantage of are;

  • AI Developer
  • Data Science
  • Data Engineering
  • Operations/Marketing/Quantitative Analyst
  • Software Analyst
  • Software Developer/Analyst/Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer

The Salaries can vary widely depending on varying factors. The typical salary range for these AI disciplines is $90k -150k/year (according to data from Glassdoor and

1.3 Duration and Cost of the Certification

The Certification program has about 90 hrs of training content, across 7 different courses. It is available through a Coursera subscription of $49/month. Only a 7-day free subscription trial is available. The estimated time for completion is 3 months (at 10 hours a week) for persons with some background in Programming and data science. It may be a bit longer if you are an absolute beginner without such background knowledge. Most persons will complete the program between 3-6 months for a total cost range of $147- $294 subscription cost.

Upon completion, the certification is in the form of an Online badge that can be displayed on your resume and LinkedIn profile to alert prospective employers of your skills. The course is completely an online course from IBM using Coursera as the training platform. The tutors are IBM Certified tutors.

Registration is available here

1.4 Industry Recognitions -Is It Worth It?

IBM is a reputable global technology brand that has the trust and recognition of many employers of labor. The IBM Applied AI professional certificate is one of the most practical and useful AI certifications. The IBM brand itself is officially recognized by the American Council on Education. (This also means that some of its certifications are eligible for some Degree credits).

The IBM Applied Certification is certainly worth the time and resources you may invest in it. It is an ideal certificate to start a career in AI technology.

1.5 Degree Credits

Completion of the IBM Applied AI Professional Certification can also qualify for some Degree credits to study at some universities. For example, in the MSc. Data Science at Ball University.

1.6 Pros of the Certification

  • It is a relatively cheap way to acquire skills in AI technology (compared to a university degree)
  • IBM is a Globally recognized brand
  • The Certification program is robust and each lesson is accompanied by hands-on practice to reinforce learning and real-world use
  • It is a great way to start a career in AI. The entry is suitable for both candidates with technical and non-technical backgrounds.
  • It gives you access to IBM’s global network and resources
  • It increases your career advancement opportunities

1.7 Cons of the Certification

  • Its degree credit is very limited to a few Universities (currently 1)
  • The skill validation is in the form of an Online badge from IBM and a Professional certification from Coursera. (Although the Online Badge can be linked to your LinkedIn profile, Shareable on social media, etc)
  • Some beginners may struggle with some aspects of the course
  • The monthly subscription plan can be sometimes overwhelming.

2. IBM AI Engineering Professional Certification Program

This is one of the top-rated, mid-level professional certifications in Artificial intelligence. It is a 6-course certification program that is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills to become an AI Engineer or Machine Learning Engineer. You will learn to master the fundamental concepts of Machine Learning and Deep Learning, practical skills in building, training, and deploying types of deep architectures, etc.

The certification program comprises 6 different course series, these are;

  1. Machine Learning with Python
  2. Introduction to Deep Learning and Neural Network with Keras
  3. Introduction to Computer Vision and Image Processing
  4. Deep Neural Networks with Pytorch
  5. Building Deep Learning Models with TensorFlow
  6. AI Capstone Project with Deep Learning

2.1 Who Is It For?

This AI certification program is for professionals who want to master fundamental skills in Machine Learning and Deep Learning And acquire skills to advance a career in AI technology. It is not a beginners’ program, the prerequisite skills to complete the program include;

For best performance, IBM recommends the completion of either or both the IBM Data Science Professional Certificate and the IBM Applied AI Professional Certificate.

2.2 Career Opportunites And Salary

The career opportunities are in AI-related roles. You could get a job as an AI Engineer, a Deep Learning Engineer, or another AI discipline. Some of these are as follows;

  • Data Science
  • Data Engineering
  • Quantitative Analyst
  • AI Developer
  • Marketing Analyst
  • Software Analyst etc.

According to Glassdoor, the salary range for an AI Engineer in the US is $121k – $178k/year

2.3 Duration and Cost of the Certification

The total program duration (all 6 courses) is about 95 hours of study and hands-on practical. The estimated time of completion is about 2 months (at 10 hours a week of study time), self-paced, and delivered online through the Coursera training platform. Since the Coursera subscription is $49 per month, it puts the cost of the certificate at $98-196 (2-4 months subscription).

The course is taught by IBM professional tutors. Upon completing the course, you will earn an online Badge from IBM and a Professional certificate from Coursera.

Registration for the IBM AI Engineer Professional certification program is available here

2.4 Industry Recognitions

The IBM AI Engineer Professional Certificate is one of the top-rated AI certifications and is well-regarded by Employers. It is well worth it as an AI certification choice for career advancement. IBM is a well-reputed industry giant in the field of AI as well as other fields in tech.

2.5 Degree Credits

You can also earn some degree credits upon completion of the IBM AI Engineer Professional Certificate in some selective Institutions, these are ;

3. Benefits of IBM AI Certifications

AI skills are increasingly becoming very important, getting some AI training can help you advance your current career or forge a new career in AI. IBM certification can help reduce the entry barrier. Instead of the traditional 3-5 years University degree, you could gain adequate skills in just a couple of months and at a cheaper rate. (This does not in any way diminish the value of a degree). Some other benefits of the IBM AI certifications include;

  • They provide you with career advancement opportunities and higher pay
  • Access to IBM’s global network and Opportunities
  • Industry-wide recognition of the IBM brand.
  • Accelerated entry into the AI industry at a cheaper cost.

4. Conclusions

The IBM Applied AI Professional Certificate and the IBM AI Engineering Professional Certificate- are two industry-recognized AI certifications that can help you start and advance a career in AI. The IBM Applied AI Certificate is a beginner-level cert for people with a technical background and non-technical background. It will help you learn the foundations and build and deploy simple AI tools.

The IBM AI Engineering Professional certificate is an advanced AI Certification for people who want to explore advanced concepts, build machine learning algorithms, and take advanced AI roles. Both courses are delivered online through the Coursera platform. And are certainly worth some consideration to advance your career in AI.


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