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10 Best NLP Courses to Learn Natural Language Processing

Posted in Data Science
NLP Courses

If you want to learn natural language processing, taking a few beginner NLP courses is the best way to get started. NLP programs will take you through the basics of natural language processing and can even lead up to NLP certification.

According to GlassDoor, NLP salaries average $124,000 — which isn’t surprising. Natural language processing is a specific and complex discipline within computer science. It’s also an exceptionally in-demand skill across computer science, data science, and even marketing.

Today, we’re going to take a look at ten of the best NLP courses available today.

Why Should You Learn Natural Language Processing?

Processing natural language is uniquely challenging. People speak in ways that computers don’t naturally understand.

Today, NLP is used for user interfaces, artificially intelligent algorithms, and big data mining. More insights and patterns can be gleaned from data if the computer is able to process natural language.

As an example, a legal machine learning algorithm can comb through large volumes of emails to mark data that could be associated with a lawsuit. Alternatively, a marketing algorithm can comb through comments and reviews to analyze sentiment and intent.

Python is the most popular method of natural processing language. Through the right NLP training, you can advance your career as a programmer, marketer, or data scientist.

What Should You Look for in a Natural Language Processing Course?

There are a few questions we asked when we looked at the “best of the best” natural language processing courses:

  • How long is it? Some people want an accelerated course (less than a few weeks) while others want an in-depth course (closer to a few months).
  • What does it cover? Natural language processing can range from very beginner material to extremely advanced.
  • What language is it in? Some courses cover the basic principles of natural language processing, while others specifically cover a language such as Python.
  • Does it offer certification? A certification can help you get a job if you’re interested in the natural language field.
  • Does it have live instruction? Some people prefer to learn on their own, while others would prefer a little help.

With that in mind, we can now dive into some of the best certifications and lessons for natural language processing. These are spread over beginner, intermediate, and advanced courses, with some of them as short as an hour, and some of them as long as three months.

The 10 Best NLP Courses for Learning Natural Language Processing

1. Coursera’s Natural Language Processing Specialization

Coursera’s Natural Language Processing Specialization

Duration: 4 Months

Difficulty: Intermediate

Coursera’s Natural Language Processing Specialization covers the intricacies of NLP as far as data is concerned. That includes logistic regression, naive Bayes, word vectors, sentiment analysis, complete analogies, and neural networks. For those who want to learn more, Coursera has a wide array of NLP courses that are also provided by DeepLearning.AI.

DeepLearning.AI is a company that is dedicated to teaching programmers more about artificial intelligence, neural networks, and NLP. Those who are interested in getting into machine learning or artificial intelligence can view their courses to identify their favorite disciplines.

PROS

Flexible schedule.

Shareable certificate.

100% online.

CONS

✘ High-level and challenging.

✘ Not targeted to programmers.

Sign Up For the Course

2. Udemy’s NLP - Natural Language Processing with Python

Udemy’s NLP - Natural Language Processing with Python

Duration: 9 Sections, Self-Paced

Difficulty: Intermediate

Udemy’s NLP course introduces programmers to natural language processing with the Python programming language. The course includes regular expressions, stemming, lemmatization, visualization, Word2Vec, and more. This course is open to employees of Apple, Netflix, and Eventbrite.

Python is the most popular programming language for natural language processing. Courses that focus on Python and NLP will be able to provide more real-world knowledge faster, as many NLP products have been programmed in Python.

PROS

Self-paced coursework.

Python-focused.

CONS

✘ Limited student support.

Sign Up For Course

3. Stanford’s Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning

Stanford’s Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning

Duration: 2 Months

Difficulty: Advanced

Stanford offers an entirely online introduction to Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning, an advanced class for those who already have proficiency in Python and some basic knowledge of NLP. Students will learn more about machine learning and will receive a certificate of completion from Stanford. This is the best NLP online course for those who want to improve their resume, simply because of the name recognition that Stanford offers.

Of course, you also need to pay for that recognition. The Stanford NLP course is one of the more expensive courses on this list.

PROS

Deep learning focus.

Cohort-based program with interactivity.

Provided via Stanford Online.

CONS

✘ A fairly expensive class

✘ Requires advanced knowledge.

Sign Up For Course

4. Udacity’s Master Natural Language Processing

Udacity’s Master Natural Language Processing

Duration: 3 Months

Difficulty: Advanced

Students who already know a little about Natural Language Processing can master it through Udacity’s 3-month online course. Students will learn computing with natural language and communicating with natural language. Programs include real-world projects and a flexible learning system.

This is a fairly rigorous course that includes mentorship and career services. As you master language processing, a career advisor will talk to you about your resume and the type of work you’re looking for, offering you guidance into your field. This can be a great course for those who are looking to make a career shift.

PROS

Mentorship and career services are available.

Suitable for advanced students.

CONS

✘ About $399 a month.

✘ Requires experience with Python, statistics, and machine learning.

Sign Up For Course

5. SpaCy’s Advanced NLP

SpaCy’s Advanced NLP

Duration: Self-Paced

Difficulty: Beginner

SpaCy is a modern Python library for NLP. Students can learn more about NLP and SpaCy through a set of free courses. These courses teach the basics of NLP, data analysis, processing pipelines, and training a neural network model.

SpaCy is a popular Python library, so this would be analogous to someone learning JavaScript and React. While not everyone will be using either Python or SpaCy, the material offered through the Advanced NLP course is also useful for anyone who just wants to learn more about NLP.

PROS

Free for students who want to learn SpaCy.

Entirely self-paced and accessible.

CONS

✘ Specifically covers SpaCy.

Sign Up For Course

6. Udemy’s Natural Language Processing and Text Mining Without Code

Udemy’s Natural Language Processing and Text Mining Without Code

Duration: Self-Paced

Difficulty: Beginner

A great beginner course for those who are interested in learning more about NLP without having to learn code, this self-paced class will teach you basic text-mining skills. This is the best online NLP course for those who want a natural language processing course for non-programmers. It’s ideal for marketers and others that may be interested in learning more about the science behind the data.

That being said, this isn’t the ideal course for those who actually want to program with NLP, as it may seem to be too high-level. This course is going to explain the fundamentals and theory behind NLP more than programming or using NLP algorithms.

PROS

One of the few NLP training courses for non-programmers.

Completely online and flexible.

Very affordable.

CONS

✘ Doesn’t cover programming.

Sign Up For Course

7. Edureka’s NLP Certification Training With Python

Edureka’s NLP Certification Training With Python

Duration: 3 Weeks

Difficulty: Intermediate

An intermediate to advanced NLP certification training course with live instruction. This course covers an overview of text mining, natural language processing, hands-on programming, extracting and preprocessing text, analyzing sentence structure, and more. It all finishes with an in-class project.

An in-class project can be particularly useful for those who are new to NLP, as it provides for a portfolio when the student graduates from their certification training. Students of Edureka’s class will have both a certification and a project that they can then put up on Github.

PROS

An intermediate to advanced NLP certification.

Comprehensive training including live classes.

An affordable course ($349).

CONS

✘ Accelerated, with live attendance.

Sign Up For Course

8. DeepLearning.AI’s TensorFlow Developer Professional Certificate

DeepLearning.AI’s TensorFlow Developer Professional Certificate

Duration: Self-Paced

Difficulty: Advanced

Available through Coursera, this course focuses on DeepLearning.AI’s TensorFlow. It provides a professional certificate for TensorFlower developers, who are expected to know some basic neural language processing. Through this course, students will learn more about creating neural networks for neural language processing.

This course is related to Coursera’s earlier Natural Language Processing with Python course. There are many DeepLearning.AI courses that are related to NLP. You can dig deeper into them if you want to learn more about adjacent technologies, such as neural nets.

PROS

An advanced certificate in TensorFlow.

Neural nets as well as NLP.

A flexible schedule.

CONS

✘ Specific to TensorFlow.

Sign Up For the Course

9. DataCamp’s Introduction to Natural Language Processing in Python

DataCamp’s Introduction to Natural Language Processing in Python

Duration: Self-Paced

Difficulty: Intermediate

Designed for Python programmers, DataCamp’s NLP course covers regular expressions, topic identification, named entity recognition, and more. The program includes the development of a “fake news” identifier, which serves as the end project for the class. This is a self-paced course that includes 4 hours of video and 51 exercises.

Since this is a self-paced course, there’s no mentorship or live support. But there is the advantage of a project that you will have completed by the end, which can improve your portfolio and speak to your general competency in natural language processing.

PROS

Designed for Python programmers.

Covers the basics.

CONS

✘ No mentor or live support.

✘ Only covers Python.

Sign Up For Course

10. Codecademy’s Learn How to Get Started With Natural Language Processing

Codecademy’s Learn How to Get Started With Natural Language Processing

Duration: 1 Hour

Difficulty: Beginner

If you’re not even sure where to start, this is a great place. Codecademy’s beginner’s NLP course covers the basics of what natural language processing is, how it works, why you might want to learn it, and how you can learn more. This launches directly into their Natural Language Processing certification track, which is a significantly longer course that covers more than just the basics.

Codecademy offers simpler classes for free, while the Codecademy PRO subscription offers a monthly subscription to more advanced coursework. If you sign up for the monthly Codecademy PRO subscription (which ranges in price depending on the number of months you pay for), you can gain access to this course and more.

PROS

Gives beginners important insights into NLP.

Leads directly into more in-depth courses.

Can be taken for free.

CONS

✘ Only suitable for beginners.

Sign Up For Course

NLP FAQs

Which language is best for NLP?

While there’s some debate as to what the “best” language for NLP is, Python is the most popular language. Java and R are two other popular contenders. Python wasn’t specifically designed for natural language processing, but it has proven to be a very robust, well-designed language for it.

Is learning NLP worth it?

Is it worth it to learn natural language processing? Natural language processing is a fast-growing field, as people are craving easier, more fluid interactions with their technology. Consequently, NLP is growing in demand and can be an excellent advantage in the job market.

There are a few fields that can take advantage of NLP: data science, general science, Python programming, and marketing. Marketing is an increasingly data-driven field, and individuals who can mine data are exceptionally sought after.

Is natural language processing in demand?

Natural language processing is very much in demand. Not only is it used for user interfaces today, but natural language processing is used for data mining. Nearly every industry today is using data mining to glean important insights about their clients, jobs, and industry.

You can take NLP courses online or take NLP programs in your spare time if you want to augment your current career. Certification can open substantial doorways.

Is NLP a recognized qualification?

There are certifications that you can take to learn Natural Language Processing. There is no specific qualification or certification attached to NLP itself, as it’s a broader computer science and programming concept. The best NLP courses will come with a certification that you can use on your resume.

Some of the NLP certifications that you can acquire include Stanford’s Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning and Coursera’s Natural Language Processing specialization. Each of these will give you a certificate that can be validated by an employer.

Conclusion

From beginners to more advanced learners, there are NLP courses available for everyone. Not only is NLP a fast-growing field, but it’s an exciting one with a lot of diversity. By mastering natural language processing, you can improve your hire ability within the job market — while also exploring new ways that people interact with the technology around them.

You can get started today with this primer: What is Natural Language Processing?

Want to learn some other highly in-demand skills? Check out:

Simran Kaur Arora

Simran Kaur Arora

Simran works at Hackr as a technical writer. The graduate in MS Computer Science from the well known CS hub, aka Silicon Valley, is also an editor of the website. She enjoys writing about any tech topic, including programming, algorithms, cloud, data science, and AI. Traveling, sketching, and gardening are the hobbies that interest her. View all posts by the Author

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