# Four Core Skills Needed for Machine Learning

Machine LearningModelingposted by ODSC Team June 21, 2022 ODSC Team

Getting started with machine learning can be a daunting task. There are many opinions on the subject and some disagreements about where to start. But today, we want to show you the best path forward in your machine learning journey. Getting started won’t be easy, but having a map to your goal will get you where you want to be skill-wise in no time with these core machine learning skills.

**What Core Machine Learning Skills Should I learn, and Why?**

Though there are many choices, we’ve identified four critical skills that, if learned, will get you started in machine learning and propel you from beginner to expert in due time. While these skills won’t teach you how to perform machine learning, they act as fundamental and core machine learning skills to give you a solid foundation to start your machine learning career.

**Linear Algebra **

We know, most of us haven’t touched algebra since college and it was likely intermediate level. But the thing is this subject is an essential skill because it’s considered to be the heart of the vast majority of machine learning applications. Here, you’ll develop an important understanding of the theory behind machine learning, and eventually deep learning while giving you the insights you need on how algorithms work.

**Calculus**

Yes, another field within math. But it’s not as bad as you might think. Calculus is an important topic as machine learning provides you with a core understanding of mathematical concepts that are used which in turn will give you an understanding of optimization of complex functions used in machine learning. Here you’ll learn concepts such as the gradient descent algorithm which is used to minimize an error function. And with anything data-related, errors aren’t your friend. In short, what you learn with concepts in calculus will deliver the optimization you need in any future ML project.

**Statistics & Probability**

You might be asking, why should you learn any degree of statistics and probability as a beginner. We’re happy that you asked! It’s all about knowing the data. There are three key factors when it comes to probability — what does the data look like, what can we expect from observations, and finally the limits on observations. These methods are important because they allow you to find answers to questions related to the data being used. If you don’t understand your data, how can you train your machine learning project on it?

Finally, with statistics, you’ll develop the skills that you need to work with the data present. It also allows you to summarize large data sets to provide your project with expectations and expected results. You can see if two variables are related and make predictions. Both are very important for any machine learning project.

**Computer Science**

This is where the rubber meets the road. With key software concepts learned in computer science. In the end, you’re putting together programming languages that are attempting to mimic human thinking. By learning computer science, you’ll build the foundations that you need, such as algorithms and data structures which are critical within the machine learning world.

**Learn all of these core skills with the Ai+ Training Machine Learning Bootcamp**

There’s a lot to learn here on how to start machine learning, and it may be difficult to know where to start. With the **Machine Learning Fundamentals Bootcamp** as part of Ai+ Training, you can learn all of these skills on-demand, at your own pace. Components include:

**Linear Algebra for Machine Learning: **This topic, Intro to Linear Algebra, is the first in the Machine Learning Foundations series. It is essential because linear algebra lies at the heart of most machine learning approaches and is especially predominant in deep learning, the branch of ML at the forefront of today’s artificial intelligence advances.

**Calculus for Machine Learning:** This topic, Calculus I: Limits & Derivatives, introduces the mathematical field of calculus — the study of rates of change — from the ground up. It is essential because computing derivatives via differentiation is the basis of optimizing most machine learning algorithms, including those used in deep learning.

**Probability and Statistics: **Probability & Information Theory introduces the mathematical fields that enable us to quantify uncertainty as well as to make predictions despite uncertainty. These fields are essential because ML algorithms are both trained by imperfect data and deployed into noisy, real-world scenarios.

**Computer Science:** This session, Algorithms & Data Structures, introduces the most important computer science topics for machine learning, enabling you to design and deploy computationally efficient data models.