5 Free Courses for Mastering Prompt Engineering

AI Basics

The Gist

  • Role relevance. Prompt engineering enhances generative AI’s effectiveness.
  • Skill value. Knowledge in prompt engineering is a high-demand, high-paying skill.
  • Course variety. Several free and comprehensive courses offer in-depth prompt engineering education.

Prompt engineering has recently gained prominence due to its significant impact on generative AI applications. By skillfully crafting prompts, the quality of the AI’s output can be greatly enhanced compared to those produced without such engineering.

CMSWire recently published an article on how to use prompt engineering for marketing; however, comprehensive courses are available for those seeking a more in-depth understanding of what some are describing as both a science and an art form. This article will tell you about the top five free courses in prompt engineering.

What Is Prompt Engineering and Why Is It Important?

Prompt engineering is a crucial element in the process of effectively using generative AI. It involves the strategic crafting of input text prompts to guide the AI model’s output toward a desired outcome. This process is essential because the quality and specific text used in the input prompt can significantly influence the AI’s generated content.

A well-engineered prompt can lead to more accurate, relevant and creative results, thereby maximizing the potential of the AI model. Whether it’s for content creation, data analysis, or problem-solving, prompt engineering plays a vital role in harnessing the full power of generative AI.

Michael Maximoff, co-founder and managing partner at Belkins, a B2B lead generation agency, told CMSWire that prompt engineering can be compared to what programming was a few decades ago — a completely new approach with no limits in sight. “Prompt Engineering is AI literacy, and if you consider AI important, then you should probably look into learning the basics and experimenting with it.”

A recent LinkedIn article on Prompt Engineer jobs indicated that prompt engineers can expect a salary range of $175,000 to $335,000 per year, while a Business Insider article said the salary could be as high as $375,000. Clearly, gaining a deeper understanding of prompt engineering can enhance one’s skillset with a particularly valuable skill.

Akshay Walimbe, co-founder of Alpha Developer Team, and author of Talking to AI: Learn to Create Great Prompts for Any AI, a book that was written with the vision of simplifying prompt engineering for everyone, spoke with CMSWire about the value of this new technology. He told CMSWire that prompt engineering is critical in the realm of natural language processing (NLP) since it allows us to use and steer language models efficiently. “Prompt engineering entails carefully designing and drafting instructions or inquiries for these models to obtain desired results. It is critical in enhancing the quality, relevance, and dependability of generated responses,” explained Walimbe.

Prompt engineering is not only important for brands that aim to use generative AI for the creation of marketing or advertising copy, rather, it is an important part of the process of generating precise, correct information, and more importantly, eliminating inherent biases. “These models are trained on massive volumes of data, but if not properly guided, they may produce replies that are incomplete, biased, or erroneous,” said Walimbe. “We may lead the models to provide more trustworthy and relevant outputs by creating appropriate prompts and improving their utility for a variety of applications.”

Related Article: Prompt Engineering and Its Vital Role in AI-Driven Marketing

OpenAI and DeepLearning.AI: ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Developers

The ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Developers course was put together by Isa Fulford of OpenAI and Andrew Ng of DeepLearning.AI, and features nine video chapters that go into detail about:

  • An Introduction to Prompt Engineering
  • Guidelines
  • Iterative
  • Summarizing
  • Inferring
  • Transforming
  • Expanding
  • Chatbot
  • The Conclusion

One should note that in spite of being about prompt engineering, unlike many other courses that are focused on the creation of prompts for use with the ChatGPT web interface, this one is focused on leveraging the power of large language models (LLMs) by using API calls to quickly build AI applications.

This course takes the student through some prompting best practices for software development, then goes into common use cases, summarizing, inferring, transforming, and expanding. Finally, the student is taught how to build a chatbot using an LLM.

Related Article: Explore AI to Discover Your Best Customer Experience Prompts

Coursera: Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT

The Coursera Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT course — which is taught by Jules White, associate professor of Computer Science at Vanderbilt University, — is an extensive six-week course that takes the student through the basics, and then moves on to the more complex intricacies of prompt engineering. There are over 30 videos in the course that total almost nine hours of learning, as well as many written discourses on the topic.

Topics in the course include:

  • Course Introduction
  • Introduction to Prompts
  • Prompt Patterns I
  • Few-Shot Examples
  • Prompt Patterns II
  • Prompt Patterns III

Course materials are free; however, if the student wishes to take the weekly tests and receive a certificate of completion, the cost is $49.

Denise Hemke, chief product officer at Checkr, a scalable, automated SaaS background-checking service, told CMSWire that she highly recommends the Coursera prompt engineering course, which offers the student around 18 hours of coursework and delves into advanced prompt patterns to help them perfect their AI outputs.

“Prompt engineering is such an in-demand skill that those who become proficient ahead of the curve can earn annual salaries in the multi-hundreds of thousands — learning now could change the trajectory of your career,” said Hemke. “With the right prompt engineering, you gain better control and reliability over AI outputs and have a greater ability to reduce biases.”

LearnPrompting.org: Introductory Course On Prompt Engineering

LearnPrompting offers a free Introductory Course On Prompt Engineering. Although the course is admittedly tailored to beginners, it is also described as “the most comprehensive prompt engineering course available.” The content of the course takes the student from an introduction to AI all the way through advanced prompt engineering techniques, so it has something for everyone, regardless of prior experience.

This is an extremely detailed course that teaches the complexities of prompt engineering. In fact, many of the prompt engineering courses that are available, including those we are looking at in this article, have used material from this course.

Maximoff told CMSWire that Learn Prompting is a fantastic free course for learning prompt engineering from zero to mastery. “The modules are organized from beginner to advanced, and they offer a variety of lessons for all things concerning prompt engineering,” said Maximoff. “The content from the course is used in so many other courses, which serves to further cement the effectiveness and knowledge contained in the course.” Maximoff reiterated that the course is simple, free, easy to navigate and packed with high-end prompt engineering content.

Topics are discussed in detail, examples are provided, and visual aids are included to both keep the course entertaining and provide context. In the introductory (Basics) chapter, the following topics are discussed:

  • Prompting
  • Giving Instructions
  • Role Prompting
  • Few Shot Prompting
  • Combining Techniques
  • Formalizing Prompts
  • Chatbot Basics
  • Pitfalls of LLMs
  • LLM Settings
  • Understanding AI Minds
  • Starting Your Journey

The next chapters focus on Basic Applications, Intermediate, Applied Prompting, Advanced Applications, Reliability, Image Prompting, Prompt Hacking, Tools, Prompt Tuning, and more. All topics are referenced and included in a detailed bibliography. This course is among the most useful for those intending to use prompt engineering for marketing, advertising and content creation.

Prompt Engineering Institute: Master Prompt Engineering

The Master Prompt Engineering course dives deep into prompt engineering and large language models, and the author Sunil Ramlochan takes the student through 15 comprehensive chapters including:

  • Master Prompt Engineering Course
  • What is Prompt Engineering?
  • What is a Prompt Engineer: The Developing and Essential Role of Prompt Engineers in AI-Powered Systems
  • Unlock the Power of AI with Effective Prompts
  • Introduction to Large Language Models
  • Master Prompt Engineering: Demystifying Prompting Through a Structured Approach
  • Master Prompt Engineering: Prompt Recipes – A Framework for Reusable AI Prompts
  • Master Prompting Concepts: Zero-Shot and Few-Shot Prompting
  • Master Prompt Engineering: LLM Embedding and Fine-tuning
  • Introduction to Chain of Thought (CoT) Prompting
  • Master Prompting Techniques: Knowledge Generation Prompting
  • Master Prompting Techniques: Self-Consistency Prompting
  • Mastering Prompt Engineering: Prompt Libraries For LLMs
  • Reflexion: An Iterative Approach to LLM Problem-Solving
  • Unlocking AI with Priming: Enhancing Context and Conversation in LLMs like ChatGPT

Although the PromptEngineering website could be more polished, the material that Ramlochan has created is well written, easily understood and progressively takes the student deeper into the inner workings of large language models and how prompt engineering can drive the most useful prompts from generative AI models.

Prompt Engineering Guide

The Prompt Engineering Guide is not billed as a course; however, it is definitively a full-featured, comprehensive look at prompt engineering and large language models, and makes a great resource for the prompting student. It includes learning guides, models, lectures, references, new LLM capabilities and tools related to prompt engineering. Topics covered include:

  • LLM Settings
  • Basics of Prompting
  • General Tips for Designing Prompts
  • Examples of Prompts
  • Zero-shot Prompting
  • Few-shot Prompting
  • Chain-of-Thought Prompting
  • Self-Consistency
  • Generate Knowledge Prompting
  • Automatic Prompt Engineer
  • Active-Prompt
  • Directional Stimulus Prompting
  • ReAct
  • Multimodal CoT
  • Graph Prompting
  • Program-Aided Language Models
  • Generating Data
  • Generating Code
  • A comprehensive look at Flan, ChatGPT, LLaMA and GPT-4 models
  • Adversarial Prompting
  • Factuality
  • Biases

A listing of the latest LLM, AI, generative AI, and AI-related papers is available, with links to each paper, as is an alphabetized directory of literally every large language model and generative AI application that has been released to date. The folks behind the Prompt Engineering Guide are working with Maven Learning to provide a full course on Prompt Engineering for LLMs, and if the guide is any indication of what can be expected, it will be worth signing up for.

By learning prompt engineering, employees can not only become more of an asset for the businesses they work for, but they can also play a role in helping the public trust AI, which will enable it to be more widely adopted and accepted.

Cath Brands, CMO at Flintfox, a global intelligent pricing platform, told CMSWire that as a marketing executive, she has full faith in AI and its importance for building a new, better world. “I see prompt engineering as an opportunity for all of us to contribute and make the best use of the technology.”

Bonus: Prompt Engineering Courses on YouTube

People who are more visually inclined may prefer to watch videos to learn a new subject rather than read text. Brands told CMSWire that when it comes to free prompt engineering courses, her favorite was created by the YouTuber H-EDUCATE. Students can access H-EDUCATE’s prompt engineering course at Class Central, where it is broken down into 23 short videos, or via his YouTube channel where it can be found as a single video.

“This course covers all the basics you need to understand and master prompt engineering on your own,” said Brands. “Getting started is always the hardest part, and this is one of those guides purposefully created to help you get started so that you can sail freely and master prompt engineering on your own.”

H-EDUCATE’s course is a great primer to quickly learn about generative AI and prompt engineering. Although it is short, it covers the basics of AI, explains terminologies that are used, the function of prompt engineering, types of prompts, advanced prompts, provides the student with six different examples of prompt engineering, and even goes so far as to explain what models, tokens and temperatures are.

YouTube has many videos on prompt engineering, including Aleksandar Popovic’s series titled Introduction to Prompt Engineering, which is comprised of nine videos totaling about an hour of content. Another YouTube Channel, All About AI, has a Prompt Engineering playlist that consists of 23 videos covering everything you could possibly want to learn about the topic (along with a huge number of videos on various generative AI models).

Additionally, All About AI has a 23-minute video titled System Prompt Engineering: Ultimate Guide, which is a type of prompt engineering that is designed to shape a generative AI model’s behavior, which includes giving it a name and persona, assigning roles, providing context and defining tasks.

Bonus 2: Paid Prompt Engineering Courses

Although this article is primarily discussing free prompt engineering courses, there are a few really good courses that require a fee, some of which are quite reasonable. Here are a few of the best:

  • Certified ChatGPT Expert – This course from the Blockchain Council is a six-hour course that consists of six modules that cover Introduction to ChatGPT and AI, AI and Machine Learning Concepts, Types of AI, ChatGPT Functionalities and Working, ChatGPT Prompt Engineering and ChatGPT Job Opportunities. It costs $199 and comes with a certificate upon completion of the course.
  • Master Prompting ChatGPT, GPT-4 and Large Language Models – This course from Prompt Hero discusses large language models, next-word prediction, Natural Language Processing, Word2Vec, Transformers,GPT4, ChatGPT, ChatGPT API, use cases and more. It costs $49 and comes with a certificate upon completion of the course.
  • The Complete Prompt Engineering for AI Bootcamp – This course from Udemy includes 6.5 hours of video and two articles in 17 sections that cover the five pillars of prompting, ChatGPT, Midjourney, Github Copilot, GPT-3, DALL-E2, Stable Diffusion, advanced text model practices and tactics, image model practices and tactics, and more. The course costs $16.58 and comes with a certificate upon completion.

Final Thoughts on Prompt Engineering Courses

Prompt engineering is an evolving science that plays a crucial role in maximizing the capacity and effectiveness of generative AI. These courses offer a wealth of knowledge and a unique perspective to help students master the art of prompt engineering. The true power of generative AI is based on our ability to effectively communicate with it, and prompt engineering is a key skill in that endeavor.

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