An introductory ChatGPT course has become one of the most … – Fortune

Thanks to the growing implementation of AI and automation, the world is in dire need of a skills revolution—and fast—at least according to many business and education leaders. 
According to a survey by IBM, executives predict that 40% of their workers will need reskill over the next three years—translating to 1.4 billion people.
Online learning platforms, like Codecademy, hope to be the answer.
As its name indicates, the platform has historically been focused on equipping learners with the necessary skills to succeed in the world of coding and programming. But with AI taking the tech world by storm, the company is adapting by growing its coursework in AI as well as AI’s intersection outside of the tech world. 
Kunal Ahuja, the general manager at Skillsoft’s Codecademy consumer business says that on a broad scale, claims about AI revolutionizing industries are beginning to materialize—leading to a large need for across-the-board upskilling. 
“Now, with the workforce truly looking out for tools and content and resources to help them learn, we’re seeing manifest itself across upskillers who are looking to pick up these new topics—whether they be existing developers, or people who are in tech adjacent roles, as well as more folks in the reskilling space,” Ahuja tells Fortune.
The platform took advantage of the growing interest in generative AI earlier this year by releasing an Intro to ChatGPT course. It has notably been Codecademy’s most successful course launch ever, driving nearly four times more enrollments in its first week than the previous record holder.
As of late September, over 45,000 learners have enrolled in the course. While the company did not provide numbers on course completion, enrollment is up 55% on Codecademy’s machine learning/AI engineer career path.
In fact, when searching how to learn ChatGPT on Google, Codecademy is often one of the top non-sponsored results. But Ahuja says it is only the beginning of a lot of interactive, AI training.
Over the past few weeks, Codecademy also rolled out new coursework in the realm of AI. Some focus on fundamentals like introducing large language models and AI ethics whereas others are more nuanced—emphasizing more nuanced learning, such as about GPT API and explainable AI. 
Many courses are free, but a paid plan is required for additional skill paths and to receive a certificate of completion. For monthly billing, prices range from about $35 to $60.
The company is also launching courses tailored specifically to growing career paths, such as prompt engineering for software engineers as well as marketing. This is in part driven by the idea that learning about AI will soon be paramount to jobs in most—if not all—industries, Ahuja says.
“I think everyone will have to think like a programmer in the way they approach work,” Ahuja says. “Essentially, with generative AI, you have access to infinite information, and the ability to create information, create information, in many ways.”
By embracing AI skills, workers will be able to have AI help with tedious tasks like creating first drafts or answering emails—freeing time for more important activities.
“I think everyday workers will have a lot more mind space reserved for creativity and critical thinking,” Ahuja says. 
Future coursework is set to include topics like Google’s generative AI, Bard, as well as other career-specific pathways.
While the number of skills training platforms with AI content is increasing, Ahuja believes Codeacademy’s interactivity is in part what sets the platform apart, along with the company’s trust and authoritativeness in the space.
He says the integration of AI into learning provides students with a playground to “really get your hands dirty.”
Codeacademy’s OpenAI-powered job-readiness checker as well as the platform giving students advice about the realities of AI, such as about plagiarism and copyright infringement, are ways it helps students prepare for the real-world.
Daniel Hardej is one of the thousands of users engaged in Codecademy’s machine learning/AI engineer career path. Once a mechanical engineer, he later turned to entrepreneurship and ran an e-commerce coffee business. But in 2022, he decided to return back closer to engineering—and at its section with technology.
“There are companies that are still hiring based on a traditional education, which is why some people can find it disheartening. And while that can be valuable in some cases, the way it looks now is that most companies are more open minded and focus on what you can do,” Hardej tells Fortune.  
After initially engaging with Codecademy years ago, he returned to the platform, noting the hands-on nature is what has kept him interested. Hardej is now on a close to 500-day streak of engaging in Codecademy coursework.
His hard work has since paid off, as he is now a support engineer at GitHub, where he works on AI developer tools. He notes a majority of the tech industry was receptive to his online training.
“I think this is the next frontier,” Ahuja says. “Where your content meets you where you are.”