1st online course on machine learning applied to investment management

Launch of the world’s first online finance course on machine learning applied to investment management

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In this month's interview, Caroline Prévost discusses the newly launched specialization Investment Management with Python and Machine Learning. She explains why EDHEC-Risk decided to partner with Coursera to develop this online programme and why they chose to explore asset management through the prism of machine learning. She provides further details of the 4 MOOCs delivered and tells us how these online courses fit into ERI's Executive Education offering.

Caroline Prévost EDHEC Risk

Why has EDHEC-Risk Institute teamed up with Coursera, the world’s leading online training provider, to offer a new specialization in machine-learning techniques for Asset Management from September 2019?

Caroline Prévost: This partnership is a great opportunity for EDHEC-Risk Institute to expand its international thought leadership to Coursera’s community of 40 million learners and gain market share in the growing and developing e-learning market which is set to be worth more than USD 300 billion by 2025 (compared to USD 190 billion in 2018)[1]. This continuing growth is driven by increasing demand from both companies and individuals, technological innovations and competition between institutions. Here’s a figure that illustrates this trend in companies: since 2017, 59% of talent developers have been spending more of their budget on online learning[2].

This programme incorporates the same key success factors as the on-site programmes: standards of excellence among teaching staff and a learner-centred approach driven by interactive and hands-on learning.


Why explore asset management through the prism of machine learning?

Caroline Prévost: Data science is revolutionizing the asset-management industry, but finance professionals trained in machine learning are still rare and very much sought after. To lead the transformational charge these technological advancements will bring, finance-sector specialists need to develop specific expertise in modern data science techniques. That's why EDHEC-Risk Institute, recognized globally for its financial research, is launching a new digital programme, entitled Investment Management with Python and Machine Learning.

This is a specialization ‒ a series of four massive open online courses, or MOOCs ‒ made up of the following modules:

  • Introduction to portfolio construction and analysis with Python
  • Advanced portfolio construction and analysis with Python
  • Python machine learning for investment management
  • Python machine learning for investment management with alternative datasets

While the courses can be taken independently, participants receive a Certificate of Specialization for completing all four.


What makes this programme stand out?

Caroline Prévost: This highly innovative programme was designed by Professor Lionel Martellini, Director of EDHEC-Risk Institute, in collaboration with Professor John Mulvey of Princeton University, as well as asset-management experts and EDHEC research associates Gideon Ozik and Vijay Vaidyanathan.

It lasts four to six months and will give online learners a solid foundation in data science and the calculation methods used in the investment sector, with a focus on the latest advances in portfolio management.

At the end of four courses, participants will have the tools they need to design and implement effective investment strategies, having developed their knowledge of the theoretical concepts and studied numerous practical case studies based on real-world situations.


How will these online courses fit into ERI's Executive Education offer?

Caroline Prévost: Online courses are not intended to replace on-campus/on-site teaching but rather to meet the need for flexibility and accessibility in the shift towards a modular and comprehensive offering.

Learners want to control their learning journey: 74%[2] of employees want to learn during their spare time at work. This survey data shows that employees want self-directed learning opportunities that are accessible within their workflows. One way to accomplish that is through online learning, which enables employees to learn as and when they need to. Moreover, learners are more mobile and social than ever. Mobile learning has continued to increase 5% over the past year.

When it comes to e-learning, one concern is how to guarantee the same quality as on-site seminars: Coursera’s analytics will enable us to keep delivering e-learning environments that combine student centricity with pedagogy and ensure ERI can achieve its educational positioning and standards of excellence.

It is also critical to keep in mind that the main pillar of digital courses remains the human dimension. Their success depends on the instructor ensuring that each individual learner as well as the community of learners are as engaged as possible. MOOCs are not only an opportunity to master specific career skills, they also give registered learners the chance to tap into a broad community with a rich diversity of backgrounds and cultures.

This Investment Management with Python and Machine Learning specialisation is a way to create learning opportunities that complement our offering of Executive Education seminars.


[1]Global market insight – 2019

[2]LinkedIn 2019 Workplace Learning Report