With ChatGPT and AI gaining more and more popularity, a massive influx of ChatGPT “prompt engineering” courses have popped up all over social media. How do these prompt engineering courses work? Are ChatGPT prompt engineering courses worth it?
Are Prompt Engineering Courses Worth It?
In my opinion, most prompt engineering aren’t worth paying for. All you need is to ask ChatGPT detailed questions to get the most out of it. The majority of prompt engineering courses simply demonstrate what ChatGPT is capable of, while the prompts used are unnecessary.
As I’ll show in this article, while many of the prompts that are sold in these courses do work, the fact is you’d get the same results by just asking your own questions. There’s no magic set of words or symbols you can enter into ChatGPT that turn into a super-AI bot.
Let’s take a look at what prompt engineering courses are, why they’re so popular, and how to simplify the whole process and get the most out of ChatGPT and AI without having to pay for any prompt engineering course.
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What is Prompt Engineering?
With ChatGPT’s rise in popularity, a brand new niche was created: prompt engineering. Prompt engineering is all about crafting the perfect questions, or prompts, to elicit specific and desired responses.
The main goal of prompt engineering courses is to learn how to uncover the true power of AI by knowing the exact commands to feed it. All across the internet, self-proclaimed ChatGPT experts are sharing their version of the perfect prompts that will take your use of the AI chatbot to the next level.
But, are the prompts you’re paying for even necessary? Can you get the same results without the prompts taught in these courses?
Prompt Engineering Overkill & The Power of Simple, Clear Conversation
The most ridiculous aspect of the prompt engineering courses you find online is the pure overkill. What do I mean by this? Prompt engineering course creators are trying to act like you need to feed ChatGPT a paragraph of specific commands to get what you want from it.
The truth is you don’t need any of that. Here’s an example of a typical “engineered prompt” you’ll find in a prompt engineering course.
Do you see and sense the overkill? This paragraph makes you feel like you need to tell ChatGPT all this text in order to get the desired result. Someone buying a prompt engineering course sees this and thinks, “Wow, I would have never thought to ask it so much to get it to do this.”
Well the truth is, YOU DON’T.
ChatGPT is super, super smart. You don’t need to tell it that you want it to be this or be that. In this case, just tell it you want to practice your English and to please correct your mistakes. THAT’S IT.
And guess what? It works perfectly without the paragraph-long prompt!
Do you see how my very simple, plain English request gave the desired result? No expensive prompt engineering course needed. And did you notice how well ChatGPT corrected my mistake when I spoke English incorrectly?
I feel like every single prompt engineering course dumbs down just how genius AI chatbots are. There’s no need for paragraph-long prompts or explanations. ChatGPT is so smart you can just talk in plain English to it. Remember that!
You can basically ask ChatGPT anything and it will deliver. And if it doesn’t give you quite the answer you’re looking for, no problem, just ask it to fix the areas that need fixing. Here’s a real life example I used with ChatGPT when needing html help.
Again, no prompt engineering course needed. I just asked the exact question I needed help with.
So, as you can see in my question to ChatGPT, I was having an issue with a theme I was working with where the title was way too big on mobile devices. The title itself was a bit redundant since I always have an image displaying the title just below it. For this reason I was toying with the idea of hiding the title on mobile devices.
I didn’t have to explain to ChatGPT that it was going to “play the role of an html expert” or give any explanation like “I’m going to ask you a specific question about html. You are going to assess my question and then give me an ordered list of how to accomplish the desired output. You will give me clear instructions and also display code that I can copy directly.” No “engineered prompt” was necessary.
I just asked the question and it gave me exactly what I was looking for. It even gave me an explanation of the CSS code after that code box.
Simple, direct, conversational speech is all it takes. If its response isn’t quite what you’re needing, then give it a bit more detail and refine it.
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Just How Expensive are Prompt Engineering Courses?
It’s not that I have any issue with people helping others to get the most out of this tool. It’s just the sheer overkill and these “experts” buying into their own hype when half of the stuff they’re teaching can be learned just by getting your hands dirty with the platform.
And these courses they’re offering can be EXPENSIVE! Here’s one I found after a twitter search.
So as you can see from the image above, this particular course costs $470. Then there’s the “Uhhh, what?” factor when you notice that there’s a $970 package that charges an extra $500 (more than the course itself) for a certification that says you went through the course.
These are the things that drive me nuts when it comes to prompt engineering courses. So much overkill. And yes there’s an almost $5000 package for an hour of custom training from the creator itself. One whole hour that adds 10x to your cost. Unreal.
What You Can Learn From Prompt Engineering Courses?
If there’s one thing that prompt engineering courses do provide it’s insight into just how much ChatGPT can do for you.
Before the prompt engineering courses I didn’t know that ChatGPT could basically work as a practice interviewer. You can literally tell ChatGPT that you’re wanting to practice for an interview at xyz job and to start asking you questions so you can practice.
The example shown at the start of this post of practicing conversational English would never have crossed my mind had it not been for prompt engineering courses.
But, in my opinion, the fact of the matter is that you really don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on prompt engineering courses to figure out what prompts to type, you just need to ask ChatGPT itself, “hey, what kinds of things can you help me with?” and let it do it’s thing.
It will literally tell you what it’s capable of.
Want to deep dive into the less obvious things it can help you with? Just ask!
Get your hands dirty with ChatGPT. Ask it anything. Test its boundaries. Keep asking questions until it tells you it’s unable to do what you ask. And when it rejects you, ask it why. Ask it if there’s any way around that hurdle. Ask if there’s anything more it needs from you to get the job done better. This is how you get the most out of a tool like this: you ask it questions and when you think you’re done you ask it more.
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As you can see, it’s not about paying an expert so they can charge you $500+ to tell you what to type into ChatGPT to get the most out of it. All you have to understand is that it can answer just about anything, so talk to it!
How do you feel about prompt engineering courses? Have you paid for one? How did it benefit you? Do you feel you got what you paid for or could you have gotten the same end result by just spending some time talking with the AI?
Let me know your experience and share any questions you have in the comments section below. I look forward to hearing from you and I always respond.