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How to Learn MATLAB: Find the Best Courses and Resources

Daisy Waithereo Wambua - January 05, 2021

There is no standard way to learn MATLAB. Many people prefer attending training workshops, signing up for MATLAB classes, or reading books to become proficient in this versatile programming language. Whichever mode of study you choose, it will take ample time and energy to acquire the skill.

This definitive guide will help you find the best available MATLAB courses, books, and other resources for developing your MATLAB programming skills. But before we dive into the resources, let’s look a little more closely at what it means to learn MATLAB.


MATLAB is a programming language that features its own integrated development environment and a set of libraries. Its name comes from the words Matrix Laboratory, which refers to its origins in matrix programming. The language utilizes computations and algorithms to analyze big data and present it in a visually pleasing way.

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MATLAB integrates computation, programming, and visualizations in a simple environment that expresses problems and solutions in a mathematical notation. This interactive system does not require dimensioning and thus allows you to handle many technical computing problems.

What Is MATLAB Used For?

Many engineers and scientists use MATLAB for a range of applications. Among other things, you can use it for system control, numerical analysis, academic research, statistics and machine learning, signal processing, and financial analysis.

Let’s look at these applications one at a time.

  • Systems Control. MATLAB facilitates control of a device or a system. The control system of MATLAB is based on loops, which are a kind of algorithms for analyzing, designing, and fine-tuning linear systems.
  • Numerical Analysis. Electronic products tend to be tested and measured periodically to ensure valid results. MATLAB allows scientists or engineers to put products through a wide range of tests and measurements. Once you have your data in place, you can analyze and explore it through live visualizations.
  • Research. MATLAB makes it easier for people in engineering and science to run experiments to test their hypotheses.
  • Statistics and Machine Learning. MATLAB is an excellent tool for programmers to implement descriptive or inferential methods. Such models are efficient ways to solve problems and in big data.
  • Signal Processing. MATLAB is an excellent platform for calculating transforms such as Laplace and Z, important for electrical engineering .
  • Financial Analysis. Financial analysts or business analysts can use MATLAB to calculate solvency, liquidity, stability, and profitability. Businesses can also use MATLAB for capital budgeting and valuation.

Features of MATLAB

Researchers, scientists, and engineers who use MATLAB enjoy its ease of functionality. It is a versatile tool that cuts across industries. It is applicable in energy, insurance, medicine, and industrial automation. Below are some of the features of MATLAB.

Interactive Environment

MATLAB’s interactive environment allows for easy exploration, design, and problem-solving. Thanks to its engaging interface, programmers can work with several variables at a time, import and export data at will, debug, and conduct profiling operations.

High-level language

MATLAB uses a high-performing programming language with data structures, functions, and object-oriented programming.  You can build any kind of application to completion.


MATLAB has built-in graphics for data visualization. Its image processing and graphical presentation features enable programmers to create two-dimensional or three-dimensional animations, modifying the appearance of graphics as they please.

Mathematical Functions Library

MATLAB’s robust library of mathematical functions covers everything you might need for linear algebra, filtering, optimization, differential equations, and computational statistics.


These are a set of functions embedded for a specific purpose. MATLAB code, data, apps, examples, and documentation all help programmers to utilize the different toolboxes.

Application Program Interface

It allows users to write C or C++ in direct interface with MATLAB. Programmers can read and write MAT-files, using the interface as a computational engine and for dynamic linking.

Learning MATLAB

Make coding simpler by learning MATLAB.

Learning MATLAB is easy, but finding reliable courses, training, or books can be challenging for students. You can find plenty of information about MATLAB online, but not all of these resources are trustworthy. Many students end up not finishing courses or training due to the low quality of education they are receiving.

We’re here to guide you down the best path for learning MATLAB.

How Long Does It Take to Learn MATLAB?

The time it takes to learn a new skill varies from person to person. Factors such as time and availability of resources can significantly affect the process of learning MATLAB. If you’re a novice programmer, you can expect it to take a little longer than if you were a more seasoned programmer.

Someone who can afford to devote all their time to MATLAB can finish learning the language in two weeks. If you have a lot of other responsibilities, however, it will take you longer to complete. But try not to rush things. Take as much time as you need to feel comfortable.

How to Learn MATLAB: Step-by-Step

These five easy steps are a great way to learn MATLAB.

  1. Purchase and install the software. You can simply install the network license manager on your server before installing MATLAB from the Mathworks website.
  2. Watch tutorials. There are plenty of MATLAB tutorials on the website as well as on YouTube.
  3. Enroll in classes. Enrolling in a MATLAB class will help you gain valuable programming skills and learn about the many applications of MATLAB.
  4. Read books. There are several books written on MATLAB to help you figure out best practices.
  5. Practice. You can’t become an expert from a single use. Make sure to put in the time to sharpen your skills.

The Best MATLAB Courses and Training

Learn to work smarter at your job by taking a MATLAB course.

All the information out there can be overwhelming, especially when you want to filter out the junk and locate reliable sources. When it comes to MATLAB courses, attractive prices and misleading course descriptions can get in the way of making an informed choice.

Avoid all that unpleasantness with this list. The versatile, convenient, and well-regarded courses and training options below will help you become a MATLAB developer in no time.

Best Online MATLAB Courses

Online courses offer convenience and flexibility for busy people. Below are the best MATLAB classes that you can take on your own schedule and from the comfort of your own home.

Master MATLAB through Guided Problem Solving

  • Provider: Udemy
  • Time: 38 hours
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: Varies

This intermediate course will help you gain skills in solving challenging problems in MATLAB. You will also get experience with real-world applications.

MATLAB Onramp 2020: Coding, Concepts, Confidence, and Style

  • Provider: Udemy
  • Time: 10 hours, 21 minutes
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: Varies

This is a great course that introduces students to MATLAB basics, including visualizing in 2D and 3D, developing your programming style, control statements, writing scripts and functions, and strategies for planning and organizing code.

Become a Good MATLAB Programmer in 30 Days

  • Provider: Udemy
  • Time: 14hours
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: Varies

This is an excellent course for learning basic programming concepts essential for MATLAB, features like variables, scripts, and functions. This is an ideal course for beginners.

MATLAB Master Class Tutorial: Go from Beginner to Expert in MATLAB

  • Provider: Udemy
  • Time: 37 hours
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: Varies

This course covers basic principles, advanced features, feature scaling, data discretization, and creating functions. It’s an excellent guide for beginners who want to explore their capabilities and earn a certificate of completion.

MATLAB and Octave for Beginners

  • Provider: EPFL (eDx)
  • Time: 4 weeks
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: $139 with a verified certificate

You will learn the essential mathematical tools used to write functions and calculate vectors. You will also get to understand how matrix visualization works and how to plot graphical representations.

Best Free MATLAB Courses

There is no need to start a savings plan to learn about MATLAB. You can easily sign up for one of these free classes.

Learning MATLAB

  • Provider: LinkedIn
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: FREE, or $29.99/month after free trial

You will learn the basic principles for scientific programming, develop MATLAB programming skills, create variables, use essential tools, master debugging, and figure out how to operate Simulink. By the end of the course, students will be able to work with big data.

Exploratory Data Analysis with MATLAB

  • Provider: MathWorks (Coursera)
  • Time: 5 weeks
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: FREE to audit

This course teaches students to think like data scientists. You will learn how to use the interactive features, extract subsets of data, generate code automatically, and communicate results.

These skills are invaluable for anyone with a background in domains and computational tools. However, beginners are also welcome to take this course.

Introduction to Programming with MATLAB

  • Provider: Vanderbilt University (Coursera)
  • Time: 9 weeks
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Cost: FREE, or $49/month after free trial

This free online course teaches programming to people with little or no knowledge of the subject. It uses MATLAB to illustrate concepts in computer science and programming.

Best MATLAB Books

There are many modes of study, and people should choose whatever learning method works best for them. Reading books is an entirely legitimate way to build developer skills.

Any of the books on this list will guide you through best practices for getting the most out of MATLAB.

Intuitive Understanding of Kalman Filtering with MATLAB

This book combines information from different sources for a fresh look at Kalman filtering. It uses MATLAB to explore microsensors embedded in systems and the Internet.

MATLAB Recipes for Earth Sciences

It is an excellent book for geoscientific applications of MATLAB such as image processing, creating and processing elevation models, class attributes, and analyzing time series.

Programming for Electrical Engineers

This excellent book introduces engineering students to programming. Based on computer engineering, it covers an array of topics such as signal processing, filter design, and circuit analysis. Readers get to understand different computational techniques.

Best Online MATLAB Resources

There are many online resources available for you to learn new skills and practice old ones. You do not have to struggle to find reliable sources. Here is a list curated for your benefit.

MATLAB and Simulink Training

This is a great platform provided by MathWorks to learn MATLAB for free. You will get to learn more about machine learning and deep learning.

MATLAB Fundamentals

With this MathWorks resource, you can easily learn MATLAB fundamentals and get to know analysis, visualization, and modeling.

MATLAB 2018 Essential Training Online Class

This particular online tutorial will help you learn the fundamentals of MATLAB. You will learn how to develop practical analytical skills for modeling and visualizations. You will also learn how to create user-defined functions.

MATLAB Youtube Channel

This is an excellent resource for learning how to use MATLAB and for getting tips to help you troubleshoot. There are many experts on the YouTube channel who are eager to share their versatile knowledge and strategies for using MATLAB.

MathWorks Country Sites

MathWorks is committed to teaching MATLAB to students around the globe . Just tell MathWorks where you live, and they’ll set you up with great learning resources.

Should You Study MATLAB?

MATLAB is an integral language for data analysis, data modeling, simulations, and visualizations. Its popularity may be limited compared to other languages, but its impact in the science and engineering fields is undeniable.

MATLAB remains one of the best tools around because developers are continuously working to improve it. And MathWorks offers excellent support, which is a huge plus.

Learning MATLAB is highly recommended for people with careers in abstract or applied mathematics, science, engineering, physics, data-oriented finance, or computational biology. Our short answer is yes. You should definitely study MATLAB.

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Daisy Waithereo Wambua

About the author: Daisy is a seasoned writer with a decade of experience in writing, proofreading, and editing. She has spoken at Maseno University to help young women explore new careers and learn more about technology. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications and Public Relations, a Certificate in Web Development, and a Master's Degree in International Studies.

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