How to Build a Career in AI?

by Pranav Ramesh
June 11, 2021
Diverse professionals collaborating on AI technology

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the simulation of human intelligence in machines through programming. It enables machines to think, act, and solve problems like a human being. Machine learning enables AI to include expert systems, natural language processing (NLP), speech recognition, and machine vision to solve problems and enhance user experience. Autocorrect, facial recognition, maps, etc., are a few examples of machine learning we use every day. Whereas Alexa, Siri, and Cortana are examples of systems built using AI rather than AI technology itself.

AI has a strong role to play in our workplace too. If you work in departments that heavily rely on machine learning and data analytics, like the Human Resources and Marketing departments, you would be familiar with it. AI helps reduce menial and mundane administrative tasks, complicated excel sheets, and paperwork in the human resources department. In the marketing team it helps the marketing team run targeted campaigns for prospective consumers.

Data-driven insights and predictive analysis for decision-making with the use of AI helps organizations improve their customer and employee experience. If, for example, you are passionate about AI, but you are not from an engineering background.

How Does AI Work?

AI uses a large amount of data and iterative processing to mimic the intelligence of humans. It uses algorithms to look for patterns, features, and trends to predict future behavior effectively. Alan Turing, the mathematician, was the one who changed the way machines were perceived. During World War II, he wanted to understand if machines can think and published his research findings in the paper titled “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” in 1950. Thus, he established the fundamental goal and vision for AI.

Since then, there have been numerous efforts to replicate human intelligence in machines, and we now have everything from self-driving cars to machines that can write an entire book. The AI system uses algorithms and historical data to develop a propensity model which makes predictions. Therefore, incorrect data sampling in the AI system could lead to unreliable or biased results. However, the probability of that happening being significantly low, more and more organizations are switching to AI in their various departments.

Do You Need an AI Degree to Build a Career in AI?

To pursue a career in AI, you need more than just an AI degree. For example, you could start your career with a basic understanding of computer technology and mathematics, which are the backbone of AI programs. Entry-level positions require at least a bachelor’s degree, while positions entailing supervision, leadership, or administrative roles frequently require master’s or doctoral degrees.

As AI has wide application across the organization, employees from other disciplines could consider a certification course or a short-term program. Besides that, one could also pursue an AI specialization course in computer science, health informatics, graphic design, information technology, or engineering.

What Are the Different Career Options in AI?

You can build a career in AI in various settings, including private companies, public organizations, education, the arts, healthcare facilities, government agencies, and the military. Some positions may require security clearance before hiring, depending on the sensitivity of information employees may be expected to handle. Examples of specific jobs held by AI professionals include:

  • Software analysts and developers.
  • Computer scientists and computer engineers.
  • Algorithm specialists.
  • Research scientists and engineering consultants.
  • Mechanical engineers and maintenance technicians.
  • Manufacturing and electrical engineers.
  • Surgical technicians working with robotic tools.
  • Medical health professionals working with artificial limbs, prosthetics, hearing aids, and vision restoration devices.
  • Military and aviation electricians working with flight simulators, drones, and armaments.
  • Graphic art designers, digital musicians, entertainment producers, textile manufacturers, and architects.
  • Post-secondary professors at technical and trade schools, vocational centers, and universities.

What Does a Career in AI Look Like?

The wide applicability of AI in all walks of life opens up numerous career options. Everything from the way we unlock our phones to commuting has been enhanced using machine learning. Experts believe that the advent of technology is opening up avenues for development across industries. Research on future job prospects found that AI will create around 58 million new job opportunities by 2022. The job market is huge and growing exponentially, meaning it is important for applicants to upskill and be ready for the roles that AI would create for them. So, what career opportunities will AI open up?

  • AI Research: An AI researcher will be responsible for advancing data analytics and data systems through research. The research would help uncover the hidden potential of AI and develop new tools for changing these technologies.
  • Software Engineering: As AI heavily relies on traditional computer science roles, it increases the demand for software engineers. They will have to develop the programs on which the AI tools function. Hence people with a software engineering degree can build a career in AI even if they do not have an AI Degree. Instead, they would use their computer science knowledge to develop and design digital programs on which the AI systems would run.
  • Data Analytics: Data analytics is the heart and soul of machine learning and AI. As a data analyst, you would be responsible for managing, analyzing, and sorting the data being fed into the AI systems. In addition, a data analyst would also be responsible for finding any anomalies and discrimination by the AI systems resulting from AI bias.

To pursue a career in AI, you need a sound understanding of automation, robotics, and the use of computer software and programs. Therefore, candidates interested in pursuing jobs in this field require specific education based on math, technology, logic, and engineering perspectives. In addition, written and verbal communication skills are also important to convey how AI tools and services are effectively employed within industry settings. To acquire these skills, those interested in an AI career should investigate the various career choices available within the field.

Since its inception in the 1950s, AI has progressed significantly as a discipline. From changing the way organizations hire to the way we unlock our phones. AI has impacted every life and has a practical application in all walks of life. As a result, those with the skills to translate digital bits of information into meaningful human experiences will find a career in AI rewarding.

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PTP’s diverse and global team of recruiting, consulting, and project development experts specialize in a variety of IT competencies which include:

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