Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology has been gaining popularity in recent years. From robots serving food in restaurants to self-driving cars, these applications of artificial intelligence can be seen in our day-to-day lives. John McCarthy, an American computer scientist who coined the term artificial intelligence, defines this discipline as the science and engineering of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. Mainly, AI develops intelligent software and systems based on how human minds think, learn, decide, and solve a problem. It enables machines to perform human-like functions by learning through experience.
While professionals across the globe are worried about robots replacing humans, a Gartner study reports that AI is an emerging field that will create 2.8 million jobs by 2020. AI is a broad term, encompassing general artificial intelligence, machine learning, expert systems, data mining, and more. In today’s world, AI capabilities are in high demand across industries—gaming, robotics, face recognition software, weaponry, speech recognition, vision recognition, expert systems, and search engines.
If you’re evaluating career options in this emerging field, look at these top five jobs in artificial intelligence and the skills that you’ll need to transition into these roles.
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Top Artificial Intelligence Skills
In order to pursue AI as a career, there are a varied number of skills that you need to master, all of which requires a great deal of training. As there is a wide variety of career options available in AI, knowing which skills are the most sought after can help you land on the job you want. For example, research scientists hypothesize new and different ways for machines to think (requires high-level research). Machine learning engineers create algorithms based on those hypotheses to help machines analyze and make decisions (requires in-depth knowledge of different programming languages). However, the most common factor in all these fields is that they all require a great deal of experience in math and science-related topics.
Here are the top artificial intelligence skills that you need to have:
- Programming languages (Python, R, Java are the most necessary)
- Linear algebra and statistics
- Signal processing techniques
- Neural network architectures
1. Machine Learning Engineer
One of the most sought-after jobs in AI, machine learning engineers must possess strong software skills, be able to apply predictive models, and utilize natural language processing while working with massive data sets. Also, machine learning engineers are expected to know software development methodology, agile practices, and the complete range of modern software development tools right from IDEs like Eclipse and IntelliJ to the components of a continuous deployment pipeline.
Average Salary: $121,106 (Glassdoor)
Preferred Qualifications: Hiring companies prefer candidates holding a master's or doctoral degree in computer science or mathematics with working knowledge of modern programming languages like Python, Java, and Scala. These organizations usually prefer professionals with strong computer programming skills, expert mathematical skills, knowledge of cloud applications and computer languages, excellent communication, and analytical skills, and certifications like machine learning.
2. Robotic Scientist
Robots can automate jobs, but they require programmers working behind the scenes to ensure they function well. Robotic science is used for multiple functions from space exploration, healthcare, security, too many other scientific fields. Their primary function is to build mechanical devices or robots who can perform tasks with commands from humans. Other necessary skills required for this role include writing and manipulating computer programs, collaborating with other specialists, and developing prototypes.
Average Salary: $83,241 (Glassdoor)
Preferred Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in robotic engineering/mechanical engineering/electro-mechanical engineering/electrical engineering is an essential prerequisite. Companies also look for professionals with specializations in advanced mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, computer science, computer-aided design and drafting (CADD), physics, fluid dynamics and materials science, and related AI certification.
3. Data Scientist
Data scientists collect, analyze, and interpret large amounts of data by using machine learning and predictive analytics to gain insights beyond statistical analysis. They should have expertise in using Big Data platforms and tools, including Hadoop, Pig, Hive, Spark, and MapReduce. Data scientists are also fluent in programming languages, including structured query language (SQL), Python, Scala, and Perl, as well as statistical computing languages.
Average Salary: $117,345 (Glassdoor)
Preferred Qualifications: Data scientists are highly educated, with the majority holding master's or doctoral degree, though an advanced degree in computer science is preferred, it is not a prerequisite. The most desired technical skills are in-depth knowledge of SAS and R, Python coding, Hadoop platform, experience working on cloud tools like Amazon’s S3, and the ability to understand unstructured data. Non-technical skills required include strong communication and analytical skills, intellectual curiosity, and business acumen.
4. Research Scientist
A research scientist is an expert in multiple artificial intelligence disciplines, including machine learning, computational statistics, and applied mathematics. In particular, these areas include deep learning, graphical models, reinforcement learning, computer perception, natural language processing, and data representation, graphical models, reinforcement learning, computer perception, natural language processing, and data representation.
Average Salary: $83,490 (Glassdoor)
Preferred Qualifications: A master’s or doctoral degree in computer science or a related technical field or equivalent practical experience is the basic requirement for this role. Companies also tend to prefer professionals who possess skills such as parallel computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, knowledge of algorithms, and distributed computing, and benchmarking. Alongside these qualifications, an in-depth understanding of computer architecture and strong verbal and written communication skills are recommended for those interested in this field.
5. Business Intelligence Developer
Business intelligence developers are in high demand. Their primary job is to analyze complex data and look for current business and market trends, thereby increasing the profitability and efficiency of the organization. Not only are they masters of strong technical and analytical skills, but they also have sound communication and problem-solving skills. They are responsible for designing, modeling, building, and maintaining data for complex, extensive, and highly accessible cloud-based data platforms.
Average Salary: $90,430 (Glassdoor)
Preferred Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or a related field is required, or a combination of certifications and on-the-job experience are preferred for this role. Candidates with experience in data warehouse design, data mining, knowledge of BI technologies, SQL queries, SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), and SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and popular data science certifications are preferred.
The job opportunities available by the advent of artificial intelligence are only going to grow as the technology continues to innovate. Experts from Gartner predict, “AI will create more jobs than it eliminates.” Each role, however, requires education and training to fulfill the needs of the industry. Raj Mukherjee, Senior Vice President of Product at Indeed, puts it into perspective, "There are certain standard technical requirements, such as a computer science degree or programming skills. A background in programming languages like Python, Java, C/C++, and experience in artificial intelligence, machine learning, or natural language processing are some of the top skills employers look for in AI applicants.”
For those of you who are planning to pursue a spot in the AI field, you must start today by preparing yourself with the tools needed to execute the job successfully. Obtaining certifications in domains like machine learning and AI is a great place to start, and with the right education, the opportunities are endless.
You can also take-up the AI and Machine Learning courses with Purdue University collaborated with IBM. This program gives you an in-depth knowledge of Python, Deep Learning with the Tensor flow, Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition, Computer Vision, and Reinforcement Learning.
If you're interested in becoming an AI expert then we have just the right guide for you. The Artificial Intelligence Career Guide will give you insights into the most trending technologies, the top companies that are hiring, the skills required to jumpstart your career in the thriving field of AI, and offers you a personalized roadmap to becoming a successful AI expert.