Life in the 21st century can sometimes feel like shifting sand, with change a constant all around us—societal, political, economic, technological…every aspect of life seems to be in flux. When it comes to our daily lives, what was unheard of a few years ago is commonplace today, and we’re quickly adapting to new ideas and technologies. But that doesn’t mean we’re quite comfortable with it, especially when it comes to our jobs. In fact, one in four Americans believes their job will be eliminated in the next 20 years, and one in eight believes it will happen in the next five.
Employees are understandably nervous when it comes to their careers, because of all this change—and uncertainty. The jobs our parents had looked very different from the jobs we work at today, and we can hardly imagine the future. The World Economic Forum says 65 percent of today’s children will have jobs that don’t yet exist when they grow up. That’s over half! No wonder we’re nervous about our future careers!
All the talk about automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) only heightens our fears—both the fear of losing a job to technology and the fear of lacking the skills to remain employable in light of all the change.
Yet maybe it’s AI that will save us in the end?
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Artificial Intelligence Will Do Away with Jobs and Create Them
What jobs are becoming obsolete due to automation is obvious. One study predicts 38 percent of U.S. jobs will be lost to automation by the 2030s, with the U.K. losing 30 percent, Germany 35 percent, and Japan 21 percent. But experts say it will create them too. Peter Sondergaard, head of research at Gartner, has said AI would automate 1.8 million people out of work by 2020, but it will create 2.3 million jobs at the same time, meaning it will lead to more jobs, not less.
Although many of the jobs we’ll lose are manual and low-paying, middle-class jobs will also take a hit, and automation is impacting the IT worker too. AI and Machine Learning can do some IT tasks, and technology, in general, requires fewer workers—preferably workers with newer skillsets. As one CEO said in an article about IT layoffs in India, “What required 50 programmers, analysts or accountants five years ago can [now] be done by a handful of smart thinkers and much smarter systems.”
So, yes, IT jobs are already going away. But new ones are being created, and jobs in AI and Machine Learning are already on the rise. The job site Indeed.com says demand for employees with AI skills and knowledge has more than doubled over the past three years. Also, Machine Learning Engineer was in LinkedIn’s Most Promising Jobs of 2019.
Should you be transitioning into the field of AI, to future-proof your IT career?
What Are the In-Demand AI Jobs?
Despite all the stock photos that show human-like robots sitting at computers, AI jobs won’t look all that different from today’s jobs, and they will be widespread. AI will soon be used in just about every industry and both the private and public sectors, opening up all kinds of possibilities for those who want to work in AI careers. AI jobs will be available in financial, healthcare, manufacturing, and more in cities throughout the world. And what are those jobs? According to an article at TechRepublic, the 10 most in-demand AI jobs right now are:
- Data scientist
- Software engineer
- Machine learning engineer
- Software architect
- Data analyst
- Data warehouse engineer
- Full-stack developer
- Research scientist
- Front end developer
- Product manager
Although this list will no doubt change as technologies evolve, it’s a useful place to start, because it shows you can move into AI from several different IT backgrounds.
Making the Transition from IT to AI
The AI wave is coming. If you’re concerned that your current IT skillset will soon be irrelevant—and your job too—it’s time to consider your options. As you can see by the job list above, those already working in IT have a definite advantage when it comes to emerging technologies and new job creation, because they have a solid foundation to build upon. It’s only a matter of determining which new skills you should (or want to) learn. And one writer says the sooner the better when it comes to AI jobs.
For an excellent guide to making the transition from old IT skills to new AI ones, check out the webinar “How to Build a Career in AI and Machine Learning,” with industry influencer Ronald Van Loon. Van Loon talks specifically about steps to take to get trained for jobs in AI. For example, for those new to the field, he suggests starting with mathematics and courses in Machine Learning. He also discusses the foundational skills you should have already, such as strong computer skills, programming skills like C++, and an understanding of algorithms. You should also supplement that education with general business knowledge. On the other hand, he says experienced programmers can go straight into the algorithms and start coding. Watch the webinar to learn more.
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Getting Started with Simplilearn
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.
If you’re willing to a career move in AI, taking a course or two with Simplilearn can help you start that transition. Simplilearn offers courses in AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, as well as Robotic Process Automation (RPA). In addition to those individual courses, Simplilearn offers a Masters in Artificial Intelligence that can help position you for a job as an Artificial Intelligence Engineer, with courses in data science with Python, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning with TensorFlow.
You can also take-up the AI and ML 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.
Viktor Frankl once said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” His wisdom aptly applies to the career dilemmas faced by the 21st-century worker. And the time to make the change is now, by making sure your skillset stays current, relevant, and in demand.