Update Your IT Career with a Move into Artificial Intelligence

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’t 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. 

Read More: Understanding Artificial Intelligence

Yet maybe it’s AI that will save us in the end? 

Artificial Intelligence Will Do Away with Jobs…and Create Them

That 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 will 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 5 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. And Machine Learning Engineer was by far the fastest-growing job in LinkedIn’s 2017 Emerging Jobs Report

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 in both the private and public sector, 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: 

  1. Data scientist
  2. Software engineer
  3. Machine learning engineer
  4. Software architect
  5. Data analyst
  6. Data warehouse engineer
  7. Full stack developer
  8. Research scientist
  9. Front end developer
  10. 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.

Getting Started with Simplilearn

If you’re interested in AI as a career move, 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 Program 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.  

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.

About the Author

Shardul Prakash MohiteShardul Prakash Mohite

Shardul heads Product Management at Simplilearn. He has over 10+ years of entrepreneurial experience in building products for international markets in domains such as education, video, and sports. Prior to this role, Shardul was a co-founder at a SaaS-based video-tech startup. He believes in first-principle thinking and is a life-long student of human behavior, user experience, data-driven decision making, and lean thinking. Shardul is a computer engineering graduate from Pune University, India. He is an avid reader, enjoys long drives and travel.

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