How Do I Get into AI and What Job Opportunities Await Me at the End?
In the space of a decade, AI seems to have popped up all over the place. In fact, according to the MIT Sloan Management Review, one in five businesses have already integrated AI into some of their offerings or processes. But where can you learn about AI, and what job opportunities are possible at the end of your studies?
Most of the big universities around the world with an engineering department have started to offer courses on AI. If you’re looking for a pedigree institute, the United States’ Stanford University should definitely be on your list. It was the team from Stanford with their car Stanley that won the DARPA Grand Challenge back in 2005. Their CART algorithm (Classification and Regression Trees) was the machine learning boost that helped the vehicle to distinguish between road and the surrounding desert.
Stanford offers an Artificial Intelligence Graduate Certificate that requires participants to pass four courses. Before starting, it is recommended to review topics such as probability and statistics, fundamental building blocks of AI algorithms. In addition, significant experience in programming C++, Java or Python along with mathematical skills in linear algebra and calculus will be needed.
The courses that can then be attended cover a wide range of topics. Naturally there is an introduction to the principles and techniques of AI, as well as courses on logic and automated reasoning to start with. After that, elective courses look at natural language processing (NLP), the study of how computers can understand and respond using human speech, and computer vision.
Stanford also offers an AI4ALL program targeting young women in the 9th grade. During a three-week period, the participates have the opportunity to access the laboratories of Stanford while receiving lectures and demonstrations. The students also work on AI research during the event as well as learning to apply AI to real problems.
With your studies behind you, it is time to go out and find a job where you can apply your skills. For those with a more theoretical focus, there are plenty of job opportunities in AI research itself. Since AI is applicable to such a broad range of problems we are actually still trying to determine how and in which fields it is best applied.
In contrast, computing skills, as well as an understanding for electronics, are imperative for those looking for hands-on implementation roles. Computer vision, integrating small cameras with powerful AI computing platforms, is another area with huge growth potential. Data scientists are also increasingly needing an AI background to develop new approaches for analyzing the massive amounts of data with which they work.
If you’re interested in working in the field of AI, now is definitely the time to get involved. The door is wide open for visionaries to build upon the capabilities of today to deliver the solutions of tomorrow.