How to Start Your Career in AI
A lot of hype surrounds the field of artificial intelligence (AI), and knowing who or which advice to trust as the industry grows is difficult.
We hear about breakthroughs in AI every day, and they come along with conflicting views on how new advancements will affect daily life. However, one notion is clear: The industry is here to a stay and now is the time to act if you desire to be a part of it.
So how does one break into a tech career in the field of AI? Typically, newcomers to the field think about which direction they want to take, their field of view can be myopic.
Keep in mind that career possibilities in the field of AI are as endless as the potential of the technology itself. Before we explore those possibilities, you must first have the foundation. So, let us start with the basics on how to get started in a career in AI.
Understand the Educational Landscape
A career to develop artificial intelligence begins with having the knowledge required to start. There are several steps you can begin with to have the necessary education, such as going to college, university. You can also learn through an artificial intelligence bootcamp.
But, before you jump too quickly to enroll with an educational institution, it is wise to take advantage of some of the free resources available. Also, take a look at the resources available from Google AI. Doing this will let you get an idea of the skills you would be learning without an immediate commitment of time and money. Once you decide whether pursuing a career in AI is right for you, then you can decide which direction you want to go to pursue an education.
Subjects you should explore for better insight into the field are:
- Programming languages such as Python, Java, Julia, Lisp, etc.
- Basic physics, engineering, and robotics
- Mathematics such as algebra, calculus, logic and algorithms, probability, and statistics
- Bayesian networking, including neural networks
- Cognitive science theory
Having prior knowledge of the industry you wish to start a career in is advantageous. For instance, if you are considering programming AI for customer service, you will also want to explore education in hospitality and business. Or, if you want to build AI-powered robots for exploration, you may want to learn about astronomy, geospatial data processing, and geographic information systems.
Traditional Degrees vs Coding Bootcamps
Next, you must decide the right path for you to obtain the education needed to start your new career. Examine the benefits and drawbacks of both a traditional degree and a coding bootcamp to discover which one is right for you. Here, we will explore just a few differences to give you an idea of what you will need to consider:
- Cost: $20,000 – $70,000 per year
- Length: 4+ years
- Tuition does not include living costs
- Limited financial assistance opportunities
- Cost: $10,000 – $20,000 per course
- Length: Ranges from 6-12 weeks
- Tuition does not include living costs
- Many creative financing opportunities
Opportunities in AI Field with Exponential Growth
You must know exactly what opportunities are coming down the pipeline for unconventional industries. Here are a few to help get your creative juices flowing:
Space is Open for Business, Literally
According to Bessemer Venture Partners, the opportunity for new industries for venturing into space is growing quickly. The company has created a space stack infographic that shows how competitive this market is becoming. And, with that explosive growth, opportunities for AI developers will explode, too. For example:
- Colonization of moons or other planets
- Space tourism
- Communications for space venturers
- Earth and other planet observation
- Launch vehicles
- Software & Ground
- Data analytics
- Materials & components
All of these areas will need your skills and joining these ventures ensures your skills will stay relevant for years to come.
Developing Careers in Healthcare Enhanced with AI
Artificial intelligence in healthcare is set to grow exponentially in the coming decades. Not only is AI technology being used to diagnose diseases faster and with greater accuracy, but there are also many more areas where AI can be applied that are just now starting to form. For example:
- Genomics research for curing and preventing disease
- Extending human longevity
- Customized medicine and vaccines to reduce the instances of side effects
- Digital DNA testing where multiple therapies, medicines or diets can be tested on a digital copy of an individual’s DNA to experiment to find the best course of treatment
- Bedside care and attention to patients
- Automation of pharmacies
- Automation of record keeping and sharing
In conclusion, if you are considering a career in artificial intelligence, now is the time to challenge yourself and find out if this path is right for you. This field is just emerging and potential opportunities are growing rapidly every day, making it one of the most promising careers in technology for the future.
One of the most amazing aspects of this field is that the opportunities of today will give way to opportunities of tomorrow that we cannot even fathom right now.
A career in AI will not be threatened by automation anytime soon. On the contrary, many believe the field is almost fail-proof. Even for those who realize that coding for artificial intelligence is just not their talent, the topic itself has other opportunities. Sales, education, and spreading awareness are just a few of the areas you can become involved without knowing a single line of code. This exciting new tool to help humanity makes the future look bright.