Artificial intelligence and machine learning have become the most prominent trends in the world of technology. The applications of AI in our daily lives, including self-driving cars, automated voice assistants, and robots in restaurants, showcase a glimpse of the potential of AI. An American computer scientist, John McCarthy, had defined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ as the branch of computer science dedicated to creation of intelligent or ‘smart’ machines.
Over the years, people have been skeptical about a career in AI due to the widespread assumptions regarding impact of AI on jobs. According to Goldman Sachs, around 300 million full-time jobs worldwide would go through some form of automation. Another report by McKinsey suggests that AI will displace almost 400 million workers by 2030.
AI has always been painted as the fictional demon who would devour the jobs of people all over the world. On top of it, the alarming numbers about the impact of AI on jobs create more concerns for professionals in different industries. However, the thought of pursuing an AI career and jobs is not completely bad. Why? Majority of business leaders feel that AI has had a positive impact on their business operations and industry.
At the same time, you must note that while AI eliminated around 1.8 million jobs worldwide in 2020, it also created almost 2.3 million new jobs. Therefore, you can always seek better opportunities for career growth as an AI professional. Let us learn about the mandatory skills you need to safeguard your career and give it a new direction amidst the AI revolution.
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Why Should You Learn AI Skills?
The foremost concern in the minds of people about pursuing jobs in AI points to the feasibility of career options. Before you think about how to start a career in artificial intelligence, you must have some doubts regarding the career prospects in AI. Will you have access to long-term opportunities for career development?
Is it reasonable to switch to AI from your existing career path? You can find your answers to such doubts by reflecting on the existing state of the AI industry and predictions about its future and the growth of AI labor market. As a matter of fact, experts have pointed out that the demand for AI professionals will grow by 36% in the next ten years.
One of the biggest reasons to pursue jobs in AI points to the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on the world around us. It is one of the notable technologies at the forefront of digital transformation, with clearly visible influence in different areas. For example, artificial intelligence helps in improving smartphone technology, online shopping, fraud prevention, healthcare diagnosis, and fraud prevention. The interest in AI has grown by huge margins in recent times with the introduction of AI tools like ChatGPT.
As of August 2023, the value of the global AI market is almost $136 billion. The value of the AI industry might grow by almost 13 times over the course of next seven years. On top of it, AI-based technologies could improve labor productivity by almost 40% by 2035 in almost 16 industries. By 2030, artificial intelligence could contribute almost $15.7 trillion. On top of it, predictions also suggest that AI-related industries will need 97 million people in different roles by 2025. Some of the notable in-demand AI jobs would include,
- AI and machine learning specialists.
- Big data specialists.
- Analytics specialists.
- Data scientists and data engineers.
- Process automation specialists.
The average AI expert salary estimate could also provide another promising reason to pursue a career in artificial intelligence. The average annual salary for AI engineers is almost $160,000 in the United States. Entry-level AI specialists could earn an annual salary of almost $117,000. In addition, you must also consider the companies which have adopted artificial intelligence. As an AI specialist, you could land the opportunity to work for companies like Google, IBM, Netflix, Amazon, and Microsoft.
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Important Skills Required for a Career in AI
Machine learning and AI have the potential to transform conventional approaches to business operations and interactions between humans. The multiple use cases of AI alongside the implementation of AI across different industries, such as fintech, IT, education, manufacturing, and healthcare, have created high demand for AI specialists.
However, you need AI skills for career growth in the role of an AI specialist with the capabilities to deliver value for businesses working with AI. If you are a software developer, engineer, or a completely new beginner in artificial intelligence, you can switch to AI by learning certain skills. Here is an outline of the five mandatory skills you need to pursue a career in artificial intelligence.
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The first entry among the top AI skills required for AI jobs points to programming. Programming languages offer a standard medium of instruction for computer systems to address certain activities and functions. AI experts should have skills in different types of programming languages as a mandatory addition to their professional portfolio.
Low-code AI software has been gaining popularity, thereby creating doubts regarding the necessity of programming skills. However, it is important to note that businesses with dedicated AI transformation strategies would need customized systems to achieve their desired goals. Programming skills are a must-have for AI job roles such as algorithm developer, machine learning engineer, and computer vision engineer.
It provides the advantage of extensive documentation and a broad range of functionalities. For example, data structures, object-oriented programming, and modularity in Python make it suitable for data science applications. Python helps in web scraping data, web development, simulations, data visualizations, and creation of financial models.
On the other hand, Scala has also become a popular programming language for AI specialists with the flexibility for interacting with big data frameworks like Apache Spark. Candidates preparing for an AI career and jobs should also pay attention to other programming languages, such as R. It is an effective programming language for decision-making with graphical data and data visualization. You can explore multiple online resources for learning R programming language alongside utilizing the extensive documentation of R.
The journey of becoming an AI expert would also introduce you to the need to learn about other programming languages, such as Java and C++. You can be eligible for a lucrative AI expert salary package with expertise in a broad range of programming languages. Java could support tasks such as intelligence programming, genetic programming, and procedural programming for guiding AI systems.
On the other hand, C++ could help you create the advanced elements of artificial intelligence, such as neural net functions and artificial neuron modes. You should also note that C++ is the ideal language for programming the core of AI programs to ensure higher speed and performance.
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Data is one of the major requirements for business operations. The domains of data science and data analytics have provided exclusive tools for a better understanding of the world. People could make better decisions, and businesses could develop a better understanding of customer needs. The answers to ‘how to start a career in artificial intelligence’ would point you towards the necessity of data analysis and data engineering skills.
Data scientists work on managing and processing the large volumes of data generated every day across multiple digital spaces. The primary responsibilities of AI engineers and specialists would involve collection, analysis, and interpretation of large volumes of data by using predictive analytics and machine learning.
Data analysis skills could help an aspiring AI professional in developing the skills to use statistical analysis and machine learning techniques for analysis of massive datasets. In addition, data analysis can also help AI professionals for leveraging machine learning algorithms to obtain insights from unstructured data. If you want to pursue a career in AI, then you must know about using big data platforms and tools.
For example, AI specialists must have fluency in Hadoop, Spark, Hive, and similar platforms. On top of it, you must also learn how to create summary statistics for specific datasets or development of graphical representations for easier data visualization. Another important skill in data analysis refers to cleaning and preparation of data for modeling.
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Problem-solving is one of the most crucial business skills required for AI professionals. It is an essential addition to AI skills for career growth, which helps you follow the ideal path to discovering solutions for complex problems. The major responsibility of an AI specialist revolves around creation of algorithms and models that could help you run different types of activities. For example, the models must be capable of decision-making, data analysis, image recognition, and natural language processing. Therefore, the job of AI specialists and engineers requires an in-depth understanding of the issue at hand and how to resolve the same.
AI professionals should have the capability to think outside the box, which could help them find new solutions to problems. In addition, you would also need the ability to break down complex issues into manageable parts. Another important skill in problem-solving for aspiring AI professionals points to the ability to identify the root causes of problems. On top of it, problem-solving skills also involve the ability to seek improvements in certain areas of existing systems.
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The next addition among the skills required for AI professionals points to machine learning. Machine learning focuses on analysis, development, and design of AI systems that can operate independently for automation of predictive models. Machine learning is an important subset of AI that powers up machines to work in ‘smart’ ways on desired tasks.
The outline of top AI skills would be incomplete without referring to the skills for developing machine learning algorithms. Apart from proficiency in developing machine learning algorithms, you should also have the knowledge to implement them. For example, you must know about the different types of machine learning algorithms and their use cases. As a result, you can identify the right machine-learning algorithms for solving specific problems.
The most popular AI skills required for aspiring specialists also focus on development of complex algorithms with deep learning frameworks. Machine learning engineers should have the ability to utilize natural language processing and implement predictive models for working with large datasets. It is important to remember that machine learning is pushing the boundaries of AI. As an AI specialist or professional, you should aim to push the boundaries of machine learning further.
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Intelligent User Interfaces
The final entry among the list of essential skills required for AI jobs would point to intelligent user interfaces. Modern AI systems need intelligent interfaces with interactive systems. If you want to earn a promising AI expert salary package, then you need the relevant skills. For example, you should have the ability to design user-friendly AI solutions.
You should ensure that people can find transparent, responsive, and easy-to-understand interfaces for interacting with AI systems. At the same time, AI specialists must also pay attention to the human factors underlying the design of user interfaces. You should have the skills to create the prototype for the intelligent user interface and explore the different available technologies.
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The review of the important skills required to become AI specialists shows that you would need dedicated efforts for success. The skills for AI professionals include programming expertise, machine learning, and problem-solving skills. In addition, the most popular AI skills also include data analysis and engineering alongside development of smart user interfaces.
If you want to pursue artificial intelligence jobs, then you must learn about the most popular job roles in AI. However, you should not follow the salary estimates in AI jobs as the sole reason behind your AI career aspirations. Take the first step towards a long-term career in artificial intelligence with promising career benefits now.