As increasingly sophisticated chatbots can produce paragraphs of text and artificial intelligence can create paintings from user text prompts, AI may be more a part of the public consciousness than ever before. However, while these developments point to what a fast-changing field it is, there is far more to a career in AI than improving chatbots so that they can generate increasingly human-like output. If you’re currently interested in this field, you can almost certainly count on being in an industry that will keep you engaged, and you may be involved in changes that revolutionize the way we live and work. The tips below will help you get started.
You’ll need to choose exactly what you want to specialize in, which will affect the degree that you pursue. There are several different types of careers in AI. You might become an engineer of some sort, including in software, robotics, or machine learning, or you might become a data scientist or algorithm developer.
Not every role in this field is strictly a technical one. An increasingly important job in the years to come may be that of AI ethicist, someone who examines the ethical issues that arise in this sector. This can be an area that combines several disciplines, including computer science, business, and philosophy, and might involve both research and involvement in policy making.
Getting Your Degree
At minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree to break into this career, and you may need a master’s degree as well or even a doctorate depending on what you plan to do. However, your first step will be to get your undergraduate degree. You might study computer science, engineering, mathematics, or another related field. Cost can represent an obstacle for many students.
While graduate positions in STEM areas are often fully funded, you may need to do some legwork in order to find scholarships to pay for your undergraduate degree, but it is possible in some cases to put together enough money to cover all of those costs. Even if they only cover part of the expenses, they can substantially reduce how much you need from other funding sources, including loans. You can both search and apply for scholarships you’re eligible for online.
Artificial intelligence is such an exciting field that many others are going to be interested in entering as well, so how do you set yourself apart from the competition when it comes to job hunting? A great way to do this is by landing a data science internship, or an internship in any AI adjacent and related field while you’re in college. Not all internships are glamorous.
In fact, you may find yourself spending the summer making photocopies or doing other menial tasks, but the experience you get working in your field alongside professionals each day and the connections you make are invaluable. Unfortunately, the number of internships available is limited, and in some cases, they might not pay as much as you need to make over the summer. If this is the case, any work experience that is like your field can be helpful. You might also be able to get a work-study position at your school in your own department.
If you’re looking toward a career in AI, you probably already have some great tech skills that will improve with education and experience. However, another way to make yourself stand out is by developing soft skills. These are things such as communication, problem-solving and leadership that can be helpful in any profession, but which people often fail to work on in favor of mastering harder skills. Being good at working with others and coming up with solutions will enhance your career prospects.