Many AI specialists are employed by IT companies, but there are increasing opportunities in other sectors that currently use AI technology or are currently introducing this technology into their operations. The following sectors also employ AI specialists: banking, transportation, astronomy, shipping, accounting, health care, agriculture, nonprofits, security, and human resources. Artificial intelligence specialists also work in the U.S. military.
Artificial intelligence is such a new field (in terms of its practical applications) that there is no standard educational path for job seekers. As a result, many existing software engineers, computer scientists, data analysts, and other information technology workers are “upskilling” their credentials by taking continuing education classes in order to qualify for higher-paying, higher-demand AI positions.
College students often obtain their first jobs as a result of participating in internships and other experiential learning opportunities. When they make a good impression, they are often noticed by employers and offered full-time positions at the end of the internship or other learning opportunity. Others learn about job listings through their career services office, online and in-person career fairs, and job sites. Contacting potential employers directly is another good way to learn about job openings. Many companies identify job candidates who perform well in hackathons or open-source data science competitions.
Advancement opportunities vary by job title. A person who enters the field as a data analyst can, with additional experience and education, advance to the position of AI scientist or engineer. The next advancement level would be to director of AI for a company. The director manages lower-level staff, oversees projects, interacts with their company’s sales staff and senior executives regarding its AI products and services, and develops long-term plans regarding their organization’s AI initiatives. Some AI specialists start their own consulting firms or software development companies. Others become college professors.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Become active in your school’s computer club or local technology groups.
Read IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine (https://cis.ieee.org/publications/ci-magazine) and AI Magazine (https://aaai.org/Magazine/magazine.php) to learn more about the field.