Artificial intelligence is gaining traction in every field and every industry. It has enhanced the way we do everything, and because it has inched its way into every organization and industry, AI professionals with unique backgrounds and interests are needed everywhere.
Artificial intelligence is the idea that computers can do tasks and solve problems that would normally require human intelligence. While this used to be important just for software, artificial intelligence is making its way into every industry. Healthcare, marketing, retail, and more are all using AI to help enhance their processes and systems.
If you are interested in a future in AI, there are many degree paths you can take to help prepare you for a meaningful career. Learn about 8 popular artificial intelligence career paths and see if one is the best fit for you.
1. Machine learning engineer.
Machine learning is the specific function that computers can learn and develop based on inputs, patterns, and algorithms. A machine learning engineer needs to have strong software skills, be able to utilize predictive models, and use language processing while working with data sets. They leverage big data tools to help raw data get redefined into scientific models that can actually be consumed. They help build data models and feed information into them, scaling them so they can handle extensive real-time data.
They also build the programs that control computers and robots. They develop algorithms that help the machines identify patterns, allowing them to teach themselves and even think for themselves.
Machine learning engineers earn an average annual salary of more than $114,000 per year, with the lowest 10% making around $78,000 per year and the top 10% earning more than $150,000 per year. Machine learning and AI careers are exploding, with an expected increase of more than 300% in the next few years. Machine learning is in high demand as more industries are entering into the field. From healthcare, to marketing, retail, and software, every industry is being impacted and is in need of machine learning engineers.
A degree in computer science can help prepare you for this role in many ways. This kind of degree program will teach you about scripting and programming, analytics and algorithms, all of which are crucial in preparing you for a future in machine learning.
2. Data scientist.
Data scientists do more abstract AI work in their daily job. They use communication and programming skills to create and manage the analysis of information sets. They frame and identify a problem, collect the data, then process and analyze that data. Data scientists are responsible for studying the ways that patterns come from raw data, and develop techniques that can be used in the future to help process this data. They are involved with data modeling, prototypes, algorithms and more.
Data scientists earn an average annual salary of $95,000, with the bottom 10% earning around $66,000, and the top 10% earning more than $134,000 per year. The BLS predicts that this profession will grow 19% by 2026. The field of AI is rapidly growing, and data scientists are needed to ensure that the field is able to continue to grow and develop in meaningful ways.
A data scientist can get a great start with a computer science degree. This kind of degree program gives students the basics of computer programming languages, operating systems, security, and more.
3. Data engineer.
Data engineers create data infrastructures that support business systems and applications. The build and implement the systems that will fuel AI and machine learning. They are responsible for creating the programs that a company will use to utilize AI. They work directly with data scientists to learn what they need to build for the organization and system. And then data analysts take what has been created and utilize it to work with data.
Data engineers earn an average annual salary of over $102,000, with the bottom 10% earning around $72,000 and the top 10% earning more than $158,000 per year. Research shows that the data engineering field could grow 50% in just a year. As technology evolves, data engineers are needed to enhance the way systems work. They need to work with technology to create new options for processing and understanding data.
A degree in data analytics could be hugely beneficial for someone who wants to become a data engineer. Data management is key to understanding how to be a good data engineer, and a degree program can give you the information in scripting, programming, and management that are key to success.
4. Information management.
Information managers are key to the way IT programs and teams run in an organization. IT managers help recruit and train new employees, oversee the work of different teams, coordinate efforts between departments, and work with upper management and executives to report on their progress and understand what needs there are for the organization. IT managers are crucial for AI because they work with the different specialized AI employees to help coordinate what needs to be done. They research new and upcoming technology to understand how it can benefit their organization, and put the systems in place to help new systems flourish.
IT managers earn an average annual salary of $87,000. The bottom 10% earn about $54,000 per year, and the top 10% earn about $133,000. It it’s expected that this profession will grow about 11% by 2028. This is because many organizations are enhancing their technological needs and organizations, and they need managers to help establish the create functional and efficient teams.
A degree in information technology management is key to helping students be prepared for their future. In an IT management degree, students learn about specific programming languages, up and coming technology, management systems, and strategies to help them be effective leaders.
5. Algorithm engineer.
Algorithm engineers are in charge of developing the specific algorithms that an AI machine will utilize to discover patterns within data sets. New algorithms are created constantly to help AI machines be able to better learn and improve. Algorithm engineers write new algorithms, test them out on the machines, and see if the results are working so devices can continue to get better results.
Algorithm engineers can earn an average annual salary of over $121,000. The bottom 10% earn about $103,000 per year, and the top 10% earn more than $142,000 per year. As machine learning and AI continue to grow more important, so will the need for algorithm engineers, so this field will likely explode over the next few years.
A data analytics degree may be ideal in helping you be prepared for this career. A data analytics degree will give you information on scripting, programming, data mining, and more.
6. Software developer.
Software developers create the computer programs that utilize artificial intelligence to run. They design, test, and develop the software and recommend upgrades for existing models. They utilize AI understanding and technology to improve software systems. Software developers use machine learning to help their programs get smarter, they use algorithms to help decipher data and make use of larger data sets. They are responsible for software programs and ensuring that the right programs and systems are in place.
Software developers earn an average annual salary of over $103,000. The top 10% earn more than $166,000, and the bottom 10% earn about $61,000 per year. Experts say that software development will grow about 21% by 2028. Software developers are critical players in the growth of technology and development of AI systems in every industry, so the need for them will only continue to grow.
A degree in software development is critical to being a successful software developer. A degree program will help you learn important programming languages, UX and UI skills, operation systems, data manipulation, and more. Software development degree programs can also help students learn about emerging technologies and how they place a role in software programs.
7. Business intelligence developer.
A business intelligence developer, or BI developer, is an engineer that is responsible for developing and maintaining BI interfaces. Data visualization, interactive dashboards, reporting, and data modeling are all important elements of BI interface. BI developers utilize AI to create business intelligence programs that can get smarter, follow routines, and learn as they go. While business intelligence developers may not do the actual coding or programming, but they are in charge of creating the ideas and strategy behind BI systems.
Business intelligence developers earn an average annual salary of about $85,000 per year, with the bottom 10% earning about $58,000 per year and the top 10% earning more than $118,000 per year. Business intelligence is expected to grow 14% by 2024, as more businesses are looking for software systems and programs that integrate AI technology. They need these programs to fuel their organization and enhance their reporting, visualization, and daily routines.
Business intelligence developers can greatly benefit from getting a degree in information technology. This degree program will detail business applications for IT and help students understand how to incorporate business and IT together. It will go over IT fundamentals, management strategies, and more.
8. Computer vision engineer.
Computer vision focuses on the way devices can make sense of images. A computer vision engineer uses this technology to solve real-world problems. They research and implement machine learning and computer vision strategies for their clients. They utilize this AI technology to help analyze images and solve problems using them. Computer vision detects patterns, compares images, looks for inconsistencies, and more.
Computer vision engineers earn an average annual salary of $117,000 per year. The bottom 10% earn about $67,000 per year, and the top 10% earn $158,000 per year. Research shows that computer vision engineering is expecting a growth of about 19% by 2026. As AI technologies continue to grow and develop, the demand for professionals who understand how these new systems work and are integrated into industries will be increasingly valuable.
Computer science is a great degree to get if you’re interested in computer vision. It will go over programming, scripting, data structures, and more. These courses will help you be prepared to understand artificial intelligence, patterns, data analytics, and other important components of computer vision engineering.
If you’re interested in a career in AI, there are many options and degree paths you can take to help you get there. Consider WGU IT programs as a great starting place to get you prepared for this exciting career.