Artificial Intelligence (AI) these days is seen with a deep sense of foreboding. After all, there is no dearth of studies predicting the takeover of human jobs by machines and automation. We have already seen a host of developments on this front, from customer service chatbots to self-driving cars, threatening to make many traditional and time-tested jobs redundant in the future. In fact, a 2017 McKinsey study suggests that about 50% jobs “could theoretically be automated using currently demonstrated technologies”, while between 400 million-800 million employees globally could be eased out of their jobs by automation by 2030 and forced to find new work.
The silver lining is that there will be other jobs to fill that space. The same report suggests that, given a climate of economic growth, innovation and investment, many new job roles will emerge to make up for the ones that are lost. Ironically, several of these will be in AI, which is expected to be among the most promising sectors in the future.
If you’re thinking of a career that offers stability, growth and limitless opportunities, AI is a safe bet. Here’s a list of the top careers in the field along with the necessary skills to get them.
1. AI Researcher
Straddling the space between academics and a corporate role, AI researchers push the boundaries of the subject through relentless study and enquiry. They may specialise in any branch of AI, from machine learning to visual recognition and anything in between. Studies suggest there may be a huge shortfall of Ph.D.-educated AI researchers in India, opening up vast job opportunities for candidates with the right qualifications.
2. Data Scientist
Since AI is heavily dependent upon large amounts of data for optimisation and efficiency, the role of data scientist is crucial to its development. A data science degree isn’t essential for this role, but a background in STEM is. Data scientists are generally highly qualified in their streams, possessing at least a Master’s degree.
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3. Big Data Architect
The job of big data architects is to plan and develop the organization’s data management system. Following an analysis of a company’s needs and data sources, big data architects create a blueprint to collect, integrate and maintain the growing amounts of data generated every day. Big data architects possess a background in computer science or STEM subjects.
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4. UI/UX Designer
UI/UX designers make the use of the new technology convenient for the customer. Their job is to address the pain points of the product by drawing up a practicable solution to the problem and completing its implementation. You will need in-depth understanding of UI/UX principles along with good visual skills, a willingness to learn, and teamwork skills.
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5. Machine Learning Engineer
Machine learning engineers are software developers mandated to carry out tasks like machine learning experiments, data engineering, and enhancing machine learning performance. You’ll need a degree in computer science along with expert knowledge of machine learning to gain an entry into the field.
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Breaking into the AI industry
Being a sunrise sector, there’s stiff competition for careers in the AI industry. These steps could help you gain an edge by preparing you for the role:
1. Take up a course: IIT-Bombay, IIT-Madras, University of Hyderabad, ISI Kolkata and IISc Bengaluru are some of the top institutions that offer courses in AI. You could also opt for an online course from any of the reputed online educational platforms.
2. Start networking: Attending seminars, hackathons, conferences and workshops on AI will not only boost your knowledge but help you meet people in the industry who could guide you through the job search process and mentor you through your career.
3. Acquire domain expertise: Since a key task of AI is to help businesses and organizations increase efficiencies; expertise in a particular sector or domain will help you translate technical capability into business gains.
4. Build a personal brand: Join conversations on AI on social media, share news and opinions, interact with influencers, and thus become an active member of the online AI community to help you develop a personal brand.
5. Keep learning: Keep upgrading your knowledge. Extensive reading, staying abreast of the latest developments, and constant practice is the only way to keep up in this dynamic and rapidly evolving field.
With big strides being taken in AI almost on a daily basis, the technology is poised to transform society as we know it. Apart from those jobs listed above, the development of AI is also expected to lead to several auxiliary occupations such as AI copywriters, AI attorneys, and even AI journalists, opening up vast opportunities even for non-technical persons. With a world of possibilities before it, there has never been a better time to embrace AI.