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Essential Skills to Get a Job in AI Today

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Researchers and developers across the world continue to rapidly advance the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence specialists make computer systems capable of performing human tasks. From gameplay to language generation to wildlife species identification to 3D protein folding, people are creating and using artificially intelligent technologies across industries every day.

Whether you have a background in artificial intelligence or are a newcomer to the field, you can benefit from learning essential skills to help you thrive at a job in AI. With artificial intelligence relevant to so many different disciplines, there are several ways you can develop the right skills for a fascinating AI job.

Train to Understand AI

A solid technical understanding of relevant subjects is essential for many jobs in AI. Industry professionals in autonomous vehicle development, robotics, machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing require broad knowledge bases and deep proficiencies to work in their disciplines.

Get Smart on the Subjects Relevant to AI

Ongoing research projects in AI cover varied topics like distributed computation, driving drones, cryptography, neural data analysis, and computer vision.

As AI spans disciplines, you can develop the skills right for jobs in artificial intelligence by focusing on subjects such as:

  • Algorithms. Artificial intelligence researchers and developers use math, probability, and statistics to create AI algorithms that enable AI to function.
  • Computers. A solid understanding of computers including how they work and how to program them can enable you to design artificially intelligent driving drones or autonomous robots.
  • Engineering. As an AI engineer, you could build competent language processors, unmanned aerial vehicles, sensor systems, or deep-learning game players.
  • Robotics. Roboticists can design artificially intelligent machines like self-driving cars and humanoid robots with advanced competencies like the ability to interpret our 3D world using data from sensors and images via computer vision.
  • Physics. Physicists contribute to the field of AI in unique ways like helping to build intelligent quantum computers and neural networks. 
  • Data science. Data scientists help make sense of the massive amounts of data produced and processed by artificially intelligent technologies and enable them to function.

You can use online learning platforms like Udacity to upskill by taking courses in AI, programming, data science, or autonomous systems.  

Within the field of AI, there are many subtopics you can focus on to hone your skillset. Perhaps you’re interested in becoming a specialist in one or more of these areas:

  • Linguistics and natural language processing: a blend of disciplines focused on interactions between computers and humans via language
  • Information processing: a focus on changes in information as it is processed with an emphasis on information acquisition, organization, and dissemination
  • Human-computer interactions (HCI): a focus on ways humans interact with computers with emphasis on process optimization and the development of novel interactions
  • Cognitive science: scientific study of the human mind with emphasis on understanding how brains represent, process, and transform information
  • Computational modeling: a means for understanding complex, nonlinear systems like human minds via simulation and mathematical modeling
  • Machine learning: a focal area of AI in which computer algorithms improve on their own through experience


While developing your skills, it can be helpful to connect with instructors, mentors, colleagues, and peers to deepen your understanding of subjects that interest or challenge you. 

Hiring managers often seek well-rounded individuals capable of applying their skills and knowledge to challenging projects. To round out your professional skillset, consider studying parallel areas like communications and data visualization that can help you derive and communicate important ideas.

Develop AI Skills Anywhere

To work in the field of artificial intelligence, it is important to establish well-rounded proficiencies with in-depth training and real-world experience across focal areas. Develop your skills and knowledge base in diverse ways. Consider pursuing your interests in AI via:

  • Internships
  • Clubs (e.g. robotics, computer programming, drone building)
  • Research opportunities
  • Online learning platforms
  • Publications about the field’s advancements
  • Hobbies (e.g. build your own robots or datasets)

To challenge yourself and advance your understanding of AI, you should try to discover novel ways you can contribute to the field. This can entail building robots, analyzing biomedical datasets, developing new computer algorithms, evolving neural networks, building drones, or crafting autonomous vehicles.

Collaborate With Companies Using AI

Current projects in artificial intelligence and machine learning are exciting. Companies using and advancing AI research and development are leading projects across subjects like economics, quantum physics, media, and self-driving cars.

Amazon conducts research across disciplines as diverse as cloud computing, quantum technologies, and machine learning.

AEye has designed an artificially intelligent artificial perception platform, intelligent detection and ranging (iDar), to mimic functions of the human visual system. Their product is designed to increase the speed and accuracy of how autonomous vehicles perceive environmental information.

To learn more about the specific skills and credentials you need to work in the artificial intelligence field on the topics that interest you, review current job descriptions. If you have a list of specific companies you would like to work with, explore their websites to learn about their work, contact them to inquire about internships, and read through their job postings to learn of skills you need.  

Upskill With Udacity to Work in AI

With compelling projects in the field of AI, you may be considering becoming an artificial intelligence expert or simply curious to learn more. Udacity’s founder, Sebastian Thrun, has expertise in technologies using artificial intelligence such as robots and self-driving cars. He and the Udacity team are passionate about artificial intelligence, machine learning and related subjects.

Udacity offers programs to help individuals learn and develop real-world skills in artificial intelligence such as:

If you want to upskill and open doors to new opportunities in tech, consider registering for Udacity’s Artificial Intelligence Nanodegree program today!

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