As we enter a new decade, the one technology that will dominate the headlines in the near future is obviously Artificial Intelligence or AI. Acting as a major fuel of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, AI and machine learning is being viewed as an essential requirement for continued innovation and growth of a company. Deloitte in its “Global State of AI in the Enterprise, 2nd Edition” survey found that companies that adopted AI at an early stage considered it to be ‘very’ critical to their company’s success. Moreover, 51 percent of the survey respondents expected to boost their AI investments by 10 percent or more in 2019.
But what does this have to do with you? Well, it means you have a promising career field where you can explore your skills. There is a growing trend of professionals taking up AI courses to gain expertise in the field and become eligible for the high paying job opportunities available in the market. There are already some fascinating applications of AI like virtual assistants, self-driving cars, facial recognition, and chatbots that have piqued the interests of professionals across the world.
If you too are aspiring to join the AI talent pool, then this article is for you. It will guide you regarding the career prospects of an AI engineer and what will be your earning potential. But first, let us know who is an AI engineer.
Who is an AI Engineer?
Broadly speaking, Artificial Intelligence or AI refers to the ability of a computer system to perform such tasks that only a human brain could do earlier. Similar to a human brain, AI systems learn from past data (gain experience in case of humans), make corrections in their actions and respond to new inputs accordingly, and finally perform actions without any intervention.
So, AI Engineers are professionals who build and test AI models through machine learning algorithms, artificial neural networks, and other tools and draw business insights. Their responsibility includes performing a blend of data engineering, software development, and data science tasks. They use different tools and techniques to process large amounts of data as well as develop and maintain AI systems.
Today, AI engineers are not only employed in the IT sector but also work in areas like banking, healthcare, government agencies, and manufacturing. While different employers have different job descriptions for AI engineers, they generally have to develop AI models and help business leaders and stakeholders understand the outcomes. They know how to convert machine learning models into APIs so that other applications could use it. Companies also expect them to carry out statistical analysis and tune the outcomes to derive better insights.
AI Engineer Salary Prospects
What do you think would be the average salary of AI? Would it be higher than the otherwise popular software developer role? Yes, it is definitely higher. According to payscale, Artificial Intelligence Engineers earn a whopping average annual salary of Rs. 1,528,361 in India. For the same role, the average salary stands at $122,793 in the US. Here are the salary numbers for other popular countries:
- The United Kingdom – £53,459
- Canada – C$89,807
- Australia – AU$111,493
- Singapore – S$74,009
Professionals with experience as well as entry-level are eligible for better salary packages as the demand for AI engineers is high but the talent is scarce at present. This is attributed to the fact that AI is a difficult field to master and most people don’t have an in-depth understanding of the concepts that are applicable in AI-powered projects.
The salary of an AI engineer is also affected by the skills they possess. One can better their earnings by gaining the following skills:
- Data modeling
- Machine learning
- Big data analytics
- Image processing
- Natural Language Processing (NLP)
- Software development
- Python programming
If you are able to hone your skills in AI, you will become an asset to your organization. The competition is comparatively less in this field and you will find better opportunities coming your way in a short period of time.
Talking about the companies that value AI Engineers and hire them in large numbers, you will come across the names like:
- Walmart Labs
Here is another reason why becoming an AI engineer should be on your cards – in India alone, the AI industry doubled in size in 2019 with a revenue of USD 415 million compared to USD 230 million in 2018. There were around 72,000 people working in the AI industry in India and the number is growing to increase significantly in the years to come.
How to Get Started?
Whenever you research any new career, you will finally come to the question – How should I begin? Well, if you have time for an academic course, you can take up a university full-time program.
However, as applicable to many others, if you are a working professional, then this option is suitable for you. You can enroll in an online Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning program to gain the relevant skills. From artificial neural networks, machine learning algorithms, to image processing and natural language processing, reliable courses cover every topic in detail and make you capable of handling AI projects in virtually any industry. So find one such eLearning provider and start your AI journey.
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Harsha VC is a freelance writer. He is a MA English graduate from the reputed university of India. He writes on different topics on automobiles, banking, travel guides, and organizational roles and responsibilities.