Over the past several months, the percentage of tech jobs that focus on “emerging tech” has slowly crept up, according to a regular analysis by CompTIA. And of those “emerging tech” jobs, a significant percentage deal with artificial intelligence (A.I.) and machine learning.
Although A.I. and machine learning are still relatively “niche,” the day is coming when they’ll become fully mainstream—and at that juncture, a sizable percentage of tech jobs may demand at least some familiarity with these technologies. If you live in a state with a major tech hub, such as California or New York, the following data (also from CompTIA) makes it clear that A.I.-related jobs are slowly but surely on the rise:
Because these technologies are niche, they can also command high salaries: O’Reilly recently pegged the average salary of data and A.I. professionals at $146,000 per year (that’s from 2,778 respondents in the U.S. and 284 in the U.K.), with an average annual increase of 2.25 percent. A.I.-related salaries in California averaged $176,000; in Texas, they averaged $147,000; and in New York, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington, DC, they hit the $150,000 level.
If you’re totally new to A.I. and ML (and want to learn), start by swinging by Hacker Noon, which has a useful breakdown of A.I. from a programmer’s perspective. You can also check out Microsoft’s AI School, which offers an overview of everything from text analytics and object recognition to custom neural-network models.
As you progress in your knowledge, make sure to check out OpenAI’s very extensive tutorial in deep reinforcement learning. And if you’re feeling like a qualified pro, take a gander at Bloomberg’s Foundations of Machine Learning, a free online course that’s also quite advanced. There’s no telling when A.I. and ML will become more mainstream—but it’s always good to be prepared.