Top 7 Careers in AI, ML and Big Data

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It has become common to joke about how robots are going to take our jobs, and rightfully so: Oxford University researchers estimate that 47% of all current US employment is at high risk to become automated over the next decade or so.

But there is positive news: Of the 1.8 million jobs AI will get rid of, the emerging field will create 2.3 million by 2020, according to a recent report from Gartner. And a recent Capgemini report found that 83% of companies using AI say the technology is already adding jobs.

A lot of that growth is coming from the technology itself.

“We’ll continue to see job growth in anything AI-related for the next five to 10 years, which is one of the things that will mitigate the oft-publicized inevitable job loss due to AI-led automation,” said Brandon Purcell, an analyst at Forrester.

Want to break into a career in the field? Here are the top six most in-demand AI jobs and their average salaries, according to data from job search site Indeed.

1. Machine Learning Engineer – $142,904

Machine learning engineers are highly sought after and command an annual median salary of $142,904. They’re mostly responsible for building and managing platforms for machine learning projects.

The role of a machine learning engineer is at the heart of AI projects and is suitable for those who hail from a background in applied research and data science. However, it’s also necessary to be an AI programmer and demonstrate a thorough understanding of multiple programming languages.

Machine learning engineers should also be able to apply predictive models and leverage natural language processing when working with enormous datasets.

To get hired, it will help if candidates are highly experienced with agile development practices and familiar with leading software development IDE tools like Eclipse and IntelliJ.

If you take a look at leading job sites, you’ll find that many hiring companies prefer individuals who possess a master’s or doctoral degree in mathematics or computer science.

To be considered, applicants must demonstrate an in-depth working knowledge of modern programming languages like the following:

  • Java
  • Python
  • Scala

Preference is often given to technology professionals with strong mathematical skills. Most job postings also require candidates to be experts in machine learning, deep learning, and neural networks, with strong computer programming skills, analytical skills, and experience with cloud applications.

2. Data Scientist – $141,807

When it comes to careers in artificial intelligence, data scientists command an annual median salary of $141,807. Candidates looking to get started in data science need to be comfortable with big data platforms and tools like the following:

  • Hive
  • Hadoop
  • MapReduce
  • Pig
  • Spark

Data scientists should also be highly experienced in statistical computing languages and programming languages:

Hiring companies often expect data scientists to be highly educated, with a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in computer science. Sometimes an advanced degree in electrical engineering or mathematics will suffice, but for data scientists who want to play the role of an AI developer, an advanced degree in computer science trumps all others.

To be considered, candidates should possess at least two years of experience working with machine learning. Furthermore, extensive knowledge and experience working on cloud tools like Amazon’s S3 and the Hadoop platform will be an advantage.

Beyond the ability to understand unstructured data, data scientists are also required to demonstrate strong analytical and communication skills to seamlessly communicate their findings with business leaders.

3. Business Intelligence Developer – $136,486

Careers in artificial intelligence also include the position of business intelligence (BI) developer. The primary objective of this role is to analyze complex data sets to identify business and market trends.

Business intelligence developers play a key role in improving the efficiency and profitability of a business. It’s a career that’s in high demand and commands an annual median salary of $136,486.

Business intelligence developers are typically responsible for designing, modeling, and maintaining complex data in highly accessible cloud-based data platforms.

Those who are interested in this role need to possess strong technical and analytical skills. Candidates should be able to communicate with non-technical colleagues and display strong problem-solving skills.

Unlike other artificial intelligence careers on this list, business intelligence developers traditionally only have been required to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, or a related field. However, a combination of on-the-job experience and certifications is highly desired.

This means that the ideal candidate will have considerable experience in data warehouse design, data mining, SQL queries, SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Reporting Services, and BI technologies.

As artificial intelligence starts to transform new industries, the demand for business intelligence developers will continue to grow rapidly.

4. Research Scientist – $137,713

One of the leading careers in artificial intelligence is the job of the research scientist. These individuals are experts in multiple AI disciplines, including applied mathematics, machine learning, deep learning, and computational statistics.

To get hired, candidates should demonstrate extensive knowledge and experience in computer perception, graphical models, reinforcement learning, and natural language processing. Research scientists are in high demand and command an annual median salary of $137,713.

Like data scientists, research scientists often are expected to have advanced master’s or doctoral degree in computer science. However, many companies accept an advanced degree in a related technical field that’s supported by experience.

Most hiring companies are on the lookout for technology professionals who have an in-depth understanding of benchmarking, parallel computing, distributed computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

5. Big Data Engineer/Architect $151,307

Big data engineers and architects have among the best paying jobs in artificial intelligence. In fact, they command an annual median salary of $151,307.

As big data engineers and architects play a vital role in developing an ecosystem that enables business systems to communicate with each other and collate data, most companies prefer professionals who have completed a Ph.D. in mathematics, computer science, or a related field.

Compared to data scientists, this role can feel more involved, as big data engineers and architects typically are tasked with planning, designing, and developing the big data environment on Hadoop and Spark systems.

Candidates also have to demonstrate significant programming experience with C++, Java, Python, and Scala. They also have to show in-depth knowledge and experience engaging in data mining, data visualization, and data migration.

6. Computer Vision Engineer – $136,152

Computer Vision Research Engineer role focuses on research, analysis, and development of computer vision technologies, development of software components and tools.

7. R&D engineer

R&D engineers, or research and development engineers, develop new products, redesign existing products, and perform research and testing on product concepts. … R&D engineers typically work in office environments and do not normally travel outside the company property to perform their regular daily duties.

Which Companies Are Hiring for Artificial Intelligence Roles?

Companies that hire top AI talent range from startups like Argo AI to tech giants like IBM. According to Glassdoor, these are the leading employers who hired top AI talent over the past year:

  • Amazon
  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • Accenture
  • Facebook
  • Intel
  • Samsung
  • Lenovo
  • Adobe
  • MoTek Technologies
  • Uber
  • PCO Innovation
  • Rakuten Marketing
  • Wells Fargo

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