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With the increasing use of smart technology in our world today, many people are asking what kind of degree they should get if they want to get into the field of artificial intelligence. The good news is that there are a few different kinds of degrees available to interested candidates. Artificial intelligence is used in so many industries that most degree programs prepare students for multiple career options. Here is information on artificial intelligence and the best degree and career options.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science that deals with designing “smart” machines that can perform tasks most often performed by humans or human intelligence. There are many approaches to artificial intelligence, and AI is used in almost every sector of the technology industry. Something as simple as Netflix figuring out what shows we like to watch or Amazon knowing you’re about to run out of cat food are just a few of the many ways artificial intelligence can be used.

Artificial intelligence is generally one of two kinds: narrow artificial intelligence or artificial general intelligence. Narrow artificial intelligence focuses on performing a specific task well. The machines using narrow AI are “intelligent”, but they come with more limitations and constraints than even human intelligence. Examples of narrow AI include Google search, self-driving cars, personal assistants like Alexa or Siri, and image recognition software to name a few.

Artificial general intelligence can be found in many areas of our lives. Machines using artificial general intelligence are like human beings with general intelligence in that they’re capable of solving almost any problem. The best example of artificial general intelligence are robots that, through the use algorithms, can perform several different tasks.

What Kind of Degree for Careers in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence programs can be found in both the computer science engineering departments at many colleges and universities. While one college might offer a computer engineering program that specializes in artificial intelligence, another might offer a computer science program that specializes in artificial intelligence.

Students complete courses in cybernetics, robotics, AI principles and techniques, AI methods, natural language processing, robotics and control, machine learning, and human-AI interaction. Here are a few of the degree programs in artificial intelligence in which students might be able to choose.

  • Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a Concentration in Artificial Intelligence Cluster
  • Master of Science in Computer Science with a Concentration in Database and Artificial Intelligence
  • Bachelor of Science in Cognitive Science with a Concentration in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Engineering/Computer Information Systems with a Concentration in Artificial Intelligence.

Careers in Artificial Intelligence

The best way to describe a career in artificial intelligence is a combination of robotics, automation, and the use of sophisticated computer programs and software. With artificial intelligence such an important part of our daily lives, it’s easy to understand why there are so many careers available in the field of artificial intelligence. Here are a few careers along with their possible average annual salaries according to a 2019 report by Glassdoor.

  • Machine Learning Engineer – $121,488
  • Data Scientist – $120,931
  • Business Intelligence Developer -$92,278
  • Research Scientist – $99,809
  • Big Data Engineer/Architect – $151,307

Related Resource: What Can I Do With a Computer Science Degree?

Career Outlook

As artificial intelligence continues to become capable of performing more tasks, artificial intelligence is expected to grow quickly and in a big way, and its job outlook is already excellent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predict that employment of computer occupations should grow 12 percent during the 2018-2028 decade. Candidates who have training in artificial intelligence should see some of the best career opportunities.

In addition to the other possible jobs listed above, graduates of artificial intelligence degree programs may also find careers as algorithm specialist, electrical engineer, software analyst, mechanical engineer, research scientist, graphic designer, military technician, teach or medical health professional.

At one time, the idea of artificial intelligence sounded unbelievable, yet it’s here and a broad field that brings us bigger, better and improved technologies. By choosing the right degree, candidates can have rewarding, lucrative and extremely interesting careers.