Over the last few years, AI has become a buzzword in sectors beyond the IT industry.
Given its huge potential, it is not surprising that it is amongst the most sought-after skills by employers and employees alike.
As one of the most in-demand skills of the decade, there are certain requirements in order to enjoy a successful career in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). For starters, one needs to have in-depth knowledge of data science & statistics, and basic knowledge of data processing & software engineering.
Additionally, a strong combination of both technical as well as non-technical skills can greatly help in exploring a career in AI.
A few of the important technical and non-technical skills required are:
Computer programming: One of the fundamental skills to have is the ability to program. Computer architecture, optimisation algorithms, data structures, trees, and graphs are just some of the subjects that one would need to be well-versed with.
Statistics & probability: At the root of data science is statistics. This is a core part of AI and ML, and having a working knowledge of probability concepts including conditional probability, Markov models, Bayesian principles, etc. is very important.
Data modeling: A strong skill that can help in AI is data modelling. It is used extensively in AI to handle pattern recognition and datasets classification.
Strong understanding of Unix Tools: AI professionals are required to have a strong understanding of Unix tools, their functions, and how to best utilize them since most AI processing will take place on Linux-based environments.
Efficiency in distributed computing: A majority of the AI jobs require programmers to deal with a large volume of data, which cannot be processed effectively using a single machine. Hence, programmers need to have skills in distributed computing as this data will be equally distributed across systems.
Software design: AI aspirants need to develop this skillset as the ultimate product will still be in some form of software, and its design can have a huge impact on customer experience.
Communication skills: Just like any other job, AI jobs require professionals to be good communicators. In addition to having technical know-how, AI aspirants need to communicate innovative ideas effectively to their teams.
Marketing skills: No matter how good your idea or project is, it will not sell itself. Being able to market your ideas is crucial to succeed in the competitive AI space.
Systematic and analytical thinking: One needs to have a curious mindset, and a thirst for problem solving. AI aspirants need the ability to understand problems faced by users and then devise solutions accordingly. Furthermore, they need to crave knowledge that will keep them abreast with the latest technological developments in order to remain relevant.
(The author is the VP at an IT services company)