Students Vs Professionals Amid COVID-19: Survive (or) Thrive in the AI Career

Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium

From a bustling lifestyle to lockdown, from lay-offs to furloughs, COVID-19 has ransacked the lives of many working professionals.

Right now, we’re all working toward managing a better future in multiple ways. Our lifestyle has changed, our leaning has changed, and even the way we work has changed. Who would have thought about the spread of coronavirus today, we were all just living normal lives? Until the pandemic!

Every person who is looking to thrive on this planet will need new skillsets to be successful in the near future. This near-future could be a month from now, a year or perhaps a decade. This is crucial for students (the professors or mentors teaching them) as well as professionals with the records by the WEF (World Economic Forum) stating two-thirds of the students today will be efficient for jobs that do not exist yet. Not to mention, LinkedIn ranked AI and cloud computing to be emerging jobs in 2020.

In the present situation, students who can use emerging technology like AI as their bedrock are bound to arise in the future. Employers are interested in hiring people with a solid foundation in technologies like machine learning, big data, AI, and cloud computing.

Why AI is an ideal career choice?

Layoffs and furlough have become the new normal amid the pandemic today. Multiple job roles are disappearing, skills that were once trending have turned obsolete. The situation will only worsen if students and professionals are not trained in future technologies.

LinkedIn’s 2020 Emerging Jobs Report predicted AI specialists to be among the top emerging jobs in 2020.

Recent studies by the McKinsey Global Institute suggested over 800 million jobs to be displaced due to automation and AI — approximately between 39 million and 73 million constitutes the jobs in the US. Although AI is bound to displace jobs, it promises to create double the jobs than it destroys. The AI jobs will not evaporate but will change as technology advances. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, also called the Industry 4.0 fueled by AI is set to transform the workforce.

Why students should embrace AI?

Don’t you think students or the younger generation must know the technology force that is changing our everyday lives?

Well, they have all the right to know about AI.

The dominance of AI over the past years has been swift. The reason why educators need to enforce AI courses or AI certification. Or better yet, incorporate learning, knowledge sharing, and a certain set of competencies to equip them into the future.

Most people are now aware of the fact that AI is the core technology that works behind personal assistants such as Siri, Google, and Alexa. Though the younger generation may be digital natives, most of them are still digitally naïve. They do not know how technology works, however, only a few of them appreciate how machines are reshaping the employment scenario.

With lockdown at hand, this is the right opportunity for students to learn concepts and gain a foundation in AI. However, before getting into the learning path, there are basic concepts the students need to first learn.

  • Mathematics, Linear Algebra, and Probability
  • Statistics and Calculus
  • Basic programming skills of at least one programming language — Python

👉Best approach for students

Students need to be prepared for the digital world.

Understanding how AI functions, how data is used to train the systems, the advantages or pitfalls of AI is crucial to enter the AI world. In addition to this, students need to synthesize knowledge about AI and how they can come up with solutions to solve complex problems.

Since AI jobs are proliferating, scoring a job as an AI engineer at the initial start is a good career choice.

Now if you’re thinking, is it even possible for someone to get into an AI career with just a graduate degree. Well, over the years, things have drastically changed. Hiring managers are now more concerned about hiring a professional with an AI skillset rather than taking a check on the candidate’s educational background. So, if you’re asking if it is possible to enter the AI world, the answer would be a simple yes.

Cutting short, students have started taking the shorter route to success. Online training centers and AI certifications are in abundance in the jobs market. All you must do is to dig deeper and find the best AI certifications that best suits your profile.

Why professionals should go for AI?

AI, as we know is already transforming the global economy.

And job opportunities in AI high in demand.

As a professional, grabbing a job in AI can future-proof your career. All in all, you’re likely to survive even if the economy goes haywire — because highly skilled technologists will always be sought after by the industry.

For instance, in the current pandemic situation, AI has stepped up to help fight against the COVID-19.

AI can be a game-changer for tech professionals out there, improving the productivity of multiple sectors.

Top companies hiring in AI include names like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Amongst these companies, you will also find multiple startups in AI looking to recruit fresh candidates.

Getting into a startup as a fresher can be a good start. Here are the names of a few startups you can start applying to — Tempus, DataRobot, Narrative Science, AlphaSense, Clarifai, Neurala, Persado, Nutonomy, CognitiveScale, X.AI, AEye, Freenome, AIBrain, Blue River Tech, Vidado, Casetext, CloudMinds, and Figure Eight.

👉The best approach for professionals to make an AI career

Upskilling has become critical for professionals to take on a new journey toward the AI future.

There’s a major disruption felt by organizations, yet the people are still not prepared for such a crisis. For instance, take the example of the pandemic. Over the past few weeks’ companies have transformed and shifted toward the use of more sophisticated technologies due to lockdown across the globe in an attempt to reduce person-to-person contact with the implementation of social distancing to contain the spread of the virus. Work from home has become the new norm, thus, people are now bound to adjust to new ways of working remotely.

The current situation is a clear scenario of how AI and automation are transforming the world.

For the reasons mentioned above, reskilling has become significant, while there is a strong demand for professionals skilled in AI.

A surge of multiple online AI certification programs is now available for employees to choose from, or find new skill-sets to specialize in. You just need to make the right choice.

Thus, getting yourself certified and trained in AI is the best way to give yourself a leg up in your career. Therefore, if you’re looking to stay competitive in the job market, enrolling for the right certification program is an ideal way to start.

The AI revolution predicts to reshape the way we live and work.

If we do not embrace the change now, we will never be ready for the jobs of tomorrow!