Do you enjoy mathematics and science? Do you like working with your hands? Most importantly, do you have a passion for computers? If so, you may want to consider studies in artificial intelligence and robotics. Read on to learn more about this dynamic field, including educational degree options and career opportunities.
The fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics aren't just about talking computers and shiny metallic robots. Rather, both artificial intelligence (AI, for short) and robotics have significant relevance in the development of the latest technologies, from the car that gives you directions to the text message that guesses your next word. Those who work in these fields have a strong understanding of algorithms, logic programming, theorem proofs and user interfaces. As an artificial intelligence or robotics professional, you may find work with companies that build toys and appliances, car manufacturers, or government and military corporations.
If you're interested in pursuing work in artificial intelligence and robotics, you should expect keen job competition over the next several years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for computer and electronic manufacturing workers is expected to decline by 19% over the 2008-2018 decade (www.bls.gov). With manufacturing becoming more automated and many jobs being outsourced overseas, it may be challenging to find work. Opportunities are expected to be best in research and development, as well for those with experience in high-tech manufacturing and software development.
Degrees in AI and robotics are only offered at the graduate level. However, undergraduates in this field may consider a bachelor's degree program in cognitive science as preparation.
Students in AI and robotics master's degree programs take courses in computer science, engineering and mathematics, as well as courses about natural language processing, machine learning, control systems design, mechanical engineering and cognitive computing. Because of the innovative and evolving nature of the subject, curricula change every year. As a student in this type of programs, you'll have the opportunity to learn how to install and operate robotic equipment. You'll also likely be exposed to modern AI and robotics and be required to develop projects of your own.