Recent years have highlighted some uncertainty about the direction and stability of the tech industry. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted operations but ultimately caused a strong rise in the market value of big tech companies.1 However, those same companies have drawn attention for substantial layoffs in the first half of 2023,2 due in part to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes in response to inflation.3
Nevertheless, the current predictions for the industry as a whole are strong,4 and machine learning careers in particular are expected to see significant growth. After all, AI chatbots are just the tip of the machine learning iceberg. As companies both in and outside big tech keep investing in technology to stay competitive, machine learning will continue to stretch into new corners of every industry.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the future of machine learning careers, including salaries, the skills you’ll need to land a job and how you can start off on the right foot with a top-tier machine learning education.
Machine Learning Job Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that data scientist and computer and information research scientist careers will grow by 36% and 21%, respectively, from 2021 to 2031.5,6 These figures represent much faster growth than the average of 5.3% across growing occupations7 and include positions such as natural language processing engineers and machine learning engineers.
Three industries (of many) that are increasingly using machine learning are healthcare, information security, and agriculture.
Most machine learning positions in the medical sector are in research, and the applications in the works are diverse. As just two examples, many research efforts in the last few years have focused on predicting pandemic patterns8 and training models to detect anomalies in medical images to improve diagnostic speed and accuracy.9
Importantly, a wide variety of recent studies have called for additional research on various forms of AI and machine learning in healthcare,10 highlighting the pressing need for more machine learning expertise in the field of medicine.
Information and Cyber Security
Cyber threats are always evolving. Although machine learning helps to reduce the person-hours needed to track and keep up with those threats, the growth of infosec careers is expected to keep pace with that of data science careers.11 This is likely due to ongoing network and infrastructure developments along with the evolution of cyber attacks, all of which impact how machine learning algorithms need to approach pattern recognition.
Climate change and geopolitics, among several other factors, have become significant threats to national and global food security. The agricultural sector has been forced to learn new ways to adapt to such exceptional circumstances, including extreme weather events and supply chain interruptions.
Machine learning careers in agriculture include both research and practical data science/engineering positions. In terms of specific applications, machine learning has been used in precision agriculture to improve yields and plant health13 and can aid in the early detection of plant pests and diseases.14 Because agriculture is so dependent on external factors, the job outlook in this field is likely to follow the upward trends in global disruptions, climatic and otherwise.
Machine Learning Salaries
As with most careers, machine learning salaries vary depending on the industry, your location and experience, and other variables. If you have an idea of how and where you want to work with machine learning, you can tailor a salary search to that information for a more specific range. In the meantime, here are some approximate average, base pay machine learning salaries you can expect from various positions, based on sources such as Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter:
- Machine learning engineer: $130,000/year15
- Natural language processing engineer: $133,000/year16
- Cybersecurity analyst: $128,870/year17
- Machine learning researcher: $133,000/year18
- Data scientist: $117,554/year19
Essential Machine Learning Skills
As with salaries, the skills you’ll need for your machine learning career will vary. However, there are some core skills you need to have regardless of your chosen path.
You’ll need to be proficient in certain programming languages to get into machine learning. Python is the most commonly used, but you might also find C/C++, Java, and R to be helpful.20 Throughout your machine learning education, you’ll learn how to use different tools, such as Scikit-Learn and TensorFlow, and how to select the right tool for the job.21
You’ll also need to know database systems for data management and version control.
Much of machine learning is based on complex mathematical models. You’ll need to have a firm understanding of how the algorithms work, so you should be familiar with concepts such as conditional probability and Bayes’ theorem along with linear algebra and multivariable calculus.22
Specific Machine Learning Concepts
To land a machine learning job, you’ll have to prove that you understand the different types of algorithms, such as decision tree, linear and logistic regression, k-nearest neighbors, and random forest models. Knowledge of concepts such as overfitting and underfitting and supervised vs. semi-supervised vs. unsupervised learning will also be required.
Get Your Machine Learning Education at MSOE
It’s not impossible to get a machine learning job with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and relevant experience. However, many machine learning careers require candidates to have a master’s degree. Furthermore, graduate studies will better prepare you for a machine learning career in research or industry by allowing you to dive deeper into important machine learning concepts and how they’re applied in practice. Undergraduate education tends to just scratch the surface.
Milwaukee School of Engineering’s online Master’s in Machine Learning will give you all the skills and knowledge you need to succeed on your machine learning journey. Whether you start with the online Graduate Certificate in Machine Learning or jump right into the online Master of Science in Machine Learning, MSOE’s online programs will give you the essential machine learning skills that you need to succeed in this exciting field. Connect theory to application with a curriculum that focuses on hands-on learning.
Get started today. Complete the form for more information, or get started on your application.
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from techmonitor.ai/technology/cloud/why-big-tech-stocks-boomed-covid-19
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from statista.com/chart/29175/largest-tech-layoffs-since-2020/
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from techtarget.com/whatis/feature/Tech-sector-layoffs-explained-What-you-need-to-know
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from deloitte.com/us/en/pages/technology-media-and-telecommunications/articles/technology-industry-outlook.html
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/computer-and-information-research-scientists.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/math/data-scientists.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from bls.gov/emp/tables/occupations-most-job-growth.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2019&q=machine+learning+epidemic+prediction&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from scholar.google.com/scholar?as_ylo=2019&q=machine+learning+medical+image+analysis&hl=en&as_sdt=0,5
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666603022000069
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2022/10/17/what-you-need-to-know-about-food-security-and-climate-change
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11831-021-09588-5
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/machine-learning-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,25.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/nlp-engineer-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/NLP-Engineer-Salary
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Cyber-Security-Salary
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/machine-learning-researcher-salary-SRCH_KO0,27.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from glassdoor.com/Salaries/data-scientist-salary-SRCH_KO0,14.htm
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from towardsdatascience.com/what-is-the-best-programming-language-for-machine-learning-a745c156d6b7
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from towardsdatascience.com/essential-skills-for-machine-learning-engineers-720938c6e12b
- Retrieved on July 4, 2023, from pub.towardsai.net/4-math-skills-for-machine-learning-12bfbc959c92