Getting a Job in Machine Learning

Nancy Anderson
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Machine learning, a subset of artificial intelligence, faces massive growth potential in terms of jobs in the tech industry. If you have a knack for computer programming and love to solve problems, this kind of job represents one possible path for you when seeking a position in IT or even as a solopreneur or freelancer.

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine learning happens when a software application learns after it collects data. The more data it collects, the better it learns. Programmers lay out the framework for an algorithm, or a bit of computer software that conducts mathematical operations in a specified order that solves one particular problem. For example, one algorithm can perform a complex calculation for searching the internet. As the algorithm collects more data with each problem it solves, the program stores that information and uses the results to improve the way it searches for information.

Why Is This Field Important?

As a career, machine learning is very important to large companies because of the hot field of predictive analytics. Companies can get ahead by predicting better outcomes than their competitors. To do that, software must collect copious amount of data and perform complex mathematical computations on that data. Programs find trends amid this large cache of information. These trends allow companies to create business strategies moving forward.

Cloud-based systems are at the heart of predictive analytics. Cloud applications let software gain access to data stored in remote locations, thereby giving IT staffers the freedom to create efficient data-retrieval systems based on a company's unique needs. Rather than set up massive data banks within a corporation's headquarters, tech gurus only need to create computer systems that quickly retrieve data. Once a computer program accesses the data, it crunches the numbers.

How Do You Get a Job in This Field?

IT positions are at the forefront of this evolving employment opportunity because IT staffers have the technical expertise to create the digital frameworks needed to handle large amounts of information. The traditional route for getting a job in this field lies in formal training with a college degree. Several great graduate programs in computer science give you the training you need to succeed in this field.

The required education for this field is continuous, since you have to keep up with industry changes. That's where online classes, such as massively open online courses (MOOCs), come into play. Major universities, including MIT and Stanford, host MOOCs. Tech giants Microsoft and Udacity also have vaunted classes in this field.

The most important thing you can do to increase your chances of landing a position in machine learning is to gain hands-on and practical experience. Start small by building small algorithms that digest tiny bits of data. Then, expand to larger and larger problems. As you become more advanced, you'll be able to write more complex programs. Spend at least 15 hours per week physically programming a piece of computer software.

Once you obtain your education, it's time to get a job in machine learning. Apply at well-known firms or startups. You could even go the freelancer or solopreneur route to make ends meet.

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  • sue smith
    sue smith

    All the above jobs are not anything I would be interested in or completely qualified for.

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