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What Can You Do With a Computer Science Degree if You’re Interested in AI?

April 10, 2024

Demand for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning specialists is accelerating. The World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 Future of Jobs Report indicates that over 75 percent of companies plan to adopt AI, cloud computing, and big data applications over the next five years, placing AI and machine learning atop WEF’s list of fastest-growing job categories between 2023 and 2027. 

Computer science professionals can capitalize on this trend, but only with the requisite skills and knowledge. According to the WEF report, nearly half of all employers will prioritize AI and big data training initiatives; earning an advanced degree in these specialized skills and emerging fields could set computer scientists apart in the job market. This article examines several in-demand AI careers computer scientists can pursue with an Online Master of Science in Computer Science (MCSC).

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Careers With a Computer Science Degree: Jobs in AI

The demand for AI expertise has increased as more industries have adopted AI tools to automate administrative tasks, transform business processes, and improve data analysis. Computer science professionals interested in specialized or leadership roles may want to consider upskilling and reskilling for these job functions. This article introduces several AI-driven roles; keep in mind that developing your skills in this field could also prepare you for emerging functions and jobs that have not yet been explored. 

AI Developer 

AI developers design, create, and implement AI systems and algorithms to solve complex projects and automate tasks. This highly technical role requires advanced programming skills in Java, Python, and R. Abstract skills — problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork — are also critical. 

AI developers work in various industries, including technology, finance, and health care, and earn an average annual income of $142,000. Many AI developers hold degrees in computer science, statistics, or related majors.

Natural Language Processing Engineer

Natural language processing (NLP) focuses on interactions between computers and human languages. NLP engineers develop algorithms and models that enable computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language data. 

Numerous industries use NLP. Health care organizations utilize NLP to locate medical records faster, while law firms use it to research relevant legal documents. NLP engineer salaries vary by location; NLP engineers in Washington, D.C., earn $180,000 annually on average, while salaries in the San Francisco Bay Area are closer to $202,000. There are multiple paths to becoming an NLP engineer, but many involve earning computer science, mathematics, or statistics degrees. 

Machine Learning Engineer

Machine learning (ML) engineers build, maintain, and improve systems and structures that power machine learning. This could include developing and implementing machine learning models and algorithms, identifying patterns by collecting, processing, and analyzing datasets, and monitoring and evaluating deployed model performance. 

Industries leveraging AI and data-driven technologies (e.g., finance, health care, and retail) hire machine learning engineers, paying them average annual salaries of $125,000. Machine learning engineers usually hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in computer science, computer programming, or mathematics. 

Computer Vision Engineer  

Computer vision engineers specialize in developing and implementing algorithms and systems that enable computers to understand and interpret real-world visual information. They design and optimize algorithms for object detection, image classification, segmentation, pose estimation, motion analysis, and scene understanding. 

Industries such as autonomous vehicles, robotics, health care, surveillance, virtual reality, manufacturing, and entertainment employ computer vision engineers, who earn average annual salaries of $105,800. Computer vision engineers typically earn at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field focusing on computer vision and ML. 

Business Intelligence Developer

Business intelligence (BI) developers design, develop, and maintain systems and tools that help organizations analyze and interpret data to make informed business decisions; database and software expertise is a must, as is business process knowledge. BI developers can work in any industry that prioritizes data-driven decision-making, including banking, retail, airlines, and logistics. 

The average BI developer earns $97,000 annually and holds a bachelor’s degree (or higher) in computer science, mathematics, statistics, or a related field.

Building AI Skills: Advancing Your Computer Science Career

Succeeding in an advanced AI position requires specialized education and hands-on experience. A computer science master’s program can equip prospective AI experts with the requisite skills and prepare them for leadership roles. 

A Closer Look: Computer Science Classes and More 

The Online MSCS at Tulane University prepares students for AI-driven roles. The curriculum includes core courses and electives; core classes cover AI’s primary components and applications in several fields, while electives comprise the program’s specialization in AI and machine learning accounts (one of the six specialized areas students can pursue). Students attend live virtual classes and complete self-paced, project-based assignments with hands-on learning opportunities. 

Take the Next Step: Boost Your AI Career Opportunities with an MS in Computer Science

The demand for AI computer science professionals is growing, making now an excellent time to advance your career or pivot into a new role. An Online MS in Computer Science from Tulane can help you broaden skills and knowledge in algorithms, machine learning, and NLP to prepare for AI-driven roles.

Ready to take the next step? Start your application today or contact an enrollment advisor to learn more about the Tulane online MSCS, or start your application today.

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