Careers in artificial intelligence and robotics combine math, science and computers with the ability to work with your hands. 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 messaging app that guesses your next word as you're typing. 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, government and military agencies and organizations, or related businesses.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of computer and information research scientists, including those who work in robotics, is expected to increase by 15% over the 2012-2022 decade (www.bls.gov). The median pay in this field was $102,190 in 2012, per the BLS.
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 program, you'll 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.