Machine Learning Jobs - An Overview



Alan Turing pre-empted the era of machine learning, saying in 1947: “What we want is a machine that can learn from experience.” From the birth of computers and then the internet to a world practically ruled by technology, Machine Learning has manifested.

What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning is essentially the marriage of machine and artificial intelligence that enables said machine to complete a task without the need for human involvement.

As the world embraces this futuristic duo as commonplace assets of business and life, a new breed of jobs has emerged and opportunities for IT professionals to upskill. Projects that require designing and building models and underlying systems will find a place within traditional IT departments, particularly while certain machine learning jobs lack relevantly skilled professionals to fill them, such as Data Scientist roles.

Data Scientist jobs are among the list of possible paths one can take into a career in machine learning. Other roles include Machine Learning Engineer, Machine Learning Developer, Machine Learning Architect, Data Engineer, AI Operations, Machine Learning Ops, Robotics Engineers and AI Engineers.

Machine Learning Jobs:

Data Scientist

A role ultimately designed to support effective business decisions through the analysis and interpretation of large amounts of data; Data Scientists are tasked with building relationships with the key decision makers and stakeholders in a business in order to communicate the ways AI, data science and machine learning could add value.

Data science candidates will be expected to have extensive experience in the field of data science and tools such as Hadoop, SQL and SAS, as well as be proficient in problem solving. They will also need to demonstrate fluency with scripting languages such as Python and R and frameworks such as Apache Spark.

The industries that candidates should focus their job search on include IT and IT Services, Computer Software, Internet companies, Financial Services firms and Universities and other higher education organisations.

Average salaries for Data Scientist jobs in the UK fall at around £52,637 per year.

AI Engineer/Specialist

Individuals who build, test and deploy AI models and maintain organisations’ AI infrastructures.

Experiencing a massive annual growth in demand over the past 5 years, Artificial Intelligence Engineers utilise machine learning, deep learning and the likes of TensorFlow and Python to carry out their work. Analytically minded, AI specialists and engineers are good at problem solving and can comfortably shift between the software development of old and the newer technologies ushered in with the age of machine learning.

The top industries hiring in this area include Computer Software firms, Internet companies, Consumer Electronics, IT and IT Services and Higher Education.

The average UK salary range for an AI Engineer lies between £65,000 and £77,500 per year.

Robotics Engineer

The person responsible for creating the robots and robotic systems we’re coming to rely on for everything from switching on our cars and music to completing manual tasks at work, Robotics Engineers are the designers.

Sharing their time between practical lab work and administrative responsibilities, their work requires knowledge and implementation of robotic process automation and of course robotics. These individuals are passionate about wanting to learn and explore, methodical, rational and analytical.

Industries looking for robotics engineers include IT and IT Services, Industrial Automation, Computer Software firms, the Financial Services sector and the Automotive industry.

Typical starting salaries for Robotics Engineers are around £38,143 per year in the UK.

Machine Learning Engineer

A more sophisticated reboot of the trusty computer programmer, Machine Learning Engineer earned the rank of best job of 2019 and looks set to continue its reign in 2020. Entrenched in AI, ML engineers extend the traditional programming of machines to instruct them to perform specific tasks and take actions without external direction, e.g. a self-driving car, personalised news feed or drone.

Employers expect their ML engineers to have studied subjects including computer science or mathematics, as well as have strong knowledge of languages such as C++, Python, Java or Scala. Candidates should demonstrate strong maths and analytical skills, understanding of cloud applications and excellent communication skills. Undoubtedly, employers also demand their candidates should have strong experience in the field of machine learning.

There are a number of transferable skills if you’re coming from a career as a Computer Engineer, Computer Scientist or Software Developer, all great launch pads into machine learning jobs.

Commanding a good salary, the average UK salary for a Machine Learning Engineer is around £67,000 according to current data from Indeed.

Data Engineer

In charge of setting up a reliable infrastructure for data, the role of Data Engineer has certainly evolved along with the rise in big data. A great role to move into from software engineering or backend development, Data Engineers are expected to be well-versed in SQL and Python, cloud platforms, data modelling and data warehousing.

Required in industries including IT and IT Services, Internet firms, Computer Software, Financial Services and Healthcare, Data Engineers command an average salary of around £68,496 (based on current data from Indeed UK).


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