Last Updated on August 17, 2020 by Henry John
Artificial Intelligence is a promising field of study (probably the most promising). The field is still developing, yet, it has achieved quite a lot since its inception. However, there is more to be done.
You are interested in learning artificial intelligence and you want to build your career around it. You probably just finished high school and/or want to pursue a degree programme that will enable you pursue a career in artificial intelligence.
Probably, that’s why you want to know “What Degree/Major is best for Artificial Intelligence?” The Best Degree or Major for Artificial Intelligence is the Artificial Intelligence Degree.
Few Universities/Colleges are offering Degree programs in artificial intelligence and that’s easily the best degree for artificial intelligence.
Though, there are so many other degree programs that will eventually enable you pursue a career in artificial intelligence. Because, though there is an AI degree, not many universities/colleges offers it.
AI Degrees are still not popular as only few universities and colleges offers them worldwide, like in the Us, Canada, India and UK.
There are other related degrees or majors that are in high demand in the AI industry with which one can pursue a career in AI.
Artificial Intelligence is very broad, an interdisciplinary field that cuts across many independent fields of study. It is really, no surprise that one can enter the AI industry/field from a different but related field of study.
Degree programs or majors in mathematics, data science, statistics, and computer science are in high demand in the AI industry, among others. Hence, in this artifice am going to go through the list of the best degrees/majors for pursuing a career in artificial intelligence.
I will also try as much as I can to help you make a better decision on the degree or major that will better equip you for a career in artificial intelligence.
Best Degrees/Majors for Artificial Intelligence
Here are the best degrees/majors for Artificial Intelligence:
- Artificial Intelligence Degree/Major
- Computer Science Degree/Major
- Mathematics Degree/Major
- Statistics Degree/Major
- Data Science Degree/Major
Artificial Intelligence Degree/Major
One of the most popular question among people interested in an artificial intelligence career is: ‘is there a degree in Artificial intelligence?’ Yes, there is a degree in Artificial intelligence, even though it’s currently being offered by few universities.
The artificial intelligence degree is the best degree/major for pursuing a career in artificial intelligence. Its typical curriculum dives into aspects of computer science, computational modelling, machine learning, statistics and mathematics for undergraduate programme.
Some universities also offer post-graduate degree programme in artificial intelligence as well as online professional certification courses.
Ideally, this is easily the best owing to the fact that you are being prepared to explore AI primarily from day one. There simply more emphasizes on AI than any other related degrees/majors.
The only major disadvantage of the artificial intelligence degree for now is that there are not many universities offering it in an undergraduate level. Currently, in the US Carnegie Mellon University boast a full-fledged undergraduate degree in Artificial Intelligence.
There has been many moves made by prominent universities in establishing an AI colleges and degree programs. In 2018, MIT planned to invest $5 billion in an AI College, while other universities makes similar moves.
It’s only a matter of time before the Artificial intelligence degree/major becomes popular and established in many universities especially in the US, Canada, UK, France, Germany and India.
The artificial intelligence degree is geared towards preparing undergraduates and graduates alike for a central role in AI Development/Research an implementation.
Hence, whether your goal is to help develop AI or work in implementing existing AI technologies, the AI degree covers you completely.
Computer Science Degree/Major
Many universities currently don’t have a full-fledged artificial intelligence degree. But some universities have a track system that enables students majoring computer science to gain additional depth in Artificial intelligence/Machine Learning.
Seeing that artificial intelligence relay much on a lot of computer science concepts, this is probably the next best option to an AI Degree.
A major in computer science with a track in AI/ML will position you strongly for a career in the Artificial Intelligence Industry.
Even without a track in AI/ML, the computer science major in itself is strong enough to help you launch a career in AI.
And it will be highly relevant if you build strength in programming languages such as Python, R, Matlab/Octave, C/C++ or Java. Familiarizing yourself with standard Artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques while majoring in Computer science would also be highly relevant.
A computer science degree will position you much better for a career in AI especially in the areas of AI implementation than in AI research/development.
But, if you are interested in AI Research/Development you may need to pursue a graduate degree in AI on top of a computer science degree.
Doing this will greatly increase your employability status in the AI job market. Many people who are making giant strides in the AI industry usually have a graduate degree in AI or a closely related field.
A more advanced role in AI generally requires some sort of graduate degree. And as such my candid advice would be to pursue a graduate degree in Artificial intelligence after a computer science undergrad degree.
Artificial Intelligence is heavily reliant in mathematics and as such, one of the common requirement for a job in AI is the mathematics degree.
Though, it’s relevant to minor in computer science if you decide to choose the mathematics major as your pathway to AI. Some universities offer data science and mathematics degree, which will also be a good option to consider.
Mathematics has been a cornerstone of artificial intelligence even before its establishment as a field of study in 1956.
Two of the founding fathers of AI, Marvin Minsky and John McCarthy had their educational foundation purely in mathematics, having received a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and PhD in mathematics.
Till date, mathematics has remained an integral path of artificial intelligence, and with AI reliant on Big Data, mathematics degree keeps maintaining its high status as an entry requirement into the AI industry, especially in the area of AI research/development.
An applied mathematics major which will expose you to computational methods and implementation of algorithms on computers will better equip you for entry into AI in areas of AI implementation.
Do ensure to acquire knowledge of programming languages such as Python, R, Java, C/C++ and/or Matlab/Octave. And also explore standard artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques as in-depth as you possible can.
For more advanced role in the AI industry, a graduate degree in AI, computer science or any other related degree would be relevant.
Mathematics is fun and it will continue to remain a core of artificial intelligence, in the short and long run: Whether it’s theoretical mathematics or applied mathematics.
A statistics major is one of the most valuable majors for pursuing a career in artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence models are mostly statistical models, hence, the value of a statistics major.
With a major in statistics and a minor in computer science, you will become a hot cake in the AI market. Although you can easily secure an AI job with just a major in statistics, but knowledge in computer science is invaluable.
A statistics degree/major will be more ideal if you intend to focus your career in AI research. But it will also serve well in AI implementation.
A statistics degree is one of the most frequent entry requirement for jobs in the AI industry: It’s no surprise.
The current sub-field of Machine learning driving AI today (deep learning) is heavily reliant on statistics. Most Machine learning and Deep learning techniques rely on statistics theories, making statistics one of the most related field to AI in current day AI practice.
However, a statistics major/degree without a touch of computer science, will leave you handicapped in the AI job market.
There are few ways around this, you either major in stats and minor in computer science, double major in statistics and computer science or obtain an undergrad in statistics and a graduate degree in AI, computer science or any other related field.
There is really no slowing down to the spread of AI, more and more industries are becoming highly reliant on AI and with that, there are many high paying AI jobs available.
Statistics is likewise growing in demand as AI is growingly reliant on statistical analysis of data to make meaning of the data and use them for AI development and implementation.
Data Science Degree/Major
Data science majors are relatively new. It’s closely related to statistics but distinct from it. It focuses more on using computers/coding to access information from large database, manipulate data, and visualizes data in a digital format.
Artificial intelligence systems heavy reliant on data in its development and further improvement makes data science majors highly invaluable for a career in AI.
By pursuing a data science degree you get to explore concepts from statistics, data analyses, machine learning, computer science, mathematics and information science.
It’s one of the most complete degree for pursuing a career in artificial intelligence. And it’s no surprise that there is a growing demand for data scientist in the AI industry today.
A look at how the top tech companies (Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft among others) are currently deploying AI, reveals a heavy reliant on data science. These companies in their journey towards AI development and deployment takes “data collection and analysis” as top priorities.
AI without data would simply not exist and data science is a frontrunner in dealing with data, making it essential in AI development and implementation.
A Degree in Data Science will make you industry ripe for a career in artificial intelligence. And adjusting/adapting to an AI-centered graduate programme for advanced role will be relatively easy for you.
Some practicing AI scientists are of the opinion that data science is the closest degree to an artificial intelligence degree along with statistics.
If you are opting for a data science major/degree, it’s a great choice for an AI career. Because the bedrock of AI is data and data science exposes you to the exploration and exploitation of these data.
The table is set before you and it’s up to you to decide which degree/major will suit you best. All five degrees/majors mentioned in this article will no doubt better prepare you for a career in artificial intelligence.
Each of them have something that makes them advantageous and equally disadvantaged depending on how you want to enter the AI industry.
Artificial intelligence is still a young field of study, it is still in its early 60s. And since, it’s interdisciplinary, it can be approached from different related disciplines even after an artificial intelligence degree is fully established.