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Even before the coronavirus pandemic, many technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data analytics, cloud computing, etc., had developed rapidly over time (even several decades). In the space of just seven months, however, they have become indispensable in society today amid the current global health crisis.
Due to the driving force behind these technological adaptations, the demand for both jobs and individuals possessing the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the demands of digitally transformed industries has grown exponentially.
Reports like these confirm what many employers and HR managers already know – coding is in high-demand. As a result, the number of job postings for AI skills rose by 119 percent from 2015 to 2018, according to the online jobs portal Indeed.
The University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics is preparing students for this new era of technology with its range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs that train students in the skills, knowledge, and personality needed to succeed.
Newly-appointed Vice-Chancellor Designate Zeblon Vilakazi spoke recently about transforming Wits University into a hotbed of innovation that delivers world-changing technologies comparable to those found at MIT in the US.
He said we need to continue to develop the thinkers, the innovators, and the critical thinkers who can help us solve the problems of the 21st century.
If you wish to pursue a career in artificial intelligence, data science or software development, what kind of jobs should you look for? What skills do you need to get hired? What type of salary can you expect? The technology industry is redefining itself, so let’s explore the top careers.
Machine learning engineer is a hot and in demand job nowadays. The reason is simple – it allows creating highly advanced computer programs with little or no human intervention. AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been around for a while. There are countless examples of its implementation in different spheres, such as traffic control systems, logistics, medicine, space exploration, etc. Machine learning engineer is just another manifestation of this technology, a branch that deals with the science of algorithms that can change their behaviour to improve performance in different tasks.
Machine learning engineers analyze big data to develop algorithms that allow machines (such as a self-driving car or voice assistant) to perform and carry out tasks like a human. The machine can learn and improve without human interference by implementing economic forecasting, image recognition and natural language processing.
What degree do you need? Knowledge of artificial intelligence and/or computer science is essential, as is a master’s degree. The M. Sc. in Artificial Intelligence and M. Sc. in Computational and Applied Mathematics at Wits University both offer groundbreaking curriculums that provide students with a clear understanding of data visualization, natural language technology, and computational intelligence to analyze problems and come up with meaningful solutions.
UX designers strive to create a user experience that is seamless and intuitive, minimising the barrier between company and consumer. The role requires a great deal of empathy and research skills so that they can understand exactly what the customer wants from the products or services on offer. They are also tasked with resolving issues customers might have with the service or product available, whether it’s something as simple as a late delivery, or more complex like a broken product.
What degree do you need? A relevant undergraduate degree in computer science is required, as well as a postgraduate degree.. You must also have professional experience.
The robotics engineer is responsible for all maintenance and configuration tasks. This may include writing or updating software code, setting up new machines, changing/maintaining the design of a prototype or assembling robotic prototypes. The main goal here is to make sure the product or service runs optimally without any hiccups along the way.
A robotics engineer has a lot of things to take into consideration, and it can get quite overwhelming in time. Before you embark on a career as a robotics engineer, you need to know what it really entails.
Within the next few years, we are likely to see a number of new and innovative ways in which modern technologies assist society and business, particularly in the healthcare industry.
What degree do you need? A master’s in computer science or robotics offers you the skills, knowledge and experience you need to break into the field of robotics engineering.
In the 21st century, ‘data science jobs’ are not as new and emerging as the jobs of cloud computing engineers (more on them later) or machine learning engineers (more on them later). However, they are still the hidden gems within any organization, and they will continue to be.
A data scientist is a professional who uses technical skills and experience in methods such as statistics, data mining, machine learning, programming and visualization to help an organization collect, organize and utilize data for making informed decisions.
Businesses and organizations are collecting and utilizing more data every day, so the demand for experts has skyrocketed.With possibilities for work in practically every field of industry, from entertainment to IT, manufacturing to healthcare, it is the responsibility of data scientists to compile, process, analyze and present information for organizations to help them make better decisions.
As an example, in June this year, six students from the School of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics (CSAM) and the School of Electrical and Information Engineering (EIE) were part of the ISC Student Cluster Competition along with 82 other students from around the world.
They had to test and optimize several applications currently used by scientists and researchers to analyze COVID-19 data in real time and the effects of global warming around the world. Students had to solve two additional advanced coding challenges by the judges to assess whether they could successfully adapt to the rapidly changing field of artificial intelligence.
What degree do you need? Knowing data science and analytics needs to be a core competency in the data science field. The data-driven knowledge and technical skill sets students gain from a relevant postgraduate degree from Wits University develop in individuals with a relevant degree in computational and applied mathematics, data science, or e-science.
Cloud computing has become a must-have for those working remotely in the past few months. At the same time, organizations have been frantically recruiting people who can migrate processes, implement the necessary infrastructures, and complete cloud-related tasks.
Cloud computing has opened the doors to remote working and provided some amazing benefits for employees. As a result, there’s now a huge demand for those who have the expertise to start with a blank computer screen and turn it into a usable computing environment.
Cloud engineers are often referred to by different titles, including solutions architects, cloud developers, and sysops engineers. In some cases, roles and responsibilities will vary, but the primary responsibility of a cloud engineer is planning, monitoring, and managing an organization’s cloud system, such as Google Cloud, Microsoft 365, and Slack, among others.
What degree do you need? Many tech careers today require a postgraduate degree along with relevant professional experience. The MSc in Computer Science at Wits University offers a broad range of electives, including but not limited to high-performance computing and scientific data management, robotics, adaptive computation and machine learning, multi-agent systems, and human-computer interaction.