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An AI developer is involved in the development of AI and its related applications, tools, and other possibilities. Alternatively, this role is also referred to as an AI developer (AI standing for Artificial Intelligence). Simply put, this professional group trains the AI and thus further develops its capabilities, knowledge, and potential uses.
In the course of their work, AI developers analyze existing data and processes. They are also responsible for selecting suitable algorithms. Often, an AI developer takes on the supervision and optimization of already deployed AI systems. There are many other tasks falling within the responsibilities of AI developers.
These are the tasks of particular relevance:
AI developers are highly sought after in the job market. The main reason for this is the seemingly limitless potential of AI and its applications and tools. AI can be used to automate, simplify, and improve tasks and processes. For example, AI-powered solutions are employed in image processing, speech recognition, process automation, or business process management. Even in disease diagnosis, Artificial Intelligence opens up entirely new possibilities.
Moreover, within AI, machines continuously learn by capturing and processing historical and current data. This means that the importance of AI, already significant, will continue to grow in the future.
Well-trained Professionals And Specialists In Focus
Consequently, the prospects for AI developers are excellent. Virtually all industries expect many opportunities for improvement through the use of AI. However, these developments must be implemented, which requires companies to have well-trained professionals and specialists.
As a result, the demand for well-trained and ideally specialized AI developers is continuously increasing. Graduates in business informatics or general computer science, who possess the necessary expertise, can look forward to excellent career opportunities in a future-proof professional environment.
If you want to work as an AI developer, there are several paths you can take. One option is the traditional route, where you pursue a completed degree in computer science, ideally with a focus on Artificial Intelligence. However, dedicated study programs specifically tailored to AI are still relatively rare, but this is likely to change in the coming years. Currently, Artificial Intelligence is more commonly integrated into broader thematic study programs.
Typical study programs with AI as an integral part include:
Contents covered in these study programs:
These study programs, along with similar ones, cover topics related to AI, such as mathematics, programming, statistics, big data technologies, machine learning, as well as image and speech recognition. You will learn various programming languages and understand how algorithms function and are constructed.
The knowledge gained through these programs forms the foundation for developing and implementing complex AI systems. Many of these programs also teach working with Deep Learning and neural networks, which are essential skills for training and improving intelligent systems.
Alternatively, you can choose to pursue the state-recognized vocational training as an IT specialist, focusing on computer science and information technology. In Germany, the legal basis for this training is provided by the “Verordnung über die Berufsausbildung”. This training typically lasts for three years, with the curriculum divided between vocational school and practical training in a company. In general, the “Deutscher Qualifikationsrahmen” (DQR) classifies the status of an IT specialist similarly to a vocational high school diploma.
After completing the training, you can further enhance your qualifications by taking additional advanced courses, allowing you to become an IT specialist, operational IT professional, or state-certified computer scientist. This will provide you with the ideal prerequisites if you aim to take on the role of a specialist AI developer in a company later on.
In addition to pursuing a degree or vocational training, there is a third option to acquire the necessary qualifications of an AI developer. You can enhance your knowledge and skills in AI development, analytical competence, technology competence, and data competence through specific and certified further and continuing education courses. Various institutions, such as the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) and numerous private educational facilities, offer relevant training.
You can also seek a retraining program as an AI developer through the Employment Agency or Job Center. Many companies have also entered partnerships with AI user training programs. This allows internal career changers to be guided into the future-oriented profession of an AI developer. Particularly considering the shortage of skilled workers, transitioning to AI development can be a win-win situation for both employees and companies.
However, not only hard skills (such as completing vocational training as an IT specialist or obtaining a degree in computer science, etc.) are crucial requirements to work as an AI developer. Soft skills also play an important role in this context. It is advantageous if you have gained prior experience in dealing with AI before starting your formal training as an AI developer. Focus on familiarizing yourself with common programming languages, and ideally frameworks and tools used in AI development.
Your personal qualities are of great significance
Furthermore, you should already be somewhat familiar with common (object-oriented) programming languages, tools, and frameworks used in AI development. A strong mathematical understanding is essential, particularly in areas such as calculus, statistics, stochastic processes, and linear algebra, as they are significant disciplines in AI development. The ability for structured, analytical thinking is crucial, allowing you to quickly identify complex problems or relationships and draw conclusions based on them.
As an AI Developer, you often work directly at important interfaces
Additionally, a relatively high level of creativity is required as a soft skill. In the field of AI development and implementation, innovative and unconventional solutions to various problems are frequently needed. Teamwork and communication skills are also valuable qualities, especially when working as an AI developer at the interface between AI technologies, teamwork, and clients or customers. Additionally, you should be able to present highly complex AI systems and applications in a way that is understandable even for non-experts. Strong English language skills are a must in this regard.
The most important soft skills at a glance:
The number of potential employers for AI developers is constantly increasing. Companies involved in AI development or those developing and designing AI-based programs and tools are continuously seeking highly qualified AI developers. As an AI developer, there are interesting and attractive job opportunities in almost every industry.
These industries offer particularly many jobs for AI developers:
In the USA, AI experts have been earning top salaries for some time. In AI research and development, annual salaries of over 150,000 euros are now becoming the standard. Some major companies pay top developers with high levels of specialization as much as 300,000 to 500,000 US dollars per year.
However, in Germany, you cannot expect such high salaries. The salary development here is more restrained. On average, entry-level salaries range between 50,000 and 55,000 euros per year. With just one year of work experience, you could expect initial salaries of between 60,000 and 70,000 euros.
As your work experience increases, your salary typically increases as well. Senior AI developers, on average, earn around 74,500 euros per year. However, there are significant deviations both upward and downward. Those who can demonstrate extensive and specific experience through participation in explicit projects could earn up to 90,000 euros or more per year at some companies.