Earlier this month, job site Indeed released the results of its annual Best Jobs in the United States study. Predictably, the ascendant tech sector dominated the list, claiming nine of the 25 top slots. Notably, this year’s Best Job is a tech position that didn’t crack the top 25 in the 2017 and 2018 studies; deep learning engineer.
According to Indeed, the average deep learning engineer working in America earns a very respectable $146,085 per year. As such, it ranks just behind computer vision engineer for best-compensated career overall. It’s also more than double the average base salary of $75,000.
Moreover, deep learning is also an industry with remarkable growth potential. Between 2015 and 2018, Indeed saw a 344 percent increase in postings for people who have the ability to develop autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) programs.
So, how did deep learning go from 178th place on the best jobs in America list to 1st in just one year?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
To understand the sharp increase in demand for autonomous AI developers, you need to first understand the fourth industrial revolution.
The first took place during the 18th and 19th centuries and was typified by the rise of mechanization. The second occurred in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and featured the advent of electricity and mass production. The third happened in the 1950-70s and was defined by the development of automation and computerization.
The fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, is happening right now. It involves the integration of AI, Internet of Things (IoT), and fifth generation mobile communication technology (5G) into the global industry.
Together, these three innovations allow for vast decentralized processing with remarkable speed and accuracy. It should be noted that while tech-based companies are adapting to Industry 4.0 faster than other fields, it will inevitably impact all sectors.
A company called ConservWater is using AI to help farmers more efficiently water their crops. A firm called DeepGestalt uses a facial recognition deep learning program to diagnose patients with genetic conditions. Google subsidiary DeepMind is using AI insights to make wind power more viable. Alibaba is using a program called FashionAI to help shoppers better coordinate their outfits.
Most prominently, Industry 4.0 innovations are making the dream of self-driving cars into a reality. Corporations like Waymo, Tesla, and Volvo are spending countless hours and millions of dollars to crack the autonomous vehicle conundrum.
The Future Needs Architects and Builders
Because machine learning can be used to optimize virtually every sector of industry, the AI software market is expected to hit $90 billion by 2025. Notably, that same market was only worth $8 billion last year. But the past year has seen the release of robust deep learning programs, inexpensive new IoT tech, and the official launch of 5G. Consequently, Industry 4.0 has come into maturity as a market force.
As a result, AI is poised to become an industrial backbone on par with steam power, electricity, and assembly lines. Consequently, what was once a fringe discipline has now gone mainstream and is a rapidly growing field. While deep learning engineering didn’t rate as a popular and lucrative profession in recent years, it will likely top Indeed’s Best Jobs list for the next half-decade.
After all, it’s going to take a lot of talented people to establish the infrastructure of the 21st century.