New Program Aims to Meet Future Need for Workforce Trained in AI
By The Chicago Defender
Starting in the fall, Illinois Tech students can opt to pursue an undergraduate degree in artificial intelligence (AI), one of the first degrees of its kind in the country and the only one offered in the Midwest.
“AI is the future. We want to train a workforce that can tackle the challenges and opportunities of the future, which includes AI and machine learning,” said Aron Culotta, associate professor of computer science and director of Illinois Tech’s Bachelor of Science in Artificial Intelligence program.
While many schools offer courses and concentrations in AI, Illinois Tech—with its long history of preparing innovators who have changed the technology landscape—made the bold decision to create specially designed degree programs.
Graduates will be well prepared to work across many sectors, including tech, medicine, finance, robotics, business intelligence, law, and insurance. In addition to software development positions at large tech firms, graduates will also be prepared for AI engineering careers in drug discovery, autonomous vehicles, and web technologies.
AI has broad applications that extend far beyond robots and is used daily by anyone who shops online, uses a smart phone, or plays video games. AI technology is used to help radiologists find tumors on CT scans, to help first responders prioritize emergency calls, and to provide virtual teaching assistants for education.
“Artificial intelligence is one of the top growth areas in the tech industry and is projected to continue growing in size and importance for the foreseeable future. AI-related job openings have increased nearly five-fold over the past few years, according to various job sites,” Culotta continued.
Individuals with computer science degrees hold some of these same jobs, but this degree allows graduates to be especially prepared for these data-intensive applications.
Illinois Tech, which is Chicago’s only tech-focused university, also will begin offering an AI graduate degree in the fall.
“The growing impact of AI on society demands that graduates are capable and ethical collaborators, able to ensure the safe and effective adoption of new technologies across domains,” Culotta said.
This article originally appeared in the Chicago Defender.