Closing the skills gap for AI jobs

“Every company is…transitioning their workforce into the age of AI.”

Bipin Thomas looks out at the ubiquitous integration of artificial intelligence (AI) across industries and compares it to the industrial revolution at the turn of 20th century.

“New intelligent ecosystems are emerging at a faster pace,” he says. “Global enterprises are launching AI-powered business initiatives. Enterprise leaders are already applying the new rules of AI to leap ahead on innovation and all the high tech companies in Silicon Valley are looking for people with hands-on experience in the new technology.”

The challenge is finding people with hands-on experience in AI who really understand the technology stack—both the software and the hardware.

A new industry-specific AI curriculum

Thomas is president of ICURO, a Santa Clara-based autonomous systems company delivering hardware and software integrated solutions for AI business outcomes. As an expert leading the AI paradigm shift, he works with multiple industries such as smart manufacturing or industry 4.0, automotive, retail, and healthcare.

He is also building out the AI curriculum at UCSC Extension, paving the way for a full certificate program. While that process is underway—all certificate programs must be approved by University of California, Santa Cruz—numerous AI, machine learning, and deep learning courses are ongoing; more are taking shape each quarter.

Curriculum in the new program will focus on specific industry use cases in manufacturing, automotive, retail, and healthcare.

Hands-on AI hardware experience

“Every company is reinventing business models and transitioning their workforce into the age of AI,” Thomas says. “Companies want to know if future hires have done something relevant in the AI domain. You can’t learn it just by taking an online course.”

That’s why we’re building an industry- and job-focused certificate program that provides experience with both hardware and software, Thomas says. Students will benefit from working with AI-related hardware such as automotive grade sensors, embedded AI computer chips, and robots.

“This unique approach will accelerate every student’s learning on how to apply AI skills on industry use cases,” he says.

Industry Panel Discussion

The range of AI-related employment opportunities may surprise people.

Thomas and Silicon Valley industry experts will be announcing new program developments at an industry career panel—Machine Learning and Deep Learning: Applying Today’s AI Knowledge & SkillsTuesday, Jan. 8 at the Extension campus in Santa Clara.

The 90-minute panel discussion will include discussion about the most popular frameworks; the practical, technical, and business applications of Machine Learning, TensorFlow, and AI; industry challenges and outlook; and the courses that will change your career trajectory.

“People think everything is software and that they can learn it all on the web, but you have to understand the significant role of hardware and sensors in developing and deploying AI systems,” Thomas says, noting that global companies such as Google and Amazon are now building their own semiconductor chips for AI applications. “We’re the first to offer hands-on learning environment with the hardware and software integrated approach in delivering AI solutions.”

“The world has changed. People need to know there are semiconductor jobs in AI, even in companies we believe are internet companies. Those are the kinds of partnerships we’re forging so we can proactively nurture talent for these kinds of specific AI roles.”

Machine Learning and Deep Learning: Applying Today’s AI Knowledge & Skills.

The public is invited to join the panel discussion with the Silicon Valley experts and learn more about the AI job market at Machine Learning and Deep Learning: Applying Today’s AI Knowledge & Skills. Sign up now!

Tuesday, Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m.
UCSC Silicon Valley Extension
Santa Clara

This is the first event in our new Engineering and Technology Career Exploration Series. Come by and network while you scope out your future. Panelists include:

You will also have the opportunity to meet Mayen Udoetuk, Ed.D., who stepped into her position as director of Engineering and Technology at UCSC Silicon Valley Extension just before the fall quarter.

Upcoming AI Events and Courses at Extension

If you’re interested in exploring our AI-related courses, visit our website.

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