Machine learning (ML) is a branch of computer science that provides the capability to the computers to learn without the requirement of any clearly formulated programming.
Machine Learning offers great career opportunities and is increasingly being used in almost all aspects of our knowledge domain – be it business, science, technology or even medicine and space research.
In order to start a career in machine learning, you need to have the passion to learn new things, as learning and the ability to solve problems on a day to day basis is the success mantra of this field. Before you set the foot in this segment, it is imperative to have a basic understanding of what machine learning is all about including the mathematical logic, alternative technologies used and hands-on-experience required.
This article is dedicated to all those professionals and students, who want to explore a career option in machine learning.
1. Be a Constant Learner
Machine learning in recent years has evolved rapidly with the adoption of new technologies, frameworks, business models and techniques. So, at the preliminary stage, you need to get curious about all these aspects and be a constant learner.
2. Develop a Logical Blend of Mind
Machine learning is a logical field and is best suited for aspirants who have a logical blend of mind. It integrates several disciplines such as mathematics, technology, and business analysis, making it an interdisciplinary job. Apart from a strong technological focus, you also need to need to be open to understand the business problems and possess the ability to interpret those problems into a machine learning paradigms, thereby adding value to the product or the project that you work upon.
3. Integrate with the Team you Work
Machine learning is more about working as part of a team, rather than being an isolated fragment in the big organizational picture. One of the success stories of being an excellent machine learning expert is to be proactive to work in a team, assimilate their ideas and put your thoughts into action. So, it’s necessary that you be a good team player.
4. Gain a Good Grounding in Data Analysis
Data is the new oil for any industry or technological segment. Hence, data analysts are the most suited professionals to make a perfect transition into a machine learning career as their next best career move. Of course, if you are not a data analyst, you need not worry; develop an analytical mindset and set your focus on data analysis and interpretation. This means you need to play with the data – dig the data, comprehend where it is most suited and infer the net outcomes from the data. Bottom line is you need to share the information in a prudent way, generate good visualization, and integrate information that can be easily understood by all stakeholders.
5. Learn the Right Programming Language to Get Started
The best programming language that is most suited for machine learning is Python. Apart from that, you also need to learn how to use machine learning libraries. If you feel daunted about how to get started, there are a host of institutes and courses online that teaches you the concepts of Python, apart from customized courses dedicated only for machine learning. It’s always better to connect with the experts to get going in this area.
6. Online Courses can Help you a Great Extent
As mentioned in my earlier tip, you can take up some online courses, apart from participating in learning competitions (kaggle.com is one such website) to gain good knowledge and showcase it to others. There are several online customized courses offered by learning platforms such as Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, which are dedicated only for machine learning. Hence, enroll in some good online course, read new articles on emerging technologies and connect with technology experts on various social media platforms to trigger a career push in machine learning.
7. Research about the Industry where you want to Work
You need to understand that every organization has specific and unique goals. Hence, it is better to do thorough research about the industry, where you want to work. For instance, it may take a couple of months to understand a financial product of a specific business segment, but the crux is to research and learn about it as quickly as possible to leverage your knowledge in this domain. Also, remember that you need not be an expert, but gaining some preliminary knowledge about the domain or the product that you are going to work really goes a long way in building a good career in machine learning.
8. Look for Small Companies
If you are interested to begin your career in machine learning, it’s always advisable to start small. Hence, don’t target big companies such as Amazon, Google, etc as they look for experienced candidates. Try to target startup companies, where you have immense opportunities to learn and apply your knowledge.
9. Showcase Some toy Projects
One aspect which helps a potential employer to take note of your skill sets is to showcase some good projects. Take the advice of your seniors; connect with experts and try creating and uploading a project in Github. This way, you could definitely gain an edge over other potential candidates, eying a career in machine learning.
Piece of Advice
Similar to any other career option, you need to have the passion, interest to try new things and above all the genuine aptitude of learning to make a mark in machine learning. Keeping aside the technical and analytical skills, you need to get motivated about solving new challenges, day in and day out and always proactive to learn new technologies to keep yourself updated. That is the key to success.