Sydney (AU), March 2021 - The Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) has introduced a new Certified Artificial Intelligence Professional course, jointly developed with Amazon Web Services (AWS) for aspiring artificial intelligence (AI) developers and machine learning (ML) professionals.
The course enables novice practitioners who are interested in entering the field of AI to become job-ready engineers in just six months. There will be a skill assessment to evaluate the student's current skills and experience, but the only prerequisites are a basic understanding of mathematics and statistics and, or alternatively, relevant experience in the industry, such as an internship.
According to the 2020 IT Skills and Salary Report, “AI, cognitive computing, and machine learning” was reported as the second-weakest IT skillset in organisations across the world, presenting serious hiring challenges for IT managers. The lack of skilled AI professionals forms part of a broader technology skills shortage in Australia, with new research commissioned by AWS revealing that Australia will require an additional 6.5 million newly skilled and re-skilled digital workers by 2025 to meet future demand for technology skills (79 percent more than Australia currently has).
Jon Lang, CEO of AIICT said, "We're seeing a severe shortage of skilled AI professionals, and in many instances, organisations are simply unable to fill these roles. With AI and ML becoming a critical part of the digital transformation process for many organisations, the demand is on the rise for engineers with these specific skills across a wide range of industries."
Lang added, "At AIICT, we are committed to providing all our students with the most contemporary, relevant, and future-focused skills. Together with AWS, we hope to address the skyrocketing demand in the AI field and support those looking to start their career as an AI engineer."
Artificial Intelligence Specialist is currently the top emerging job role in both Australia and the United States, according to the LinkedIn 2020 Report, with hiring growth surging 74% annually in the last four years.
Moreover, as of January 2021, the average salary for a machine learning engineer in Australia is estimated at $94,255 ($1,812 weekly), according to Indeed. This is 34% above the average annual earnings for all employees in Australia, which is $66,575 ($1,280 weekly), according to the ABS.
"There have been rapid technological advances in cloud computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence; however we still face an ongoing skills shortage in these areas," said Melanie Botha, Head of Training and Certification, Australia and New Zealand. "AWS is passionate about continual education and the need to build new digital skills to drive economic growth and job creation in Australia and New Zealand. Together with AIICT, we want to close the digital skills gap, equip individuals with job-ready skills that will boost their employability, and support the upskilling of our nation."
AIICT is a start-up launched in 2019 by DDLS, one of Australia's largest providers of corporate IT and cybersecurity training and is one of only two authorised AWS Training Partners in the country.
The Certified Artificial Intelligence Professional course prepares individuals for a role as an entry-level AI developer or machine learning engineer. Through its unique Industry Partner Program, AIICT connects recent graduates with leading employers to help them secure a front-line role, while simultaneously tackling skills shortages in the field.
The course incorporates three globally recognised AWS certifications, including AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner, AWS Certified Data Analytics, and AWS Certified Machine Learning, as well as the TensorFlow Developer Certificate.
The hands-on course places a high focus on the development of real-world skills and provides students access to unique “live labs”, which enable them to practice developing and deploying machine learning models in a simulated work environment.
The course platform also includes video content, quizzes, expert-led webinars, and direct access to online mentorship from industry experts, who are on hand to guide students through the course material.
AIICT operates using a unique self-paced course schedule, which is not bound by the traditional academic structures of terms and semesters. The flexible learning options allow students to build an online learning schedule around their lives and encourage people who may not have considered a career in AI as an option previously, to undertake training.
The AIICT platform also allows students to join a community of like-minded individuals for communication and collaboration as they progress through the course.
Some of the course's key learning outcomes include
- understanding the fundamentals of AI/ML processes and concepts, as well as elements of data science
- learning the key concepts of cloud computing with a deep dive into AWS
- learning how to build scalable AI-powered algorithms with TensorFlow
- exploring ML toolsets and processes to build models with Amazon SageMaker and computer visions based on smart applications
- understanding data analytics and its application to AWS