5 Hallmarks of an Innovative Artificial Intelligence Engineering Program

5 Signs That an Artifical Intelligence Engineering Program is Innovative

  • Broad Curriculum
  • Industry Partnerships
  • Ongoing Research Opportunities
  • Hands-On Experience
  • Graduate Success

Artificial intelligence engineering is the wave of the future; it has applications across all fields, from manufacturing to transportation. It’s also changing fast — which means that when it comes to choosing a degree program, it’s crucial to look for one that prioritizes innovation. Innovative programs teach students how to spot new opportunities, develop new technologies, and adapt to changing conditions. With this type of degree, graduates are better positioned to get a job with agile engineering firms.

Related resource: Top 20 Artificial Intelligence Engineering Schools

1. Broad Curriculum

By nature, an artificial intelligence engineering degree covers a wide range of topics. After all, the area is extremely complex, involving human cognition, psychology, machine learning, technology development, software development, and more. The best programs provide a solid, well-rounded foundation in all of these areas — after all, in order to innovate, students must understand each area. The best way to find this information is to compare the curricula of different programs. Are the courses frequently updated to accommodate new information and technology? Do professors draw from a variety of disciplines?

2. Industry Partnerships

Many industries have a vested interest in AI — companies that embrace new technologies first have the chance to supercharge growth. For that reason, many large corporations enter into partnerships with artificial intelligence engineering programs. They provide funding and other resources to help further the AI field. By choosing a program with major partnerships, it’s possible to get in on the ground floor of innovative developments. Even better, students in these programs have the chance to make valuable industry contacts. After graduation, these contacts can lead to enviable job prospects.

3. Ongoing Research Opportunities

One of the best ways to spot an innovative artificial intelligence engineering program is to look at the research that’s coming out of the department. Usually, this information is published on the individual faculty and staff pages; the school’s website may also have a section dedicated to research. Look for projects that push the boundaries of AI into new areas. It’s also a good idea to keep an eye out for cross-disciplinary research; innovation tends to happen at the intersection of different areas of study. At Carnegie Mellon University, for example, the AI program brings together faculty from computer science, robotics, and more. Finally, check out the opportunities for students to get involved, either as undergraduate research assistants or graduate assistantships.

4. Hands-On Experience

A crucial part of any innovation is hands-on work. That’s why, as you’re looking for a program for artificial intelligence engineering, it’s crucial to examine the opportunities to get involved. Some universities offer a capstone or senior design project, where students have the chance to work on actual industry projects. Other schools encourage internships and co-ops. The more chances a program offers to be involved in a real-world AI application, the better. This experience develops skills, offers exposure to different areas of AI, and helps students learn to create new solutions.

5. Graduate Success

Major companies are always on the lookout for ways to add AI into their workflow to boost profits. That means that they snap up innovative graduates quickly. One of the easiest ways to spot a solid artificial intelligence engineering program is to look where students go after graduation. Chances are, the department will be happy to provide this information. If students go on to work at businesses such as Apple, Amazon, and other tech companies, it’s a good sign. Another tip? Look at the school’s career fair listings — if cutting-edge companies actively recruit graduates, it means that they believe in the program’s tradition of innovation.

For students who are interested in data, computer programming, and technology, artificial intelligence is a thrilling field of study. The specific program can make or break future job prospects, so it’s important to pick the right one. Innovative artificial intelligence engineering programs open up a huge range of educational and professional opportunities.