Top Skills to Know for a Career in AI

As a valued member of the Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet network, we’re thrilled to share with you an exciting new project called Skills@ScAle. This new initiative seeks to address the industry demand for skills relating to Artificial Intelligence.

The industry that will continue to explode in the coming years.

But first…

Let’s remind ourselves of what AI is and take a look at what exactly are AI skills.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial Intelligence is essentially the practice of leveraging computers and machines in order to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind. From its conception back in the 1950s – the AI field of study has grown immensely and branched out to focus on various elements or types of AI.

Types of AI

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular types of AI and how they interact with one and other…

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Machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence that studies computer algorithms that can automatically learn and improve through experience and by the use of data. They refer to it as ‘machine learning’ because the machine itself is learning and improving itself without any explicit programming needing to take place. There are various algorithms that are used in machine learning, such as neural networks – discussed below – to solve problems.

Deep learning

Deep learning is a specific type of machine learning. This method seeks to imitate the way in which humans obtain particular knowledge. Essentially seeking to recreate the human brain’s ability to learn by example. This translates to using a computer model which learns to perform classification tasks directly from images, text, or sound. It is an important component of data science as it relies on statistics and predictive analysis.

Deep learning AI has many industry applications already used today such as:

  • Face Recognition
  • Virtual Assistants
  • Vision Enablement for Driverless Cars

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Neural network architectures

Neural networks, as the name suggests, are inspired by the structure of the human brain. They are complex structures created from artificial neurons which can quickly process multiple inputs and from that – produce a singular output. Neural networks make up a part of the deep learning process. Therefore, it is essential to understand this architecture in order to work in deep learning applications.

Computer vision

Computer vision is a field of study that seeks to train computers to ‘see’ and understand the visual world. By way of accurately identifying and locating objects and then reacting to what they see through the use of digital images from deep learning models, videos, and cameras.

AI Skills

While we may have only touched on the tip of the AI iceberg, you can see that it is a vast area of research. As equally interesting as the research side of AI, is the potential for industry applications in the real world. Whether streamlining traditional ways of working or revolutionising a sector with entirely new ways of using AI, the possibilities are exciting. So, if Artificial Intelligence is something that you are interested in or would like to explore a career in, you may be wondering what exactly are the kind of skills you need to have?

While of course, there are certain technical skills which will be required to work in this field,… there are also non-tech skills that most AI professionals possess. Let’s look at both categories to give a full picture of the kind of skillset a person may need to enter into this field.

While this list is expansive to cover the wide variety of skills used in the field, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are required to possess each and every one. Just as in any field – career opportunities vary from high-level research careers to low-level programming and implementation careers.

Technical AI Skills


1)    Maths

    1. Statistics
    2. Probability
    3. Predictions
    4. Calculus
    5. Algebra
    6. Bayesian algorithms
    7. Logic

2)   Science

    1. Physics
    2. Mechanics
    3. cognitive learning theory
    4. language processing

3)   Computer Science

    1. Data structures
    2. Programming
    3. Logic and Efficiency

Non-technical AI Skills

  1. Critical Thinker

You are a highly critical thinker who doesn’t take anything at face value. You believe in the scientific method and must test and experiment before making a concrete decision.

  1. Trail Blazers

Artificial intelligence is all about pushing boundaries therefore you must be comfortable with venturing into unknown territory. You are always looking for new and more ways of pushing computer capabilities to the max. More ways to improve existing systems. More ideas for inventing new ways to use AI.

  1. Naturally Curious

You always want to know and understand more. Professionals in AI want to get into the nitty gritty details and understand how things work. You want to observe, you want to listen, and you want learning to be a continuous part of your life.


  1. Not Easily Overwhelmed

You understand that Artificial Intelligence is highly technical and complex, but you also recognise that venturing into uncharted waters is both difficult and mysterious. It can be easy for some to feel lost or overwhelmed when there is no road map to follow. You, however, enjoy this process as opposed to getting frustrated by it.

Skills@ScAle at ICT

Skills@ScAle is an exciting new project that we are embarking upon here at Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet. Funding has been obtained to directly build the skills demanded by Irish Industry to address the Artificial Intelligence market.

Our ambition is to grow an Irish AI Network which will encompass companies working here in the Republic of Ireland that have (or plan to have) an AI capability.  We will provide ready-to-go skills pathways for business leaders and their technical teams.  Our longer-term ambition is to address the spectrum of AI ambition with targeted events to highlight the growing ecosystem that drives collaboration and innovation within Ireland.

Our brand new Webinar Series “Skills@ScAIe” which will consist of 6 one hour enlightening monthly webinars packed full of expert advice and guidance to assist your adoption and enable you to deliver artificial intelligence with impact.  Business leaders, policy makers, venture capitals, entrepreneurs, leaders of AI accelerators will join the series to map out the landscape, highlight the potential and provide you with the confidence to begin or continue your AI journey.

The only cost to you is time as all engagements under our AI Network are fully funded thanks to support from Skillnet Ireland under their Future Dynamics Pillar.

If you missed the first instalment of the Skills@ScAle webinar series, catch up below now!

(or if you would like to see our full range of trainings – check out our AI Courses)

AI is the present. And without doubt; the future.

Will you take advantage?

Register now to join us at the 2nd Skills@ScAle webinar, taking place at 8am on December 8th!