Daniel Kroening, Co-founder & Chief Scientist at Diffblue

Artificial intelligence #AI has been hailed as the fourth industrial revolution and is steadily taking the tech world by storm.

AI start-ups are popping up all over, and some have gained sought-after ‘unicorn’ status (valued at over a billion dollars). It’s no surprise that aspiring developers might be interested in working in AI, but the question is how to break into the field.

The tech industry is more accessible than many other industries, in part because AI and tech jobs tend to be focused on demonstrable skills rather than a specific degree or extensive work experience. People enter technology from a variety of backgrounds, and many climb the career ladder much more quickly than they might be able to in other industries.

Because of the nature of the developing industry and the rapid creation of new areas of AI, companies often train new starters on the job, which is great news for those just starting out or switching careers.

But where is AI heading, and which areas are most likely to have long-term opportunities for a successful career in this field?

Invest in your skills in a way that works best for you

It’s very common for developers working in AI to have one or more degrees in computer science; many even have PhDs. A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science will provide a solid foundation if your goal is to work as a developer in AI, but there isn’t a “one size fits all” approach into a career in the AI industry.

You can teach yourself how to code with books and online tutorials. Not all companies will be open to hiring someone without a BSc in Computer Science or a closely related subject, but there will be some who are more interested in your skills and cultural fit. A few universities offer degrees in AI or specific modules, and these will almost certainly become more common, but generally speaking there aren’t a lot. Cognitive science, mathematics and logic all feature in these courses, so pick up books on these subjects.

If you want to self-learn, get started with programming now. Choose a language (Python, R and Java are good places to start) and practice the foundations. After you have a solid grasp of the basics, start being creative with your code; experiment with side projects that will allow you to hone your skills, make mistakes, and learn. Jobs in AI require an open mind towards problem-solving, and familiarity with many different approaches will likely be rewarded—as will the ability to learn independently.

There is an abundance of ways to teach yourself to code, including getting involved with hackathons, coding challenges, local meet-ups and open source projects. YouTube is a great place to learn new skills and develop your knowledge of coding, machine learning, AI and deep learning; a few channels to check out are Siraj Raval, Programming with Mosh, and the Coding Train.

Advice for gaining experience

If you’re a student or want to switch fields, try to find an internship or part-time job within the technology sector or software engineering industry—there are plenty of summer positions that are vying for talent. LinkedIn is a great place to find these opportunities, as are graduate-specific websites like Milkround. At Diffblue, we offer a range of paid software engineering internships based in our office in Oxford.

Look out for these types of roles:

  • AI architect
  • AI researcher
  • AI engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Software developer
  • Software engineer
  • Scrum master
  • Team lead

Keep your eye on the future

One major thing about the ever-growing nature of AI—and more broadly, the technology, industry in general—is how many future jobs may not exist yet.

How do you prepare for a job that there’s not a listing for? It’s actually not that hard.

First, make sure you are able to learn, adapt, and transfer your skills, and most importantly be flexible about your specific job role. A growing trend in the AI and technology sectors is the preference for a person who is a generalist, rather than an expert in one particular field, who can adapt and learn as the company transforms—someone with initiative and the judgment to prioritise and de-prioritise tasks as necessary. This is doubly true for start-ups. The future seems to be heading towards this trend of lifelong learning.

Another thing to bear in mind is how AI and technology are becoming integral parts of a variety of companies: food-delivery companies like Deliveroo, ride-hailing services like Uber, media companies and newspapers like the Economist, financial services and banking companies like Monzo, and even healthcare and biotech startups are all making use of burgeoning technologies. In a way, you have a massive choice of industries to work within on AI projects, so you don’t have to limit yourself to traditional technology companies to get the opportunity to eventually work in AI.

The best motivator is your own enjoyment of the field, so if you genuinely want to work in AI, you’ll find the path that works best for you.

Daniel Kroening, Co-founder & Chief Scientist at Diffblue

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Neil Richardson commented on Let’s stop being so quick to axe funding when colleges falter 7 hours 11 minutes ago

Since the call here seems to include Mind the Quality,
in which ways should quality be defined and...

Abertay has published a new article: How do I qualify as a First Aid Trainer? 19 hours 20 minutes ago
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 19 hours 25 minutes ago

The latest podcasts from FE News for 10/16/2021 - https://t.co/Hyjo6M7BQX
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page