6 min read
How to Land a Job Working in Conversational AI
Conversational AI, once a small niche, has become a significant asset for most companies and is growing at a breakneck pace. 78% of service organizations leverage it for self-service scenarios and 77% assess the type and difficulty of a query before passing it on to human agents. That one use-case in customer service is worth billions, but conversational AI’s applications reach far beyond customer service to gaming, engaging content for voice assistants, sales calls, marketing, and branding. Conversational AI will transform services, but it can also transform your career — here’s how to land a job in one of the AI era’s most promising fields.
No degree necessary, but it’s a bonus
Diversity. It’s the one word that truly sums up the current conversational AI workforce better than any other. I’ve seen self-taught 19-year-olds still in university while working in the space, musicians that took online courses, and middle age manual laborers that were “technically minded” and able to make the transition. Universities are still catching up in terms of training and there is a major shortage, meaning online courses in conversational AI are incredibly valuable (and accessible!), here’s a list of some very affordable courses to get you started.
It’s a vibrant community, become a part of it
Another major positive of being a young field in the midst of hypergrowth is that networking can pay off as in few other lines of work. While Covid-19 certainly poses challenges to networking, there’s plenty you can still do in the meantime. Reddit has a massive NLP subreddit, while online forums, such as the chatbots.org and TopBots forum have proliferated. Those resources will become even more abundant post-COVID with plenty of Meetup.com groups and conferences. While the latter requires an investment, attending often pays off because The in-person connections created are invaluable. Events such as the 2021 version of the European European Chatbot and Conversational AI Summit (taking place remote this year), or The Voice Summit (also remote this year) are well worth it.
Reach out to those who succeeded before you
LinkedIn is your best friend and in the age of Covid-19, it seems to have become an even more powerful tool since in-person connections are currently non-existent. Searching on LinkedIn for those who have taken popular courses from the list in point one will provide a long list of professionals who got their start the same way you’re probably trying to — use that to your advantage. Send them a message asking them a few basic questions, you can gain a powerful resource and chances are their team is hiring. Other searches to try are by skill or job title, though there may be less of a personal connection than to someone with a more similar experience.
Share your own journey
As a field, conversational AI has become indispensable and sizeable, but the publications that serve it are small. That means publishing material on your own experience, even if it’s directly published on Medium or LinkedIn, can lead to outsized visibility and become a valuable resource in boosting your profile and connecting to those who can help you out. Consider this, one of, if not the leading publication specifically focused on the space has 84,000 views per month — that’s not a lot, yet their prominence is impossible to ignore.
Getting into Conversational AI is amazing and it’s a decision that can open countless opportunities, but it requires the courage to take the first step and the perseverance to fail. Repeatedly. Yet for those willing to put in the effort, taking these tips into consideration can help you go from having potential to actually working in the field far faster than you might think. And perhaps most importantly, it will connect you to a community that won’t just open doors to a particular job, but also to a lifetime of learning and growth.