How to Become a Machine Learning Engineer

By CSU Global - January 6th, 2022

Man Studying Machine Learning

Recently, we explained why machine learning is so important, how it actually works, and what you can do for work after earning a master’s degree in the field

Here, we’ll explain how to get one of the best jobs in the industry, the role of machine learning engineer.

Machine learning engineers play an absolutely critical role in advancing this field by designing, building, testing, and creating AI and machine learning systems and technologies that push the bounds of modern technology.

In this post, we’ll explain why you should think about becoming a machine learning engineer, what you would be responsible for doing in this role, why you should get your degree before applying for related jobs, and what you can do to help improve your odds of launching a successful career in the field.

After you’ve learned everything you need to know about becoming a machine learning engineer, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about our 100% online Master’s Degree in AI and Machine Learning.

If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.

What Is Machine Learning and Why Is It Important?

Machine learning is a specialized discipline within the wider field of artificial intelligence, and while machine learning can be used for many things, its core purpose is to train machines to do things more quickly, more intelligently, and more accurately.

Some specific examples of machine learning applications include:

  • In Banking & Finance – Machine learning is used to identify and prevent fraudulent financial transactions, as well as to identify opportunities for investment.
  • In Transportation – The self-driving cars being built by Google and Tesla are powered by machine learning systems, including deep learning technology so that they can drive safely without human input.
  • In Healthcare – Medical professionals have begun to use machine learning solutions to detect the presence of diseases
  • In Manufacturing – Manufacturers use machine learning processes to reduce loss and operating costs and to increase production capacity.

As the list above makes clear, machine learning principles and practices are being applied in a variety of industries to make AI technologies work better, faster, and smarter, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of a whole host of modern technological solutions.

Is Becoming a Machine Learning Engineer a Good Career Option?

Yes, the role of machine learning engineer is an excellent career opportunity for anybody interested in technology and especially advanced technologies, as machine learning is at the forefront of modern technological development.

There are three great reasons to think about becoming a machine learning engineer, including:

  1. Machine learning engineers get to play an incredibly important role in modern businesses, helping them develop cutting-edge, next-generation technologies.
  2. This is an excellent career for anyone looking to earn a considerable salary, as reports the average base salary for machine learning engineers was $133,073 per year, as of December 9th, 2021.
  3. Demand for machine learning engineers is set to explode, with Forbes recently reporting that demand for AI and machine learning job skills is predicted to grow by 71% over the next 5 years.

If you’re interested in a technology-based career and you want a role in a growing industry, then you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a better target than the role of machine learning engineer. 

What Do Machine Learning Engineers Actually Do?

As a machine learning engineer, you’ll be asked to work with AI and machine learning technology in a variety of ways, including designing, building, testing, updating, and scaling modern AI and machine learning systems and technologies.

Typical tasks for machine learning engineers include:

  • Utilizing machine learning to perform a variety of different tasks, including complex processes like image analysis and reconstruction.
  • Analyzing and applying machine learning principles for reasoning processes and uncertainty.
  • Solving a variety of complicated problems by implementing advanced machine learning and AI-driven solutions.
  • Designing and then building machine learning and AI-based systems and solutions to perform complex tasks that model, but outperform human behavior.
  • Evaluating and improving technologies, systems, and solutions that rely on machine learning and AI processes.

The role of machine learning engineer requires advanced technical skills and expertise and this is not a role that you can simply find your way into without prior training.

If you want to break into the machine learning industry, you’re going to need to develop a set of advanced skills and abilities before anyone is willing to give you a chance as a machine learning engineer.

The best way to develop the skills you need for this industry is to get your degree in machine learning.

What Skills & Abilities Are Needed to Become a Successful Machine Learning Engineer?

To succeed at landing a job in this complex and competitive industry, there are several important skills that you will need to develop.

According to Udacity, you should focus on developing each of the following skills: 

  1. Mastery of Computer Science Fundamentals – You need knowledge, awareness, and expertise in several fundamentals of computer science, including data structures, algorithms, computability and complexity, and computer architecture, as all of these are critical to the role of machine learning engineer.
  2. Computer Programming Skills – You’ll have to build computer programming skills, including the ability to apply, implement, modify, and address the computer science fundamentals listed above while performing programming tasks.
  3. Advanced Probability and Statistics Skills – Machine learning algorithm technology is rooted in probabilities and techniques derived from probability and statistics, so you’ll need to develop expertise in each of these areas. 
  4. Data Modeling Skills – Many machine learning algorithms utilize data modeling processes, so you’ll need to be capable of evaluating data sets to uncover useful patterns, correlations, clusters, and other relationships in fields of data to evaluate and predict outcomes of various data modeling techniques. 
  5. Software Engineering and Systems Design Skills – Typically, machine learning engineers deliver software solutions, so to be successful in this role, you’ll want to develop an advanced understanding of software engineering best practices.
  6. Experience Using Machine Learning Algorithms and Libraries – Machine learning algorithms rely on deep-learning libraries like Tensorflow, Theano, Spark MLlib, H2O, etc., and you’ll need to be familiar with their use so that you can apply them appropriately when developing a suitable model for machine learning applications.

The best way to build the foundational knowledge, skills, and experience you’ll need as a machine learning engineer is to complete a degree in the field, like CSU Global’s Master’s Degree in AI and Machine Learning.

Our fully online program was designed to provide you with everything you need to launch a successful career in this competitive industry.

Completing our program ensures that you’ll be capable of delivering real value to any organization as a professional machine learning engineer from your first day on the job.

Do I Really Need a Degree in Machine Learning to Get a Job in The Industry?

Not necessarily, but getting your degree in machine learning could significantly increase your chances of getting one of the good jobs in this extremely competitive industry.

First, if you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree, then Discover Data Science suggests you should consider getting one in a field like mathematics, data science, computer science, computer programming, statistics, or physics.

CSU Global’s Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and our Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science are excellent options for anyone who wants to get into machine learning, and who still needs their undergraduate degree.

Next, our Master’s Degree in AI and Machine Learning is your best option for starting a career as a machine learning engineer, but our Master’s Degree in Data Analytics and our Master’s Degree in Information Technology Management are also excellent options for people looking to break into high technology careers.

Completing any of these programs will prove that you’ve developed the abilities you need to succeed in this challenging, complex industry, improving your marketability for jobs as a machine learning engineer.

How Will CSU Global’s M.S. in AI & Machine Learning Help Prepare me for a Career as a Machine Learning Engineer?

Our online Master’s Program in AI & Machine Learning focuses on training you to handle the most important job responsibilities of machine learning engineers, including tasks like:

  • Analyzing systems to monitor and control technology-driven development projects.
  • Establishing and achieving objectives using techniques related to AI and machine learning reasoning and uncertainty.
  • Applying logic, probably analysis, and machine learning concepts to solve complicated technological problems.
  • Utilizing machine learning best practices and principles to build applications that perform data processing, data mining, speech recognition, image recognition, robotic control, and other similar functions.

To be accepted into the program, you do need to have already completed at least one advanced course in Discrete Mathematics and one advanced course in Probability and Statistics. 

If you haven’t already satisfied these requirements, then you’ll need to get our program chair’s approval before being admitted into the program.

Once you’ve been accepted to the program, you’ll be provided with the chance to develop all the knowledge and skills you need to succeed as a machine learning engineer, as we’ll train you to:

  • Use machine learning principles and techniques to solve complex business problems.
  • Model human behavior with advanced AI and machine learning solutions. 
  • Implement solutions that utilize AI and machine learning principles. 
  • Evaluate the performance of applications based on AI and machine learning best practices.
  • Use principles and techniques associated with modern software development.

Armed with the foundational knowledge and critical skills needed to succeed in this competitive, challenging industry, your machine learning degree from CSU Global could play a critical role in helping launch or advance your career in the field.

What Else Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Success?

Completing a degree in machine learning is certainly the best way to prepare for a successful career, but it’s not the only thing you can do to help improve your odds of achieving success.

According to, completing a machine learning certification program could help you build key skills and acquire the hands-on experience you need to build a more compelling resume. 

Springboard explains that the work you’ll do in a certification program will allow you to demonstrate your mastery of machine learning concepts and principles, helping make your application more competitive.

They suggest considering the following machine learning certification programs:

  • Springboard’s own Machine Learning Bootcamp
  • Amazon’s AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty
  • Google’s Professional Machine Learning Engineer Certification
  • Microsoft’s Azure AI Engineer Certification
  • IBM’s Machine Learning Professional Certificate

While you don’t necessarily need to complete a certification program to get a job as a machine learning engineer, this is an incredibly competitive industry so you should consider doing anything you can to help make sure that your job applications stand out.

The amount of time and level of effort that you dedicate to developing your skills, abilities, and academic credentials could also not just help you get hired, but also improve the chances that you’ll be able to achieve success working in the field.

Should I Get My Degree in Machine Learning Online? 

Yes, no matter what degree or certification program you choose to pursue, we suggest getting your academic credentials online instead of in person.

Why? Because in-person programs are less efficient than studying online, which offers far more flexibility and freedom.

In fact, should you choose to study online with us at CSU Global, you’ll get to take advantage of several excellent benefits that our unique, 100% online programs provide, including:

  • No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations
  • Monthly class starts
  • Accelerated courses

These benefits will be especially helpful if you’ve got a busy schedule full of existing work and family responsibilities.

If you’re worried about being able to find enough time for your studies, then you should certainly think about getting your degree online with us at CSU Global.

Why Should I Choose CSU Global’s AI & Machine Learning Program?

Our 100% online Master’s Degree in AI and Machine Learning was designed to provide you with everything you need to launch a successful, lifelong career as a machine learning engineer.

This program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, which ensures that your degree will be respected by hiring managers looking to employ skilled experts in the field.

Our program is also widely recognized as one of the best programs in the industry, as it’s been awarded several excellent rankings, including:

CSU Global itself is also widely regarded as an industry leader in higher education, having recently achieved several important rankings, including:

  • A Top 20 ranking for Best Online University Programs Based on Their ROI from Forbes.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.

Finally, we offer affordable tuition rates, and a Tuition Guarantee that promises your low tuition rate won’t increase as long as you remain enrolled with us.

To get additional details about our fully-accredited online Master’s Degree in AI and Machine Learning, please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.

Ready to get started today? Apply now!

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