Published: Feb. 16, 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) has influenced our culture and reshaped how industries operate, including the nature of many jobs. As a college student, you can benefit from understanding these shifts as you select your major and prepare for your job and internship search. 

The emergence of AI can feel intimidating because of how it may impact your chosen career path. Yet, these technological changes can also be exciting and open the door to new career opportunities. 

Improving job efficiency 

As companies explore and invest in AI, repetitive tasks may become automated to increase productivity. Reducing the time it takes to complete tasks like data entry, content writing, research and customer service can give workers more time to focus on tasks that require higher-level thinking, like problem-solving, creativity and strategy.  

For example, a doctor could use AI tools to research health symptoms to find a more accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for patients. Marketers could use AI to analyze data and identify trends to create optimized campaigns and sales strategies. 

The consensus is that AI won’t cause a loss in the number of jobs but instead will cause a shift in how efficient people can be in their roles.  

Impacting job functions 

AI is creating new job positions and changing the expectations for existing roles. If you are interested in pursuing a career in AI, there will be continued opportunities across industries. Current data shows that less than 1% of job postings are AI-specific, meaning that the job focuses entirely on AI development. Still, these roles increased by 33% at the end of the last decade, with more growth ahead. 

Companies now use AI across work functions. According to an assessment of jobs completed in fall 2023 by Career Services, the most common job categories that included AI in the job description were: 

  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning 
  • Cloud and technology services 
  • Consulting and specialized roles 
  • Data and analytics 
  • Management and leadership 
  • Marketing and business development 
  • Software development and engineering 
  • UI/UX and designing 

Requiring new skills 

As AI evolves, the skills needed for some positions may change. The top technical skills for AI-specific jobs are machine learning, data science, software and business intelligence. However, in an ever-changing world, non-technical skills like leadership, management and innovation can help you adapt as AI influences your work. 

If you aren’t interested in AI as a career, becoming familiar with specific software can still be helpful. While most people have heard of ChatGPT, today's tools may look completely different than in a few years. Even if you aren’t technical in your understanding, being proficient in AI systems can position you for success at work. 

You can build skills now by practicing with AI when and where appropriate. Before using it in class, check out how AI relates to the Honor Code. You can also use it in your personal life, for side hustles and at work (again, when and where appropriate, according to your employer). Learn more about developing professional skills

Tap into campus resources 

You can find support for using AI in your job or internship search or with questions about how AI relates to your field of study or career path. Career Services offers workshops, resources, tools and appointments with career advisors.