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Artificial intelligence


Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology which enables a machine to simulate human intelligence in computer systems.

These machines are programmed to perform tasks that would usually require human intelligence. For example, speech recognition, decision-making and visual perception are just some features of human intelligence that AI may possess.

This webpage will give you an overview of the AI sector, how to find relevant work experience and the steps you'll need to take to secure a graduate role within the sector.

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What is artificial intelligence and machine learning?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing societies and economies across the world. AI enhances the speed and efficiency of human efforts and is being used across multiple industries. How does it work? Through the creation of technical machines that are created to complete everyday tasks that humans normally would do, by using abilities such as learning, pattern identification and problem-solving.

AI is fast becoming an important utilisation to have as businesses will need to create websites that are user-friendly with AI.One of the most recent advancements of Chat GPT, an AI chatbot that is able to answer any demand, whilst providing a detailed response. It’s able to assist with questions and helps to automate tasks and can help you to brainstorm ideas or explain difficult concepts. By using ChatGPT intelligently, it can allow you more time to pursue more advanced projects. Accenture’s technology Vision 2023 report states that within the next year more ‘quick answer’ services will emerge within the AI space that will have more sophisticated and natural language ability.

Machine learning branches from AI by focusing on algorithms and data which is used to copy the way that humans learn. Machine learning allows a user to feed a computer algorithm an immense amount of data and has the computer analyse and makes data-driven recommendations and decisions based on only the data input.


Who are the employers in this sector?

The tech industry is going from strength to strength. The development of AI in business environments helps people to save time on mundane tasks whilst boosting their productivity and improving customer experience. AI is a hot topic as it can support business needs by:

  • Automating business processes
  • Engaging with other people across the business or with customers
  • Gaining insight using data analysis

As a result of this, computer science degrees are one of the in-demand degrees right now and many companies need computer science graduates to join them. The obvious thing may be to look for jobs in some of the biggest companies such as IBM, Google and Microsoft. But there are many other jobs in companies that need AI graduates even in the local area.


There are many global companies that recruit computer science graduates. For example, Amazon is one of the world’s largest e-commerce companies, and there is scope for many graduate jobs, especially for computer science graduates and those who have an interest in AI. Amazon makes use of AI for many things including to improve supply and make sense of the data, automating the capability to forecast customer demand, assess product availability, optimise delivery routes, and personalise communication with customers while tracking the whole supply chain. Deloitte is another example as it runs a large network of economic forums, that requires support from many IT professionals. Deloitte uses a combination of analytics automation and AI to help businesses to uncover hidden information from large amounts of data in their organisation. Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC, which are known as the big four professional service firms, are all using AI to automate auditing processes and enhance business decisions.

Many graduates want to work for companies like Google as it’s a multinational technology company that focuses on a number of computing aspects including AI.

Many AI job titles vary and could be listed as job titles such as software developer, AI engineer data scientist and big data engineer/architect so it’s a good idea to look at different job titles and read the job descriptions thoroughly before applying.

UK The Tech Nation Report highlights those jobs in the broader digital tech economy now account for around 14% of the UK workforce at 4.7mn people. Some of the big employers within the UK include IBM, Sage, PwC, Accenture, ASOS and Barclays.

As well as well-known global companies (that also exist in the UK), the job market consists of many small and medium-sized companies and start-ups in the UK. For example, UKSPA supports, promotes and represents the continued growth of science parks, technology incubators and innovation centres/ areas of innovation. Take a look at this website to find out more about the tech roles that they have available. Another example is BJSS which engineers world-class technology solutions by using a variety of computer science services such as AI. BJSS helps companies to harness data access for all who need it and provides advanced analytics by implementing companies’ data foundations in the cloud which provides access to data from across your business and enables better data-driven business decisions.

East Midlands

Nottingham is fast becoming a notable tech hub within the UK with a good representation of larger organisations as well as start-ups. There are companies such as Turbo AI that provide management consulting services that are focused on fintech (financial technology) and the payment industry. Many graduates want to stay in the local area and recent graduates have moved into companies such as Experian, MHR, Microlise and Capital One.

Every year many Nottingham students opt to start their own software development companies. Support for this is available from the Ingenuity Lab based at Jubilee Campus.


Degrees in high demand for this sector

The demand for AI-skilled specialists is growing as so many companies have access to more data than ever before, which means that AI has become more accurate and faster to meet demand. When it comes to AI, there are lots of different roles that may interest you. Sometimes job titles are not consistent across the industry so it’s a good idea to read the title and the job description to gain a better understanding of what the role will entail.

Some of the roles that you may be interested in within the AI field include:

  • Full stack developer
  • UI designer
  • Machine learning engineer
  • Data scientist
  • Systems developer
  • Web designer
  • Computer games engineer
  • Cybersecurity professional

Some roles within this field will be less technical. Within the AI field, computer science students are highly sought-after, but many organisations are interested in students who have studied a relevant similar degree such as engineering, maths, and science who have problem-solving and critical analysis skills.

If you’re not studying computer science but are keen to get into AI, it’s best to use your free time and do some extracurricular activities within AI to find out which areas interest you. This may be something to do with computing, data, electronics or robots. You may find that some organisations will be happy to train graduates in the software and technology that they use and may just be looking for you to demonstrate your passion for technology and a willingness to learn. It’s also important that you take any opportunity during the job application process to highlight any of your transferable skills such as communication skills, project management skills and organisational skills.


How do I get a graduate role?

Some AI jobs may be advertised, while others may be listed under other titles such as data scientist, machine learning engineer or software developer. So, it's a good idea to understand that you may want to go into the AI field, but the job titles may vary across companies, always read the job description carefully before applying. You can keep an eye out for roles advertised on MyCareer, our online jobs board. This is a great platform to find roles that are available worldwide, in the UK and locally.

It's also a good idea to regularly look at these sites for AI vacancies as you'll get a feel for what skills and experience employers are looking for: ·

You could find out what companies are using AI currently or are looking to embed this and send in a speculative application. If you would like any help with creating a speculative application, you can check out this webpage or book an appointment with our team.

There are many large employers such as Capital one, British Telecom and Experian who offer graduate-level jobs or graduate schemes. Some other small-to-medium-sized employers are also offering junior or graduate positions.

Employers may prefer you to have a computer science or STEM degree but even for an AI technical role, you may just need to show your passion and demonstrate some tech work experience which may be sufficient. LinkedIn is also a useful job searching tool – recruiters are often proactive about approaching suitable graduates so make sure you set up a profile, check that it is current and includes your interest and experience in technology. It’s also a good idea to use LinkedIn to search for jobs and network with people whose job or career interests you.

Recruiters from global, national and regional IT organisations attend our careers fairs, as well as other events, so when the events are live be sure to book your place at them. These opportunities can be useful for networking and gaining information about particular companies and opportunities.


How do I gain work experience?

You might want to study an MSc course in artificial intelligence, computer science or something similar and delve deeper into a more specific area of interest. A masters degree can help you to gain transferable skills and prepare you for a professional career in AI and its applications. You may have experience and knowledge within certain programming languages such as Python and Java that you may do in your spare time, this will also count towards your work experience.

A year-long placement, summer internship or graduate scheme is a fantastic opportunity to gain some work experience. Gradcracker is a website that offers placements, graduate schemes and graduate jobs only within the STEM sector. If you know of a company that uses AI, it’s worth asking them about potential work experience.

We also have the Nottingham Internship Scheme which provides a range of work experience opportunities exclusively for our students and graduates. All of the opportunities are with small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), charities or social organisations. They take place throughout the year with schemes during spring and summer. This is an excellent way to build experience.

University of Nottingham students have recently completed year-in-industry placements with companies such as Microsoft and HP. The Year In Industry scheme (YINI), based at University Park, can also help you source a year-in-industry placement.

Research Academy Placements and Internships is designed to help you recognise your potential and highlight future opportunities as a masters student. There are two types of placements available for you to do, either a part-time project for three to six months or a full-time three-month internship.

Shorter-term work experience or internships will also help when you are applying for a graduate job or graduate scheme. Internship and placement opportunities can be found on Gradcracker, Prospects and Rate My Placement websites, as well as MyCareer.

Introductory courses

Develop your knowledge and skills by undertaking one or more free high quality courses. Check out this Moodle page for details of introductory courses.

Introduction to AI courses on Moodle

If there is a particular business that interests you, it’s worth checking their website and social media to see if they offer any creative competitions which can also help you to gain relevant work experience.


Please be aware that study abroad, compulsory year abroad, optional placements/internships and integrated year in industry opportunities may change at any time for a number of reasons, including curriculum developments, changes to arrangements with partner universities or placement/industry hosts, travel restrictions or other circumstances outside of the university's control. Every effort will be made to update this information as quickly as possible should a change occur.

Getting into Artificial Intelligence and Business 

For this artificial intelligence (AI) and business event, we were joined by UoN alumnus, Cleve Gibbon who is an Executive Technology Leader at Omnicom. 

Cleve gave an overview of his computer science degree at Nottingham. His interest in AI stemmed from his studies, and he talks about how AI is transforming the business landscape.

Cleve shared valuable tips and insights on how to stand out in this sector.

Login to SharePoint to watch the webinar

  • Alumni: Email us to gain access to the webinar

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What are my further study options?

A master’s degree in AI could increase your job opportunities and help prepare you for in-demand commercial or research positions in both industry and academic positions.

Although a master's qualification is certainly not a prerequisite, postgraduates may find their specific experiences enable them to progress more quickly and improve employability in a competitive job market. For example, if you want to become an AI research scientist, you’ll need to carry out specific further study that relates to this field such as machine learning.

You may also find that AI jobs that require admin responsibilities, supervision, or leadership will require further study. Postgraduate researchers may find their skills useful in organisations looking to adopt brand new technologies that might be offering research and development roles.

I want to explore this topic more

You may also want to join the HackSoc – UoN student society to network with like-minded individuals.

Read our blog post - ChatGPT and job applications - to see how you could use ChatGPT for applications and preparing for interviews.

Many tech groups via Meetup take place in and around Nottingham, which may also be of interest to you.


Careers and Employability Service

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