</What is the AI Masters Programme?>
The Institute of Coding is working with the government’s Office for AI and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, to deliver the Industrial Masters programme for Artificial Intelligence (IMAI) in universities across the UK.
It has been recognised that there is skills gap in Artificial Intelligence (AI). This gap is growing as the scope offered by the field increases and opportunities are identified and pursued. Industry have told us consistently that recruitment and retention is a particular challenge consequently limiting their ambitions. The AI Review carried out independently for government by Dame Wendy Hall and Jérôme Pesenti, ‘Growing the artificial intelligence industry in the UK’ identified areas in which action could be taken to expand and sustain the workforce required to grow the UK AI industry.
Intervention at the Masters level represents a key opportunity to meet one immediate requirement. The Shadbolt Review 2016, set out the low employment rates of computer science graduates due in part to a shortage of professional skills with which to apply their technical education. Investment in Masters courses can therefore provide a path for these graduates and offer a conversion route for graduates of other disciplines, by giving them the business relevant training that employers need.
A Masters degree is a relatively quick way to upskill existing employees, returners to work or individuals interested in converting from other disciplines. To bridge the AI skills gap we need to expand the provision of opportunities at this level. The new industry funded AI Masters programme intends to broaden access to AI relevant education and training at Level 7 which will help to galvanise these future sources of talent.
This project will work to create and promote:
- New AI Masters spaces in universities across the United Kingdom starting from September 2019 and continuing through to the 21/22 Academic year.
- Inclusion of a diverse learner cohort on these programmes, and
- Learning pathways that enable existing employees, returners to work, or individuals interested in converting their specialism a quick way to develop their skills.
Discussions are on-going with many industry partners and universities to create and fill the places that are available for the upcoming academic year.
All courses involved in this programme should:
- Comprise of a significant number of AI related components as defined in the Royal Society’s ‘Machine learning: the power and promise of computers that learn by example’, 2017;
- Are committed to developing consideration of AI ethics;
- Include a placement, as part of or following the course, to provide students with the business skills and ability to apply the principles of AI;
- Report on the diversity of their cohort and proactively work to improve it;
- Be funded by an industry partner.
How can you get involved?
Work is already underway to develop the scheme with our partners. Since September 2019, the IoC have invited partners to a number of round-tables and other face-to-face events which have increasingly diversified and moved to virtual platforms. These events give companies and universities the chance to discuss AI Masters programmes and shape the future of this project.
Please contact us at AIMasters.IOC@bath.ac.uk if you would like to know more about these events and upcoming dates.
With growing demand for these skills and growth of AI Master’s spaces in universities for 2021/22, the IoC and the Office for AI are keen to hear from companies interested in supporting students and providing industrial experience.