Industry Partners

Interested in preparing the workforce of the future for your company? Have you considered growing your own talent to fill critical AI positions? Register your employees for the Artificial Intelligence Academy.

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) Academy is a Department of Labor funded Apprenticeships: Closing the Skills Gap Program with the goal of upskilling and retraining 5,000 individuals across the U.S. to enter the AI profession. There is no better time than now to invest in your own talent to grow your organization’s capacity to meet the changing demands of the workforce, including continuously innovating your approach to reaching your clients and their needs.

Did you know that 94% of employees state they would stay longer at a company if the organization invested in their personal learning and development (LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report, 2019)? Additionally, LinkedIn currently has posted over 17,000 open positions within AI careers in the U.S. These range from areas such as autonomous systems, machine learning, neural networks, deep learning, natural language processing, data analytics, business intelligence, and telemedicine.

How the AI Academy Works

The individuals who can participate in this program must be 17 years or older and current U.S. citizens. An employer can choose to enroll current employees to participate in the AI Academy or may also choose to sponsor a potential new recruit to complete the program whom they can consider for full-time employment at the end of the program. The AI Academy specifically encourages participation from groups underserved in AI careers including females, ethnic and racial minorities, individuals transitioning from the military, and veterans. However, participants from any background will be strongly considered for inclusion in the program.
For each course, participants will be engaged in 10-weeks of instruction that will include weekly 90-minute live SEMINARS, which are interactive presentations of the course material from lead instructors who are recognized experts in AI. Second, participants will have two, one-hour APPLICATION sessions where they will be in smaller groups with dedicated instructors who will provide guidance as they apply their learning within various scenarios and systems to grow their understanding of the content and skills. Third, participants will be engaged in the AI INNOVATION PORTAL, which is an online environment that can be accessed at any time for networking, resources, and additional supports for their learning. The sponsoring organization will need to provide flexible time during the work week for the individual to complete the requirements of the program.
The program is structured so that participants are concurrently working alongside someone who is working now in an AI position for a part-time paid apprenticeship experience during the duration of the program. If there is no one within the current organization working in AI, the AI Academy will partner the participant up with another employer in the area who will host the individual to work with their AI professional.

If your company is interested in providing a setting for one or more apprentices to work with your AI professionals, but you may not have a need to have your employees participate, we are always looking for new partners who are willing to host the AIAcademy apprentices.

Participants in the AI Academy have two options for their focus in the program. AI Academy staff will assess the applicants’ background and determine what the best fit is for the individual based upon their experiences, education, and career aspirations. The program is comprised of two pathways and either one or both may be completed:
  • Basic AI Pathway – 20 weeks, two courses: Introduction to AI and Data Mining.
  • Advanced AI Pathway – 20 weeks, two courses: Machine Learning and Human Computer Interaction.

The employer will sponsor the participant to enroll in the program. The fee for each of the AI Academy courses is $2,500. To complete the entire four course program including the Advanced AI Pathway the total cost is $10,000. The program can be completed in 40 weeks. The employer will also continue to pay the current employee their wage and provide them time to work with the AI expert as part of their paid job assignment, ranging from 10-20 hours per week. If the employer would like to sponsor a new individual, not currently working in their organization to complete the program, the course cost is the same as for an employee and the company will pay the apprentice the entry level hourly wage for an AI professional for up to 20 hours per week during the duration of the program. The company has the option to offer continued employment to the individual after the program is completed.
The first cohort of apprentices began the program January 4, 2021. Additional cohorts for 2021 will begin April 5, July 12, and October 4. In future years 2022 and 2023, there will be additional opportunities for apprentices to enroll in the program.

How Do I Get Started?

The first step to acquiring more information on the AI Academy is to connect with program staff who can guide you through the process. Please contact Dr. Carla Johnson, AI Academy Executive Director to learn more.

Some things that will help expedite your next steps for enrolling your employee(s) in the program are as follows:

  1. Determine the source of funding for sponsoring your individuals to complete the program ($10,000 in course fees) and the entry date for starting the program (January, April, July, October) and the year (2021, 2022, 2023).
  2. Identify the individuals and ask them to visit www.ai-academy.ncsu.edu to complete the AI Academy Interest Form now and the AI Academy Apprenticeship Application.
  3. Identify the AI professional internally who will serve as the mentor to the participating person OR if one is not available, indicate this when you speak with the AI Academy staff and a partnering company will be identified that can host your employee. Note: You will be required to continue to pay your employee and provide release time for them to go and work at least 10 hours per week with their mentor on-site.
  4. Plan to pay the registration fees at the time of the registration of your participating individuals to secure their spots in the program.
  5. There will be paperwork for your organization to complete to register with the Department of Labor as a Registered Apprenticeship Program (if you are not already registered) to officially host the apprenticeship program on-site (if mentoring takes place at your company). The AI Academy will facilitate the Registered Apprenticeship registration process for employers in a streamlined two-step process that is tailored to the employer’s specific needs.
  6. If you are interested in hosting a new apprentice who is from outside of your company, we will connect you with a group of new applicants who have applied for admission to the program. Your organization will have the opportunity to interview them and select the desired participants.

Interested in partnering with us?

Connect with the AI Academy Team