Learn AI in Alabama: A Guide to Artificial Intelligence Degree Programs & Certificate-Level Training Courses Online & in Alabama

Written by Rebecca Turley

huntsville, alabama skyline

Its tech industry may not get the fanfare of California or New York, but Alabama hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to maintaining its status as a leader in advanced technologies like artificial intelligence.

Whether you’re kickstarting your career in AI in Alabama or taking it to the next level, you’ll be in good company here. From Hoover, which announced plans to create its own technology corridor in the Meadowbrook corporate park, to Birmingham, which recently earned itself a designation as a federal tech hub, Alabama is home to real opportunities to make a name for yourself in the field of artificial intelligence. And now’s a good time to do it – AI technology is steamrolling everything in its path, changing the shape, breadth, and reach of technology and touching nearly every part of our lives.

For example, CBRE, one of the top real estate brokerages in the world, recently named Huntsville, the birthplace of rocket propulsion technology, a top market for growth potential in the tech field. Ranked first on CBRE’s annual “North America’s Next 25” report, which looks at 25 smaller markets in the U.S. and Canada, Huntsville surged ahead of other tech cities with job growth of 14% (that’s nearly 24,000 jobs) in the past five years. Huntsville is a natural fit for growth in artificial intelligence. It’s where you’ll find the Redstone Arsenal military base, the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, which builds the next generation of rocket engines.

There’s no getting around it – a career in AI demands technical prowess that only a formal course of education can deliver. Degree programs, post-master’s certificate options, and training courses in artificial intelligence in Alabama are designed to provide everyone from business and healthcare executives to top engineers with the training they need to master this advanced technology.

Alabama Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence: Shaping the Future with AI Training Courses

ai training classA who’s who of public and private enterprise recently created the Alabama Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence to ensure Alabamians aren’t left behind as AI and machine learning continues to gain momentum.

This center for excellence, which is based in Auburn, will work to improve the development and understanding of these technologies, particularly in rural and underserved areas. From education to economic development to technology parity and access, Alabama’s newest organization aimed solely on artificial intelligence will allow the state’s students, researchers, and citizens to gain new knowledge and skills. This investment in Alabama’s future will support high-tech business ventures, foster innovation, retain top talent, and bolster the industry with new high-paying jobs.

AAICE will provide resources to military organizations, state agencies, local and regional entities, and industry throughout the state to improve their understanding of AI while giving them the skills to put it to work.

A central focus of AAICE is workforce development and the creation of new undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs to help meet the demand for professionals in cybersecurity, data science, medical informatics, and AI.

Just some of the partners working to promote AI through the Alabama Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence include Alabama State University, Auburn University, Tuskegee University, and the cities of Auburn, Montgomery, and Opelika.

AI Jobs in Alabama

In a field as specialized and highly selective as artificial intelligence, you’d expect jobs to be few and far between. But in Alabama, this simply isn’t the case. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of jobs for computer information and research scientists, the category that includes AI professionals is projected to jump to by an impressive 20 percent.

In the upcoming years, Alabama should see significantly more job openings in AI due to a blend of new job creation, retirements, and natural job turnover.

Artificial Intelligence Jobs in Selma, Birmingham, Huntsville, and Tuscaloosa

Whether you’re a newcomer to AI or interested in specializing your software engineering skills to include AI-powered programs, you’ll find many exciting job opportunities in Alabama.

AI engineers at Tuscaloosa’s Center for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning apply artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and deep learning technologies to advance products in both the government and commercial markets. These AI professionals develop and implement AI-based algorithms to support signal and image processing and large-scale data analytics.

AI/ML engineers at Corvid Technologies’ Missile Defense Group in Huntsville support the integration and analysis of diverse data sources and develop AI-based algorithms for pattern recognition and anomaly detection for computational modeling and simulation. The Missile Defense Group supports the Missile Defense Agency and the armed services organizations of the Navy and Air Force by developing hardware for missile defense systems.

AI/ML scientists at Birmingham’s BJSS solve complex technology problems for some of the world’s leading organizations. BJSS is a tech consultancy firm that brings experts from a variety of backgrounds together to solve problems and implement solutions. Its AI experts are called upon to help businesses understand, design, and implement AI solutions.

AI performance engineers at Selma’s Universal Forest Products Inc. (UFP Industries) develop new products related to their three business segments: construction, retail solutions, and industrial. The job duties of AI performance engineers here include developing and executing experiments and collecting, interpreting, and reporting data.

AI Companies in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Birmingham

Alabama’s AI companies are focused on everything from sales to software engineering to consultancy to research, fueling technological innovation and providing unmatched opportunities for professionals who want to get in on the ground floor of this emerging field.

Just some of the big names in AI in Alabama include:

Support for the development of AI solutions in Alabama is rich and varied, with startups of every size and shape getting the support and funding they need to make their mark in the field of artificial intelligence.

For example, Birmingham’s TechStars Alabama Energy Tech Accelerator, one of the largest pre-seed investors in the world, supports tech startups like Ai-Ops Inc. This Mobile-based company is focused on “Bold-On” engineering software that allows the integration of AI/ML on industrial networks.

And in August 2023, Innovate Alabama, the state’s public-private economic development organization, awarded more than $2.1 million to 15 small businesses throughout the state, most of which are focused on the AI sector. Some of the recipients of this funding include Analytical AI, Inc., a software development company in Birmingham specializing in AI technology; CFD Research Corporation, a Huntsville research services company specializing in engineering simulations for the aerospace, defense, and energy industries; and EngeniusMicro, a Huntsville defense and space company that provides engineering solutions that are focused on advance sensors.

There’s plenty of AI innovation happening in Alabama’s academic sector, too. For example, Auburn University’s College of Business is where you’ll find the Artificial Intelligence Research Laboratory, a hub for educational research, professional development, and AI consultancy. And in 2022, Central Alabama Community College partnered with Intel to develop AI throughout the Southeast. CACC will provide training and qualifications to companies throughout the state and region and prepare students for future integration of AI in the workforce.

AI Salary in Alabama  

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), AI professionals in Alabama, who fall under the category of computer and information research scientists, earned a median salary of $102,830.

Software engineers, data scientists, machine learning engineers, robotics engineers, and other AI professionals with extensive experience and graduate-level degrees earned about $139,820.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Master’s Degree and Certificate Courses in Alabama and Online

AI degrees are still emerging in some of Alabama’s top colleges and universities. Fortunately, online colleges and universities also offer a bevy of exciting programs that are designed for both newcomers to the field and those with aspirations of becoming leading software and robotics engineers with specialized skills in artificial intelligence. Because they’re largely offered as fully online courses of study, students can earn their degree regardless of geographic limitations or current professional responsibilities.

Bachelor’s degrees in artificial intelligence focus on the understanding and development of intelligent software systems. Areas of study include machine learning and hardware and software data analytics. In addition to a strong foundation in mathematics and statistics, these programs feature a distinct focus on data and computational science, which includes courses such as data mining, data structures, discrete computational structures, deep learning, and computer vision.

Master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs in artificial intelligence are rarely designed the same, largely because the field consists of overlapping disciplines. Therefore, you’ll find AI master’s programs designed as:

AI programs often offer students the opportunity to specialize their graduate programs on one or more areas of study, such as:

AI Engineering master’s degrees also often include opportunities to specialize in:

2022 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary figures for computer information and research scientists. Job growth projections from the US Department of Labor-sponsored resource, CareerOneStop. Figures are based on state data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed October 2023.