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

maryland center

You can’t argue with facts. Everything tastes better with Old Bay Seasoning, and Maryland is boomtown when it comes to opportunities for AI professionals.

Maryland is home to the second-highest concentration of AI jobs in the nation, and the fifth-largest raw employment numbers for AI professionals: 2,160 according to 2022 data from the Department of Labor.

Maryland has some significant bright spots for companies looking to set up shop here and invest in AI R&D, including the low cost of living in Baltimore relative to other major East Coast metro areas. This makes the area attractive to both businesses and the people who work for them. Its proximity to the nation’s capital, and local leadership that’s ready to invest in the burgeoning field of AI don’t hurt either. Universities that attract brainpower are also part of the AI wave here, which is fast gaining momentum as it sweeps across the country.

Local colleges and universities have long been offering degrees that intersect with AI, from machine learning and language models to data science to engineering and robotics. The Silicon Valley model of universities serving as incubators for tech research and development, which then lead to startups taking that new knowledge out into the real world, is already well underway in Maryland placing it comfortably ahead of most other states.

If you’re thinking about going into AI, you could say the stars are aligned here in Maryland with a combination of academic options and career opportunities after graduation.

Are You Ready to Pass the NSA’s Data Science Test?

hacked by nsaOne of the nation’s most shadowy yet well-known employers of AI professionals is located at Maryland’s very own Fort Meade: the National Security Agency, better known as the NSA. Collecting the planet’s metadata and electronic communications, if there’s one organization on earth that needs AI to derive value from data it’s the NSA.

You might be just right for the job, especially if you’re well versed in AI and related fields like machine learning, data science, and language processing.

With the right kind of knowledge, you might even be able to decipher this cryptographic challenge sent out as part of a recruitment campaign on an NSA social media account, “tpfccdlfdtte pcaccplircdt dklpcfrp?qeiq lhpqlipqeodf gpwafopwprti izxndkiqpkii krirrifcapnc dxkdciqcafmd vkfpcadf.

Appropriate for an agency whose original charter was to decipher coded communications during World War Two, the NSA needs the best and brightest as it faces all new intelligence and security threats of the post-911 world.

To find the top minds, the agency has even come up with a Data Science Examination (DSE) that applicants must pass. Like exams for many other professions, the DSE is administered by Pearson VUE at testing sites located throughout the country.

The test itself is comprised of 44 multiple-choice questions with two hours allocated for completion. Calculators are not allowed, no prior knowledge of programming languages or statistical software is required, and scratch paper is provided.

When it comes to content, the DSE covers three main topics: computer science, mathematics, and statistics. Specific topics evaluated include:

  • Data tables
  • Algorithm analysis
  • Regular expressions
  • Calculus
  • Linear algebra
  • Vector spaces
  • Integrals
  • Eigenvalues/vectors
  • Linear transformations and equations
  • Regression
  • Probability
  • Descriptive statistics

Because the NSA is a federal agency and part of the Department of Defense, you can qualify for more advanced jobs through experience, education, and a combination of the two. However, AI jobs with the NSA typically have a minimum education requirement that starts with a college degree. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to be graduate-level-familiar with the subjects mentioned above.

AI Jobs in Maryland

The outlook for AI jobs in Maryland will be impressive through the end of the decade.

The US Department of Labor projects a 17% increase in the number of computer and information research scientists in Maryland between 2020 and 2030. That works out to an average of 260 job openings every year over that span, and you can bet many will be working directly in AI development.

Artificial Intelligence Jobs in Baltimore, For Meade, and Annapolis

AI is applicable to virtually every economic sector and represents a dividing line between innovation that’s head and shoulders out in front of the pack.

Mindgrub is a Baltimore-headquartered tech company that works with emerging technologies, software development, consulting, and marketing. The techies who work at Mindgrub use AI platforms to help businesses integrate AI into their workflows, training models, and content creation. Employees have plenty of perks, while the company has additional offices in Philadelphia, New York, DC, and Charlotte.

The NSA’s data scientists in ML Ops (machine learning operations engineering) do things like implement ML pipelines, deploy ML applications, and ensure security on ML systems. Applicants must have a college degree in a field like machine learning, data science, computer science, or mathematics.

The private company BlueHalo is also in the cyber intelligence field. With offices in Annapolis Junction, Rockville, and additional locations across the nation, BlueHalo’s vision is exemplified by its motto, Leading the Transformation of Modern Warfare. Put generally, BlueHalo works to ensure its customers hold the advantage on the cyber and signals battlegrounds. This applies to drones, missile defense, space technologies, blockchain, and much more. Analysts with this company use AI/ML tools to execute critical missions for the national security community.

It’s not just the defense and intelligence communities that can benefit from AI; Baltimore-based Dentuit has made headlines for being one of the best oral-health-improving AI applications in the tooth trade. It’s comprised of a team of dentists, academic clinicians, computer scientists, and commercial partners. Dentuit’s founder Dan Lee got his start by attending the Betamore incubator tech development bootcamp in Baltimore, and then going to the University of Maryland Baltimore County for a degree in computer science.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the largest concentration of AI jobs around Maryland is found in the greater DC metro area:

When it comes strictly to jobs within the borders of Maryland, nearly half of the state’s total 2,160 AI positions are found in the Baltimore metro area.

AI Companies in Baltimore, Columbia, Gaithersburg, and Fort Meade

Maryland punches above its weight when it comes to the strategic advantages AI companies enjoy here, from lucrative networking opportunities to financial perks offered by the state and local governments.

These are just some examples of companies in Maryland that rely on the brainpower of AI professionals:

AI Salary in Baltimore, Metro DC, Metro Philly, and California-Lexington Park

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) details that in 2022 the average salary for an AI professional (categorized as a computer and information research scientist) in Maryland is $132,370. That mean rises or falls depending on which metro area you work in:

When it comes to AI professionals at the top of their game –computer and information research scientists in the 90th-percentile salary range– those in the DC metro area earn the most compared with their counterparts in other Maryland metro areas: $198,990 annually. The next-highest metro area is Philly-Camden-Wilmington where the salary is $187,650.

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

You’re ahead of the curve if you earn a degree in one of the following hot AI fields.

To start with, the Master of Research in AI program at Capitol Technology University in Laurel covers topics in machine learning, computer science, deep learning, neural networks, and natural language processing. For maximized convenience this program is offered entirely online. There is also an equivalent PhD option for the doctoral-minded, and that’s to say nothing of its online PhD program in quantum computing.

You’ll also find that schools often cover these types of AI topics in programs with concentrations in ML or robotics.

Machine Learning Degree and Certificate Options in Baltimore, Metro DC/Laurel, and College Park

Machine learning is one of the most pertinent fields when it comes to applied AI, especially for the Department of Defense and its contractors.

The University of Maryland has its own Center for Machine Learning where faculty and students are engaged in research covering topics like cancer genomics, organ transplants, and language translation. Its Department of Computer Science engages in specialized research covering machine learning and data science.

Capitol Technical University offers an online PhD program in machine learning.

The Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University has an AI graduate certificate that includes coverage of topics in machine learning and natural language processing.

AI Robotics Degree and Certificate Options in Baltimore, Metro DC/Laurel, and College Park

The field of robotics is especially applicable if you plan to specialize in UAV systems or streamlining factory efficiency.

The University of Maryland’s Department of Computer Science sponsors specialized research into AI and robotics.

Capitol Technical University hosts an online MS in unmanned and autonomous systems, and an online PhD in unmanned systems applications.

John Hopkins University’s graduate AI certificate includes coverage of topics in robotics, while it also offers an online master’s degree in robotics and autonomous systems. Its applied biomedical engineering graduate programs are offered in hybrid and online formats.

AI Computer Science Degree and Certificate Options in Baltimore, Metro DC/Laurel, and College Park

Today computer science is a well-established field with its own specialized areas of study plus those that have branched off into entirely new fields like AI and data science.

Capitol Technical University offers online MS and PhD programs in computer science.

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland engages in specialized research for topics including quantum computing, algorithms and theory, plus cybersecurity and cryptography.

Johns Hopkins University offers an online or hybrid master’s degree and graduate certificate in data science.

AI Engineering Degree and Certificate Options in Baltimore, Metro DC/Laurel, and College Park

When engineering combines with AI we get applied solutions, especially in fields like pharmaceuticals and medicine.

Johns Hopkins University offers multiple graduate credentials in systems engineering –including a master’s in healthcare systems engineering– with hybrid and online format options. Its space systems engineering master’s and graduate certificate programs are undoubtedly popular. Its master’s and graduate certificate programs in electrical and computer engineering are offered in three formats: online, hybrid, and on-campus.

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland sponsors research into areas including programming languages and software engineering. Capitol Technical University offers an upper-level certificate in software engineering.

Capitol Technical University also offers an online PhD in offensive cyber engineering, and MS and PhD degrees in systems engineering.

Capitol Technology University

Laurel, MD

capitol technology university

Master of Research in AI (online)

Total Estimated Program Cost: $18,900

Total tuition comes in at $16,005 below the state average for similar programs.

Also offers: PhD in AI

Johns Hopkins University (Private)

Whiting School of Engineering
Baltimore, MD

johns hopkins university

MS in AI (online)

MS in Engineering-AI and Data Science focus area (on-campus)

Total Estimated Program Cost: $50,910

Graduate Certificate in AI (online)


Total Estimated Program Cost: $20,364

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.