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

Written by Rebecca Turley

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New Mexico is where scientific research and development thrive. It’s where everyone from early-stage tech startups to established heavyweights like Intel, Raytheon, and Meta have created a technology ecosystem that rivals any state in the nation. It’s where top-tier research universities and world-class national research facilities support a superb talent pipeline and create unmatched opportunities for business and industry. In short, it’s where research in, and the commercialization of, artificial intelligence have only just begun to reveal their potential.

For example, Los Alamos National Laboratory, which has served as a federally funded research and development center for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy since 1943 and is largely focused on issues of nuclear deterrence and national security, has been heavily involved in artificial intelligence-powered R&D in recent years.

This preeminent research institution has engaged in multi-year partnerships with national laboratories and universities on projects aimed at the deployment of artificial intelligence and machine learning for science and energy. In 2023, it was leading or participating in several artificial intelligence/machine learning AI/ML projects, such as:

According to Mark Chadwick, acting deputy laboratory director for Science, Technology and Engineering at Los Alamos, the AI projects here “showcase the various ways in which Los Alamos researchers are harnessing the transformative power of artificial intelligence to develop solutions that drive science forward.”

And in January 2024, scientists at Los Alamos announced a new artificial intelligence technology that creates high-resolution maps that offer new insights about permafrost coverage in the Arctic. This AI technology is designed to provide policy makers with the data they need to predict areas in which climate change can threaten key infrastructure such as roads, oil pipelines, and other facilities and infrastructure key to national security.

Los Alamos National Laboratory is just one component of an outstanding infrastructure that makes New Mexico a national leader in AI research and development. From national labs to renowned research universities to leading edge tech companies, New Mexico’s solidifying its status as a leader in artificial intelligence, which means unparalleled opportunities to make your mark in this interdisciplinary field.

If you want to become part of the exciting field of artificial intelligence, you’ll need the degree program that will position you as a serious contender. Fortunately, there’s a growing pool of degree and certificate programs, both in New Mexico and across the country, that are designed for emerging or practicing scientists and engineers who want to make their mark in the field.

How Hobbs, New Mexico, is Leveraging AI to Combat Gun Violence

using ai with cctvHobbs, New Mexico, is taking its crime deterrence and prevention initiatives to a new level. They’ve adopted the artificial intelligence-based gun detection video analytics platform ZeroEyes to better protect its citizens from gun-related violence.

The technology detects illegal guns on persons and then sends an alert to first responders in three to five seconds.

The ZeroEyes technology, created and sold by the company of the same name, is the only gun detection platform to carry a SAFETY Act title from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The city chose ZeroEyes after witnessing its successful implementation in the Hobbs Municipal School District, which is home to 19 schools.

ZeroEyes will serve as another layer of protection, working with the city’s existing digital security cameras to locate suspects with illegal guns on their person. Once a weapon is identified, the images are immediately shared with top military and law enforcement veterans at one of their ZeroEyes Operation Centers, which are staffed around the clock. It is then up to these professionals to verify the threat and dispatch the appropriate law enforcement officials. ZeroEyes provides law enforcement officers with a warning of an illegally brandished gun, along with valuable information about the situation.

They’ll use the technology to monitor about 70 of the city’s cameras aimed at traffic intersections, as well as those posted at fire stations and other public areas.

ZeroEyes leverages the power of artificial intelligence, while also providing a human-verified component. The company’s goal is to help prevent gun-related violence by providing “actionable intelligence” and reducing law enforcement response times. This technology has been adopted by colleges and universities, manufacturing companies, corporate campuses, shopping malls, and more.

AI Jobs in New Mexico

According to CompTIA’s 2023 State of the Tech Workforce, jobs in New Mexico’s tech sectors continue to grow at a swift pace. Between 2021 and 2022 alone, the number of net tech jobs grew by 2.1 percent, equating to 710 jobs. And between 2022 and 2023, CompTIA noted another 1.4 percent growth, which equates to a net increase of 487 jobs. As of 2023, the state is home to about 35,000 tech jobs, which is about 4 percent of the state’s total workforce.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs for New Mexico’s AI scientists and engineers, defined as computer information and research scientists, are projected to increase by 28 percent in the decade leading up to 2030.

Artificial Intelligence Jobs in Santa Fe, Los Alamos, and Albuquerque

New Mexico’s data scientists, R&D engineers, computer vision engineers, software architects, and more are behind innovative AI advances in research, business, and industry. They’re discovering solutions, unearthing insights, and changing the face of business, both in the state and around the world.

AI Companies in Albuquerque

New Mexico is where innovation in artificial intelligence naturally thrives. It’s home to:

    • Sandia National Laboratories: the nation’s premier science and engineering lab
    • Los Alamos National Laboratory: supports the Department of Energy’s missions of national security, science, energy, and environmental management
    • Air Force Research Laboratory: leader in laser, optical, and space supremacy technologies

This, of course, has led to a bevy of companies who are leveraging artificial intelligence to drive innovation in a wide range of industries. Albuquerque has become a landing spot for many of the state’s trailblazers in artificial intelligence. This metro area is home to the Sandia Science & Technology Park, a 340-acre site that’s adjacent to the facilities of the Sandia National Laboratories and the Air Force Research laboratory. The companies here enjoy unmatched opportunities to collaborate with these national labs on a variety of technologies, products, and services.

And Albuquerque’s Nob Hill is where you’ll find Q Station, a collaborative project between the Air Force Research Laboratory, the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department, and other organizations focused on driving high-tech economic development in areas like aerospace and directed energy.

Just some of the companies calling Albuquerque home that are investing heavily in AI include:

AI Salary in Albuquerque

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), AI professionals in New Mexico, categorized as computer and information research scientists, earned a median salary of $160,310 as of May 2022. Those newest to the profession earned a salary of about $127,510, while those with extensive experience earned about $209,510 during this time.

AI scientists and engineers in the Albuquerque metro area earned a median salary of about $130,990 as of May 2022, while those at the top of the pay scaled earned about $198,730.

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

There is a growing number of degree and certificate program choices for engineers and scientists who want to become tomorrow’s trailblazers and changemakers in artificial intelligence. In New Mexico, even Central New Mexico Community College offers an AAS in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning and a Certificate of Completion in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

But throughout the country, most programs in this interdisciplinary field are offered at the bachelor’s or master’s level, providing both aspiring and practicing data science professionals, engineers, and computer scientists with the knowledge and skills they need to develop and deploy AI technology. Best of all, many of these programs are offered as fully online courses of study that appeal to both busy, working professionals and those with geographical limitations.

Bachelor’s degrees in artificial intelligence, which are usually housed in a school’s department of computer science or engineering, provide a solid foundation in the field, along with a heavy mathematics core. You can expect to take courses like linear algebra, calculus, and probability, alongside topics in AI like machine learning, deep learning, ethics in AI, and computer vision.

At the master’s level, AI programs are found in many schools and departments within a university, although most are housed in departments of engineering or computer science. These programs provide a focused course of study in a specific area of AI, and most offer specialization or focus areas. For example, it’s typical for an MS in AI through a school of engineering to offer specialization options like mechanical engineering, civil engineering, or biomedical engineering, or for an MS in AI through a computer science department to offer specialization options in robotics, cybersecurity, data analytics, or computer vision.

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 January 2024.