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

Written by Rebecca Turley

utah ai program

Artificial intelligence is making an indelible mark upon Utah, disrupting practices and processes, inspiring change, unearthing solutions, and challenging the status quo. In Utah, they’re no longer asking if AI will transform business, industry, and society; instead, they’re asking what will AI transform next?

~In Salt Lake City, Intermountain Healthcare has big plans to advance precision medicine and healthcare delivery through its partnership with Culmination Bio, a biotech firm whose AI clinical discovery platform for genetic and medical research is designed to deliver powerful insights in the areas of medical research, health data, and healthcare services

~In Utah County, Metro Emergency Communications announced it would begin improving its emergency response services by using an AI-powered cloud software program that allows emergency call centers in towns like Provo, Orem, and Lehi to use video, audio, and other media that go beyond voice only methods of communication.

~And in Lehi, the tech region known as “Silicon Slopes” continues to be a landing spot for rising AI firms that are gobbling up precious real estate near the region’s mainstays like eBay, Adobe Systems, and EA Sports.

A burgeoning tech startup environment (6,500 companies and growing); top tech companies like Overstock.com and Domo; and a recent announcement by the tech giant Google that it would be building a data center in Eagle Mountain (adding to the small hamlet’s already growing list of tech companies, including Facebook’s massive, $1 billion data center) are just a few of the reasons why Utah is quickly becoming the place to be for advanced technologies like artificial intelligence.

Utah’s created the environment that’s rich in opportunities for AI professionals ranging from engineers to scientists to data analysts. But if you want to become part of the growing field of artificial intelligence, you’ll need the foundation that only a formal degree program can provide. Fortunately, there’s a growing number of colleges and universities offering AI degree and certificate programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Exploring the AI Renaissance: The Leonardo’s Trailblazing Exhibit

ai robot hand holding microchip hologramHow appropriate that Salt Lake City’s The Leonardo would host an exhibit that explores the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence.

Named after the illustrious Leonardo da Vinci who was, of course, one of the most famous artists of all time but also an innovative thinker, scientist, and engineer, The Leonardo seeks to question, explore, and preserve the spirit of this Renaissance Man. So, what better place than The Leonardo to introduce visitors to the next wave of innovation: artificial intelligence?

Their newest exhibit, entitled “Into the Mind of Artificial Intelligence,” introduces visitors to artificial intelligence through an immersive experience that includes hands-on activities, interactive displays, and workstations. The exhibit is organized into different areas of AI, allowing visitors to interact with current innovations, explore AI’s implications, and then dive into possible future uses for AI.

This exciting exhibit also provides visitors with a look into how AI is being used throughout Utah and its impact on business, industry, and society. The exhibit also features special events, lectures, and panel discussions aimed at connecting community partners, educating the broader community, and encouraging AI collaboration between academia and industry.

AI Jobs in Utah

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, jobs for AI professionals (classified as computer information and research scientists) in Utah are projected to rise by an impressive 32 percent in the decade leading up to 2030. During this period, the state should see about 80 new AI jobs annually due to a blend of new job creation, retirements, and natural job turnover.

According to CompTIA’s 2023 State of the Tech Workforce, Utah’s tech employment was 123,450 in 2022, which represented about 7.2 percent of the state’s entire workforce. During this time, the state was home to 9,286 tech businesses that produced an economic output of $21.8 billion.

Between 2021 and 2022, jobs in the tech sector in Utah grew by 4.3 percent, or about 5,130 jobs. Between 2022 and 2023, CompTIA projects that jobs in the tech field will rise again by 4.9 percent, or 6,103 jobs.

Artificial Intelligence Jobs in Salt Lake City, Lehi, and Orem

Artificial intelligence professionals like machine learning engineers, software architects, data scientists, and computer vision engineers are behind Utah’s exciting advances in business and industry.

AI Companies in Salt Lake City and Provo

There’s no shortage of established AI companies in Utah. For example, there’s BENlabs in Provo, which utilizes ML and AI-driven insights to allow brands and creators to reach customers in the most effective way possible. This major company boasts major clients like Microsoft, General Motors, Frito-Lay, and Bloomingdales. And there’s TracerAI in Salt Lake City, which uses Human-In-The-Loop AI and machine learning to detect infringement issues and offer enforcement recommendations to protect a company’s brand.

But that’s not the only place where AI innovations are causing seismic shifts in Utah business, industry, and society.

Government research and development in artificial intelligence is also at home in the Beehive State. Both Hill Air Force Base and Falcon Hill Aerospace Research Park are behind exciting advances in aerospace technology, unmanned air systems, and software and control systems. And at Utah FORGE, a DOE-funded underground laboratory, they’re developing and testing cutting-edge enhanced geothermal systems technologies.

As expected, there’s also plenty happening in the state’s esteemed research universities. For example, in October 2023, the University of Utah launched a new research initiative focused on the responsible use of artificial intelligence to address some of society’s most pressing issues. This $100 million investment is part of the university’s Responsible AI Initiative, which will become a hub for transdisciplinary expertise across the university.

Utah’s growing AI scene is supported by organizations like Utah Tech Leads, which provides funding for the state’s tech community of 6,000+ companies while nurturing a talent pipeline.

A healthy venture capital network in Utah has allowed the state’s tech ecosystem to thrive. Just some of the big names in VC here include Park City Angels in Park City; EPIC Ventures in Salt Lake City; Kickstart Fund in Cottonwood Heights; and Banyan Ventures in Holladay. As a result, AI-focused startups are growing at a rapid-fire pace. Just some of the AI startups making inroads in Utah include:

AI Salary in Salt Lake City and Ogden

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), AI engineers and scientists (classified by the BLS as computer and information research scientists) in Utah earned a median salary of $91,920 as of May 2022. Those with just a few years of experience earned about $78,440 during this time, while those with extensive experience earned about $135,100.

In Salt Lake City, the median salary for AI professionals was significantly more than the state median, at $141,320 as of May 2022. Those at the top of the pay scale in Salt Lake City also earned significantly more than the state average, at $171,170.

At the same time, AI scientists and engineers in the Ogden metro area earned slightly less than the state median, at $88,190. The top earners here earned about $121,660, while those newest to the profession earned about $79,350.

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

Though degree and certificate programs in Utah are still emerging, a growing number of schools across the country have already begun offering graduate and undergraduate degree programs in this interdisciplinary field. Many colleges and universities offer these programs in a fully online format, thereby allowing busy, working professionals and those with geographical limitations to easily and conveniently earn the AI degree that will kickstart their career in the field or take it to the next level.

AI bachelor’s degrees provide students with a solid foundation in the field and are usually offered within a computer science or engineering degree. AI master’s degrees and graduate certificate programs, on the other hand, provide a more in-depth examination of AI and its subfields for practicing engineers and computer scientists and career changers. Many of these programs offer a variety of concentration options that allow students to personalize their program according to their specific career goals.

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 March 2024.