MiraCosta College Introduces Associates Degree in Artificial Intelligence

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MiraCosta College is set to offer its students an opportunity to lead the future of technology by earning an Associate in Science degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI), in one of the first programs of its kind in California. This innovative program, launching this year, marks a significant milestone in the rapidly expanding field of AI, demonstrating MiraCosta College’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological education.

Developed by the Computer Studies & Information Technology Department, the curriculum includes three cutting-edge AI courses beginning this fall with CSIT 150, Artificial Intelligence Concepts. Professor Rick White, the architect behind the first class, emphasizes the importance of understanding AI from the ground up. "This course demystifies how AI functions and why it’s capable of generating responses, providing students with a solid foundation in one of the most transformative and groundbreaking technological fields in human history," White explains.

The demand for skilled AI professionals is soaring. "In California alone, we’re seeing predictions of over 10,000 annual job openings in high-level AI positions through 2025, with median hourly wages reaching up to $55.67," White notes. This is supported by data from leading job market analysts, including Glassdoor and ZipRecruiter, and underscores AI experts' substantial earning potential and career opportunities. According to Glassdoor, an AI engineer in California earns between $140,000 to $200,000 annually. At the same time, ZipRecruiter reported the average annual salary of an AI researcher is $130,000 nationwide, with an entry-level job in the position being $62,000.

The launch of the AI degree program follows approval from the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, with additional courses, CSIT 151, Artificial Intelligence Application, and CSIT 152, Artificial Intelligence Strategies and Solutions, slated for introduction in 2025. These courses will delve into practical applications and strategic problem-solving in AI, further enriching the students’ learning experience.

This launch coincides with a landmark year for MiraCosta College, as it celebrates its 90th year of serving the community. Throughout its nine decades, MiraCosta College has been committed to innovation and excellence in education, continually expanding its program offerings to meet the evolving needs of its students and the broader community. The introduction of the Artificial Intelligence degree program is a testament to this ongoing commitment, ensuring that MiraCosta remains at the forefront of educational development and a key player in preparing students for the demands of the future workforce.

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