With the rise of big data and cloud computing, machine learning is currently a very hot field in the tech industry. While you may have no shortage of jobs if you aspire to create the next HAL and have the necessary chops, Microsoft's newest post on its official JobsBlog makes it sound like Redmond might be one of your better choices to start a machine learning career.
Specifically, the post chronicles the work (and sometimes life) of various machine learning experts within Microsoft, as well as their thoughts about working for the company. Projects range from a lie detector to making financial forecasts for Wall Street, which reflects the wide application of machine learning. That is not to mention Cortana, Bing Predicts, and many other Microsoft products: machine learning is at the company's core, and its wide uses mean there are plenty of job opportunities.
“Machine learning is the DNA of Microsoft. It’s everywhere,” “You can apply machine learning to search, advertising, security, gaming — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.”
- Amanda Papp, senior machine learning and data science recruiter, Microsoft
A lie detector doesn't sound like a very practical idea, especially for Microsoft's target customer of enterprise; the fact that it's actually being made - from just one researcher's idea - then, should be a good indicator of how supportive the company is with experimental projects that move the field forward. Of course, resources are needed for such wild ventures, and if anything, Microsoft has them in spades. In other words, a Nirvana for the truly passionate.
It's not like you have to sacrifice your life to a grand dream to work at Microsoft, either. The researcher behind the Azure Machine Learning-powered lie detector, Jennifer Marsman, is a mother of three, who also assumes an evangelist position, and work a lot from home. Data scientists Jocelyn Barker is another example of Microsoft's openness to talents from many related fields working in machine learning roles, moving from a biophysics doctorate to working on financial forecasts. It's all about the passion, and so long as you have the desire to use machine learning to improve people's lives, Microsoft sounds like one of the best places to realize your dreams.