Every few years, we get a hot, new buzzword. At some point in the past couple of years, artificial intelligence (AI) became the new “it” girl. Just a few years ago, we were constantly talking about “baking in” cybersecurity, and now we’re sprinkling some AI in there too. You may be tempted to just ignore all the talk (and what can feel like hype) and keep on doing what you’re doing. As other countries (read, adversaries) grow their AI capabilities, the U.S. gets a little antsy about where we sit. Where there’s talk, there’s also money – like new contracts and potential higher compensation for AI jobs.

Navigating the AI World

Most engineers will shrug their shoulders and complain that this technology has been around for a while. And as a nontechnical person, even I can say that they are correct. However, the federal government is very interested in AI capabilities and conversations. If you have any experience in this arena, now is the time to add this capability to your resume. Whatever you got, flaunt it. If you have a basic knowledge, grow it.

The role of the Chief AI Officer is one of the hottest new job trends. The federal government has even mandated that position. That means that you will see more AI job opportunities in the next few years. At a minimum, you need to learn the lingo and be able to speak to AI capabilities – especially if you’re a project manager.

How to Find Cleared AI Jobs

Whether or not you caught the AI bug before everyone else agreed that it was wonderful and cool too, here is how to find those AI jobs.

1. Be specific in your job title search.

If you want AI engineer or AI/ML engineer jobs that will put your security clearance to work, use quotation marks with those search terms. The specific jobs for AI or AI/ML engineers will only grow as more contracts have these positions specifically written into them.

2. Sprinkle in artificial intelligence in your job search.

Just by searching for artificial intelligence, you can find over 1800 jobs right now on ClearanceJobs that have some sort of description or requirement of AI knowledge or capabilities. Work in research and have some AI skills, there are many cleared jobs out there with those requirements. From attorneys to data scientists to engineers to project managers, everyone on the team is going to need some level of AI on their resume.

3. Network with the early adopters.

If ever there was a time to collaborate with others, this is it. Some of you have the skills but not the communication style to champion the AI initiative. Some of you have a lot of talk but not enough depth in your knowledge to really move forward. This is the time to reach out to others in national security – for companies even to connect on best practices. If you’re not sure on how to step up your AI skills, reach out to those who do. AI degrees are getting added to the education mix, which can help create some natural network connections as more universities join in. It’s worth asking your own organization for AI training opportunities – even if you’re not a technical person.


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Jillian Hamilton has worked in a variety of Program Management roles for multiple Federal Government contractors. She has helped manage projects in training and IT. She received her Bachelors degree in Business with an emphasis in Marketing from Penn State University and her MBA from the University of Phoenix.