In recent years, Artificial Intelligence has turned from a niche area into mainstream computer science. Major companies such as Google, IBM, and Facebook are now seriously investing in AI research. Both Google and Facebook have recently bought several AI start-ups. It is expected that AI will be at the heart of new IT developments in areas like knowledge automation, (semi-) autonomous vehicles, the Internet, and advanced robotics.
Artificial Intelligence graduates carry out AI research in academic or R&D environments, and they identify how AI techniques can provide intelligent solutions to IT problems in companies and organisations. We want to emphasise that the programme does not focus on particular products or tools from specific vendors; instead, we study underlying techniques and methods that are of a longer lasting value.
For students interested in research, the MSc degree provides the opportunity to start a PhD research project (which will result in a doctorate degree) in any of the related topics at a university in the Netherlands or abroad. Such positions are regularly available within the Department of Experimental Psychology and the Intelligent Systems group at Utrecht University. There are ample contacts with other universities as well, partly through the nationwide Dutch research school SIKS (School for Knowledge and Information Systems). Some positions are sponsored by companies or the Dutch research council. Graduates may also find challenging positions in R&D departments of international companies, governments, and the banking and insurance sectors.
Graduates interested in a career in industry are well qualified for jobs in many different areas, such as banking, insurance, government policy, telecommunications, and consumer electronics. They may also find employment in agent-oriented software companies or companies specialising in the use of agent intelligence techniques. Their tasks may consist of developing new products and applications or directing such activities. Other possible opportunities include consultancy or creating a start-up company in an emerging market.
If you want to find a job or internship in the Netherlands, knowing Dutch will get you places. Even if you work within an international organisation, knowing at least some Dutch is always a benefit and in some cases even a requirement. In order to learn Dutch, free language websites such as duolingo.com or dutchgrammar.com can get you started or take a look at the Dutch courses offered by Babel. As a student from Utrecht University you receive a 25% discount on their course offerings.
If you want to stay in the Netherlands after your graduation, you can apply for the ‘residence permit orientation year’. This permit can be submitted within 3 years after completing your studies and allows you unlimited working rights (hence: a work permit –TWV- is not required). For an overview of the conditions that apply for this permit, please visit the IND website.