5 No BS Tips to Help You Get Your First Machine Learning Job

Learn in public, build your own projects, start the job before you have it, polish your resume and practice, practice, practice!

Daniel Bourke


person in front of a computer screen coding, there’s a whiteboard in the background with plans on it
Photo of the author working on making Nutrify’s food vision models better. Shot by Sam Bourke.

The following resources/tips are mostly tailored towards getting your first machine learning job but can be extended for future machine learning jobs.

They are in order of how I would approach them.

For example, the final two have little meaning if you’ve not gone through the first three.

  • You can see the video version of this article on YouTube.
  • This article originally appeared on zerotomastery.io (where I teach machine learning and AI in a beginner-friendly way).

Shorter version

  1. Acquire machine learning skills and make machine learning jobs come to you by learning in public.
  2. You don’t need another online course, build your own machine learning project and share it.
  3. Start the machine learning job before you have it.
  4. Make a good machine learning resume and apply to machine learning jobs (ignore this if you haven’t done any of the above).
  5. While applying for machine learning jobs, prepare for machine learning interviews (ignore this if you haven’t done any of the above).

Bonus: Read So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport. Or skip reading it (I found it pretty bland) and just adhere to the title.

Longer version

It’s no secret machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are making their way into almost every industry.

Note: I use the terms machine learning and AI interchangeably.

The number percentage of job posts on Hacker News with the term “AI” has been rising steadily for the past five years.