Career in Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is ruling the current people’s lives through Smartphones and other devices. Now, many hands hold an android based smartphone even in the poorest of the locations. People ask Google specific questions and often they get correct information as answers. This has become possible now because electronic devices can understand natural languages.  What we see today is only the start; there is more and more to come in future; more intense work needed in this field so that everyone gets the right information. Some examples of NLP are Alexa, Google Maps, Email Filters, Language Translation, Text Analytics, etc.

TechRepublic defines NLP as follows: When you communicate with your computer, tablet, phone, or smart assistant (either through speaking or a chatbox), and your electronic device understands what you’re saying — that’s due to natural language processing.

The experts who work with NLP Technologies are called Natural Language Processing Engineers or NLP Engineers.

NLP Engineer Responsibilities

  • Design natural language processing systems
  • Deal with speech patterns and AI speech recognition
  • Program a technology’s ability to process and analyze natural language data
  • Define datasets for language learning
  • Find and implement the right algorithms and tools for NLP projects
  • Analyze NLP results and refine models as needed
  • Keep up with the latest in ML and AI
NLP engineers dive deep into data, analysis, predictive models and algorithms. They work with other engineers, data scientists, designers and front-end developers. Also, they are required to provide technical information to a non-technical audience through reports and presentations etc.

How to become NLP Engineer

To become an NLP Engineer you need a bachelor's degree in engineering (BE,B.Tech or equivalent) in data science or computer science or a related subject. Candidates with a higher degree like Master’s degree or PhD are preferred. Candidates without a degree in a relevant field may earn Certification to start a career in NLP. However, such candidates may require working several months on entry level job positions before they get promoted to the position of NLP Engineer. Many companies offer junior-level or apprentice positions or internships, where not as much experience is required.

NLP Engineer Technical Skills

NLP Engineer required possessing following skill sets:
  • Experience with programming languages (Python, Java and R)
  • Statistical analysis
  • Machine learning (ML) methods
  • Text representation techniques
  • Ability to write “robust and testable code”
  • Experience with ML frameworks and libraries
  • Strong programming skills and previous NLP experience is often a must-have for many positions

NLP Engineer General Skills

  • Creativity
  • Self-motivation
  • Dependability
  • Positivity
  • Conflict management
  • Collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Discipline
  • Organization
  • Time management
  • Leadership

NLP Engineer Job Titles

NLP Engineer or Natural Language Processing Engineer is the most common type of position under which candidates are hired. Also, many companies hire NLP Engineers under following job titles:
  • Software Engineer
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Artificial Intelligence Engineer
  • Language Engineer
  • Natural Language Understanding Engineer
  • NLP Data Scientist
  • NLP Research Scientist/Engineer
  • Research Engineer
  • Research and Development Engineer
  • Data Science Solutions Engineer
  • Data Scientist

NLP Engineer Career Prospects

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry is growing at a rapid pace. Therefore, NLP engineer positions are extremely promising. NLP Engineering is a subset of AI Engineering. The projected growth for Computer and Information Research Scientists is 22% from 2020 to 2030; this category includes jobs that invent and design new approaches to technology and find uses for existing technology. The salary ranges for an NLP engineer will vary depending on the company, position level, experience and where the role is physically located.

India is seen as the largest marketplace for consumer goods like smartphones and other electronic devices. Many local languages are spoken here. Self-driven cars will rule the roads in the coming days. New IT companies and Startups are growing. Therefore demand for NLP Engineers will multiply in the years to come.

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