I was just trying to get HIRED for anything, anything at all, not seriously illegal, immoral, or dangerous, and I would have compromised on those.
So, since this thread was about 'job placement' for students who did well in an AI class, I posted about my experience getting hired where part of my background was some expertise in AI.
Net, I have to conclude that, in getting a "job", expertise in AI will be from very rarely helpful to often a serious disqualification as in "It appears that you are overqualified for our position and would not be happy in it".
Sorry, I had assumed you were playing the AI angle, and my heart bleeds for people who get binned as "overqualified" and ignored. I still think the difference here is "did really well in one AI course, so is likely to do well in software in general", and not that the students are being recruited for AI jobs.
I am now in a simlar position. I have a BS in Software Eng. and did a Masters/PhD in Computer Science after a year and a half of software development work.
After my PHD I got a postdoc in a 3 year EU project just finished. Now I am craving to get out of "academia" and get into software development again. The problem is that I would consider my development skills as a "junion" or "mid level" developper but without hardcore expertise in a technology.
And the worst problem is that as you say, a lot of companies that see my Resume see "PhD" and think "overqualified".
Recently I tried appliying to a group some company that is doing Machine learning with the hope that they will see a PhD as a "feature" and not a bug.
I just applied for anything, and not just for software engineering jobs. The resumes I sent to Google, Microsoft, GE Research, etc. were for whatever I was qualified for.
At the time, 1995-2005 (see my post below) AI was not much on the radar of companies. It would, could, and should have been but was not.
But asking that a company need "particular skills" that are a bit advanced is, as I explained, fundamentally something of a long shot.
Net, if someone has some advanced expertise and sees an application, then they should just start a business and there be CEO-CTO-CIO, and Chief Scientist along with chief floor sweeper until they get funding and/or revenue and can hire people.