Laney College: Want a High-Paying ‘Blue-Collar AI’ Job? Check Out Your Community College

Published 01/18/24 02:49 PM
Written by Jackie Snow

Josh Sinnott graduated from Arizona State University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in business. He worked various jobs, including at a bakery, Charles Schwab, and a local startup. When he was 26 years old in 2020, he decided to enroll in the inaugural AI associate degree offering at Chandler-Gilbert Community College (CGCC) outside of Phoenix.

“I was looking for a change of pace,” he said. “I wanted not only to upgrade and update my source of income, but I also had always loved tech.”

The program included coursework in areas like Python coding, which Sinnott initially struggled with. 


“Even though it’s an associate {degree], I know a lot of the things that we were doing were more like Master’s level coursework,” he said.

After graduating in 2022, he had offers from companies like Google but ended up at Visalaw.ai, a legal startup, where he works in sales and as an AI consultant.


Sinnott current salary is about double what he made before the program, and that doesn’t include commissions. The role allows him to bridge the gap between technical developers and end users who need AI explained, and he thinks he’s found his sweet spot.

“I can look at the code and understand why we’re doing it this way,” he said. “But I’m also getting to interact with people with no experience, like attorneys who might be a little hesitant to embrace something like AI.”

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