With digital transformation efforts expanding all over the globe, enterprises are looking for tech professionals with the skills to innovate, launch, and manage artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to advance their organizations.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a growing area of tech development, and given the complexities of big data management and the training and expertise involved in developing AI, many companies are looking for AI talent.
Read on to learn about the market for artificial intelligence jobs and building the right skills for a career in AI:
A Closer Look at AI Careers
The artificial intelligence market is growing, especially with the pandemic and multiple changes to business models as a result.
Companies worldwide have leaned into AI to assist with automation, workforce management, and their digital transformation efforts.
The AI software market reached approximately $62.3 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a staggering rate, reaching $997.8 billion by 2028, according to Grand View Research.
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Primary job markets
AI development is still in its infancy, and many of the most pioneering and lucrative positions are in more traditional tech hubs. Some of the top job markets for AI positions right now include the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin, New York City, and Denver.
A growing number of companies are offering remote work opportunities to their technical staff, but some are hesitant to extend that flexibility for AI and machine learning (ML) roles in particular. Given the complex nature of AI development and management, many employers are not yet comfortable with the idea of AI teams working away from on-premises resources.
These are the three most common roles for AI professionals, according to LinkedIn’s “Jobs on the Rise” report for 2021:
- Machine learning researcher: The primary thinkers and developers who use data to build machine learning models.
- Machine learning engineer: They act as the developer and operational support for researchers after ML models have been initiated. Some common tasks for engineers include managing data lakes, computational clusters, and containers for continued ML optimization.
- Artificial intelligence specialist: They are often researchers who have specialized in a specific industry, business model, or use case. AI specialists work closely with other staff members in a business to figure out how AI can improve anything, from HR actions to customer relationship management (CRM) to security monitoring.
There’s also a growing demand for candidates who can demonstrate basic knowledge and understanding of AI in other roles.
In areas like operations, marketing, and sales, AI is frequently being implemented to automate tasks. It’s important that candidates in tech-facing roles not only develop an understanding of AI tools, but also enhance their other skills that AI cannot perform as well as a human.
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Artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists typically hold a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in a relevant tech field.
Some of the most common fields of study include computer science, engineering, mathematics, data science, physics, and information technology.
However, AI and ML candidates are unlikely to be hired unless they have applied knowledge in the field. Many hiring managers expect these candidates to sharpen their specialized skills in different programming languages, data management and database systems, and platform-specific AI models. Some of the top skills that employers are looking for include C++, Python, TensorFlow, Scikit-Learn, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) knowledge, according to LinkedIn’s “Jobs on the Rise” report.
Over 55,000 jobs are currently listed under “artificial intelligence” on LinkedIn.
Some common AI-related job titles across listings include the following:
- Project manager for AI/ML
- Artificial intelligence engineer
- Data scientist for ethical AI
- AI and data science tech consultant
- AI/ML architect
- Artificial intelligence research associate
- AI research intern
- AIOps/MLOps engineer
- AI annotation analyst
Big tech companies hire more artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists than any other industry. But a growing number of companies in sectors like manufacturing, customer service, and communications are hiring in this area as well.
Some of the most notable companies that are currently hiring in this field include:
- Delta Air Lines
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In most cases, hiring managers adjust compensation based on the niche areas of knowledge you can bring to their AI team.
These are some of the top-paying job skills in AI, according to the “The Dice Tech Salary Report” for 2021:
|Job Skill||Avg 2020 Salary||Yr/Yr Change|
|Natural language processing (NLP)||$131,542||4.8%|
|Google Cloud Platform||$96,253||3.4%|
(Source: “The Dice Tech Salary Report,” 2021)
Practical applications of artificial intelligence have reached every industry around the world, and as a result, many companies are investing in AI development and staff.
AI equity, also known as self-serve AI or AI democratization, is growing at a rapid rate as well, working to make it possible for the layperson to understand and operate AI technologies.
But regardless of how far AI equity advances in the coming years, companies will continue to need artificial intelligence specialists who understand the logic behind AI — and how to push past boundaries toward new AI use cases.