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Study of job ads shows booming market for AI technicians

There is a lack of AI technicians. 2015-2022, AI jobs globally grew 9 times for Tech-AI jobs and 11.3 times for Broad-AI ones, while IT sector jobs rose 3.7 times and the number of total jobs advertised grew 2.7 times. Asia stands out as the region with the highest growth surpassing Northern Europe, researchers from consultancy Citi GPS, London School of Economics and University of Oxford write in report “Skills that pay. The return from specific skills as demanded in job advertisements”.

“Because the field of data science is constantly evolving, individuals with the right skills are in short supply and as a result enjoy high wage premiums. Upskilling becomes particularly crucial in the data science world.”

The researchers say they found  a complementarity collaborative leadership and research skills. “This finding is in line with past research that focused on the interaction of social skills and cognitive skills and the fact that non-linear thinking becomes key for the future of work. Professionals in particular require soft skills but also need to understand the implications of numerical calculations.”

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The report notes that in the US, California hosts a third of these hard-to-find professionals. The authors say that candidates with next to no experience are being hired for senior roles. More than half of the Tech-AI professionals have less than 6 years of experience compared to an average of 10 years for all IT jobs. Recruiting AI professionals is harder than IT ones. 

“With a larger focus on skills-based hiring, which reduces the focus on degrees, companies might hire more diversely and inclusively by broadening their talent pool to skilled non-degree holders.” 

Knowing which specific skills to hire and to invest in is key, the report says. 

“Upskilling is particularly crucial in the field of data science as it rapidly evolves. Examples for upskilling in data science are data coding bootcamps or short courses in data science. Such upskilling tools have been on the rise, which shows that “lifelong learning” is already at the top of the agenda for many companies and individuals. Upskilling also helps tackle skills shortages.”

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The authors are Helen H Krause, Managing Director and Head of Data Science Insights at Citi Global Data Insights; Brian Yeung, Vice President and a founding Data Scientist at Citi Global Data Insights; Cecily Josten, Fellow at The Inclusion Initiative at the London School of Economics; Grace Lordan, Founding Director of The Inclusion Initiative and an Associate Professor at the London School of Economics; Pantelis Koutroumpis, Director of the Programme on Technological and Economic Change at the Oxford Martin School.

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