How AI is Leading to Massive Career Growth

The global AI market size is expected to grow from $58.3 billion in 2021 to $309.6 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 39.7%.

This tremendous growth is a result of a manifold increase in investments by venture capitalists and the acceleration of AI adoption by enterprises. Both these factors are creating a huge demand for knowledgeable professionals in this field.

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The staggering increase in the market in a short period of time has left a significant talent gap — one that could slow down AI adoption.

According to the IBM Global AI Adoption Index 2021, business executives all over the world say that the lack of skilled workers in AI is their top concern about implementing AI projects.

The AI Talent Gap

According to a report by Chinese technology company Tencent, there are about 300,000 AI professionals worldwide but “millions” of roles available.

A Gartner survey found that 54% of executives view the AI skills gap as the biggest challenge facing their organisations.

Open AI jobs are expected to increase at a CAGR of 31.6% to reach a total of 19,28,658 in 2023, up from 4,89,393 in 2018.

Another aspect of the talent gap is that of the professionals trained in AI, only 25% are “well-versed enough in the technology to work with teams to take it from research to application.”

The Detachment of AI from Academia

A study from VentureBeat found that “While higher education enrolment in AI-relevant fields has risen rapidly in recent years, few academic institutions have been able to meet student demand.”

One key reason for that is, over the years, AI has slowly moved out of academia to industry. From 2006 to 2014, the proportion of AI publications with a corporate-affiliated author increased from about 0% to 40%.

AI built in the clinical environment of academia can rarely thrive in the real world, where it needs to contend with constant changes in its environment, less-than-perfect datasets and different uses.

How can growth-focused professionals take advantage of the opportunities in AI?

The current base salary for AI professionals is $125K per year, and businesses are in desperate need of AI professionals who have both the technical and business understanding of AI.

The potential of career growth in AI is limitless but clearly requires specialised training. In addition, AI job profiles for non-IT professionals are also on the rise.

Here are a few ways to transition into a career in AI

 

  • Choose a specific industry: AI systems require a deep technical understanding of the subject as well as industry-specific knowledge. Those who can conflate the two will have a greater chance of success. Since AI has applications in every industry, professionals of any background can enter a new career pathway with AI.

 

  • Combine domain-specific knowledge with AI:Professionals have to discover how to use AI and its subset ML and deep learning into business use cases in a particular industry. Hence, gaining technical knowledge of AI will be critical. Since AI is wholly dependent on data, they’ll also need to understand the basics of data strategy and acquire data management skills.

 

  • Training and reskilling: The field of AI is continuously evolving, and professionals seeking a career switch to AI will need a coherent education in the latest in AI that’s based on real-world learning.

 

  • Apply what you learn: Academic and hypothetical learning means little in AI. Professionals should apply their AI and domain knowledge instantly to make progress in their AI careers.

 

  • Look for a peer support network: Learning about AI and working in a continually evolving field requires the support of industry experts and peers. This support network can become a priceless resource in a new career.

 

Professionals who want to make the most of their careers in this field need hands-on practical training and experiential learning in AI along with a thorough knowledge of AI, ML and deep tech.

Sign up for the Imperial College Business School AI Startups & Innovation programme to learn about the fundamentals of AI, gain hands-on experience working on an AI-focused capstone project that will prepare you to lead innovative AI projects in your career and join a worldwide peer network that will become your new support system.

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